Georgia Tech Basketball Continues Homestand with Southern
Yellow Jackets and Jaguars tip at 7:30 p.m. Monday at McCamish Pavilion
THE FLATS - Georgia Tech continues its season-opening five-game homestand Monday night when the Yellow Jackets entertain Southern University from the Southwestern Athletic Conference at 7:30 p.m. at McCamish Pavilion.
Tech opened its first season under new head coach Josh Pastner Friday night with a 70-55 victory over Tennessee Tech at McCamish Pavilion. Pastner inherits seven letterwinners, but none of its top four scorers, from a team that went 21-15 last season and advanced to the quarterfinals of the National Invitation Tournament.
Southern, in its sixth season under head coach Roman Banks, comes to Atlanta 0-1 after dropping a 77-67 decision at Ohio Saturday afternoon. The Jaguars played in the NCAA Tournament last year after winning SWAC.
Monday’s game will not be televised, but will be streamed live online via the ACC Network Extra, accessible through the WatchESPN app. Radio coverage is provided by Tech’s flagship station, WCNN-AM (680 AM/93.7 FM).
• Monday’s game is the second of five consecutive home games to begin Josh Pastner’s first season on The Flats. Tech doesn’t play away from home until Nov. 29, and plays 10 of its 14 non-conference games at home. The Yellow Jackets play three games away from home in November and December, all in a row (Nov. 29 at Penn State, Dec. 3 at Tennessee, Dec. 7 at VCU).
• Tech will hold a canned good drive Monday night, presented by Georgia United Credit Union. Fans can purchase a ticket to the game for $5 if they donate five cans.
• Tech won its season opener against Tennessee Tech Friday night without two presumed starters - senior point guard Josh Heath (suspended) and junior wing guard Tadric Jackson (injury). The Yellow Jackets never trailed after the opening 2:29 of the game.
• Tech’s first three games this season are part of an exempt multi-team event, similar to many of the early season tournaments, which will count as one game toward the NCAA regular-season limit. Ohio, which defeated Southern Saturday, plays Sam Houston State Monday night and Tennessee Tech Nov. 25, all at home. Ohio visits McCamish Pavilion Friday, and Sam Houston State visits Nov. 22. Tech is playing a program-record 31 regular-season games this season.
• According to ESPN.com’s John Gasaway, Tech is the least experienced team in Division I, returning only 25 percent of its possession-minutes from 2015-16. Gasaway measures experience by calculating a team’s “returning possession minutes,” the percentage of minutes that a player recorded last season, multiplied by the percentage of the team’s possessions that he used (as listed at kenpom.com).
• Tech lost 78 percent of its scoring and 67 percent of its minutes from last year’s team, which went 21-15 and reached the quarterfinals of the National Invitation Tournament.
• The only previous meeting between Georgia Tech and Southern University became a stunning victory for the Jaguars, who captured a surprisingly easy 93-78 victory over the ACC Champion Yellow Jackets in the opening round of the 1993 NCAA West Regional at the McKale Center in Tucson, Ariz.
• That remains the only loss for Georgia Tech in 16 games against Southwestern Athletic Conference opponents.
• Tech head coach Josh Pastner won his only meeting with Southern while he was the head man at Memphis, a 72-67 win on Dec. 15, 2015.
RECAP OF TENNESSEE TECH GAME
Josh Okogie scored 18 points, Ben Lammers added 15 points and coach Josh Pastner won his Georgia Tech debut with a 70-55 victory over Tennessee Tech on Friday night. Quinton Stephens finished with 12 points and six rebounds for the Yellow Jackets. Lammers’ output was a career high, as were his five blocks. Okogie was 7 for 9 from the field and had five rebounds.
Pastner had four players making their first college start -- Lammers, Okogie, Abdoulaye Gueye and Justin Moore. Stephens started 14 games last season. Georgia Tech never trailed after Stephens’ jumper gave the Jackets a one-point lead in the first 5 minutes of the first half.
Notable: Tech won the game without veteran guards Josh Heath (suspension) and Tadric Jackson (hamstring injury) … Ten Yellow Jackets saw action in the game, seven played double-digit minutes, eight players made the scoring column … Tech shot 69.2 percent from the floor in the second half, 56.0 percent for the game, while holding Tennessee Tech to 33.3 percent for the game and under 40 percent in each half … Tech turned the ball over just four times in the second half after committing 11 miscues in the first half … Tech scored 40 of its 70 points in the paint … Tech assisted in 17 of its 28 made field goals (60.7 percent). Head coach Josh Pastner’s objective each game is for the Jackets to assist on 60 percent of their field goals.
“I just still feel that we could be a lot faster with our pace and our cuts. It’s going to take just time and film and work. I don’t want to call a play every time down. I don’t want to, I don’t like doing that. I want our guys to be able to play with freedom within structure and be able to be a basketball player and make plays.
“With that comes a lot of responsibility, they’ve got to understand how to play the right way, how to play with freedom, how to play in attack mode and how to play with pace. Part of this year is going to be ups and downs and growing pains to be able to understand that is what we’ve got to do.”
ABOUT GEORGIA TECH MEN’S BASKETBALL
Georgia Tech’s men’s basketball team is in its first year under head coach Josh Pastner. Tech has been a member of the Atlantic Coast Conference since 1979, won three ACC Championships (1985, 1990, 1993), played in the NCAA Tournament 16 times and played in two Final Fours (1990, 2004). Connect with Georgia Tech Men’s Basketball on social media by liking their Facebook Page, or following on Twitter (@GTMBB) and Instagram.