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What UVA Basketball fans need to know about Georgia Tech

moses wright georgia tech
Moses Wright attacks the rim in Georgia Tech’s 83-65 win over Clemson. Photo courtesy Atlantic Coast Conference.

UVA hoops fans got all excited about their team blowing out Clemson. Georgia Tech just blew out Clemson.

OK, it wasn’t as thorough – UVA led 29-5 at one point in the first half, went on to win 85-50, while Georgia Tech was up nine at the half, before a 12-2 run opening the second half sent the Yellow Jackets on their way to an 83-65 win.

Still, big win for Tech (7-3, 3-1 ACC), which also has wins this season over Kentucky (79-62 on Dec. 6) and North Carolina (72-67 on Dec. 30).

And the Jackets have won seven of their last eight since opening with a pair of what you’d have to look at now as head-scratching losses straddling Thanksgiving – 123-120 in four OTs by Georgia State, and 83-73 to Mercer.

Everybody is better now than they were back at Thanksgiving, of course.

For Josh Pastner, in his fifth season in Atlanta, this season is looking like a continuation of the slow progression he’s had the program on the past couple of years.

Last year’s group finished with a deceptively middling 17-14 record, but was 11-9 in the ACC, the second hottest team in the league down the stretch, winning their last four, six of their last seven.

Breaking down Georgia Tech

Pastner goes with a seven-man rotation, and has four guys scoring in double-digits, led by 6’9” senior Moses Wright (17.4 ppg, 6.7 rebs/g, 55.0% FG, 46.2% 3FG) and 6’0” senior point guard Jose Alvarado (17.1 ppg, 3.7 rebs/g, 3.9 assists/g, 52.2% FG, 38.8% 3FG).

You also need to account in terms of game-planning for versatile 6’5” junior swingman Michael Devoe (15.0 ppg, 4.8 rebs/g, 3.5 assists/g, 45.3% FG, 42.6% 3FG), 6’7” senior four Jordan Usher (10.8 ppg, 5.0 rebs/g, 3.0 assists/g, 50.0% FG, 38.2% 3FG), and 5’10” senior Bubba Parham (8.8 ppg, 3.5 rebs/g, 2.4 assists/g, 41.1% FG, 32.0% 3FG).

A couple of things you might notice there: one, the assists, across the board. Tech averages 17.0 assists per game, 31st nationally; and two, the three-point shooting.

The Jackets are shooting 36.9 percent from three overall, and 42.6 percent in ACC play, second in conference games.

And, again, as with the assists, the threes are across the board.

Deep dive

Doing a deep dive into numbers from Synergy, they’re at their most efficient on inside cuts, shooting 66.7 percent – led by Wright (15-of-20, 75 percent, 1.5 points per possession), who is also elite-level in pick-and-roll man (12-of-18, 66.7 percent, 1.429 PPP), and solid on post-ups (10-of-21, 47.6 percent, 1.000 PPP) and offensive stickbacks (7-of-12, 58.3 percent, 1.071 PPP).

Keep Wright out of the lane, basically, but also, make sure to watch him on pick-and-pops.

Alvarado does his most damage in transition – shooting 20-of-31 (64.5 percent, 1.462 PPP) – and spot-ups (15-of-36, 41.7 percent, 1.079 PPP).

He’s not used much in isos, but when he is, he’s pretty good there – 7-of-11, 63.6 percent, 1.071 PPP.

Of note, on pick-and-rolls as the ball handler, he’s just average – 7-of-14, 50 percent, with 11 turnovers in 28 pick-and-roll possessions (0.679 PPP).

With Devoe: he’s solid on spot-ups (20-of-44, 45.5 percent, 1.077 PPP), transition (15-of-27, 55.6 percent, 1.176 PPP); not-so-good on pick-and-rolls as the ball handler (4-of-15, 26.7 percent, 0.458 PPP).

Usher, the other double-digit guy, is otherworldly in transition (16-of-19, 84.2 percent, 1.652 PPP), and that’s what you need to know about him.

The deep dive suggests: focus on Wright on the back end of pick-and-rolls and in the post in general, and keep as much of a lid as you can on Alvarado, Devoe and Usher in transition, particularly the secondary break.

At a glance

  • Offense: Georgia Tech 110.7 (45), Virginia 115.2 (10)
  • Defense: Georgia Tech 97.2 (88), Virginia 90.2 (9)
  • Tempo: Georgia Tech 66.3 (297), Virginia 59.3 (357)

Efficiency data from


Georgia Tech (7-3, 3-1 ACC) at #12 Virginia (9-2, 5-0 ACC)
8 p.m., ACC Network

  • ESPN BPI: Virginia +11, 88.3% win probability
  • KenPom: Virginia 66-57, 79% win probability
  • BartTorvik: Virginia 65-57, 83% win probability

Story by Chris Graham

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