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Georgia Tech Basketball Non-Conference Summary: The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly

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Tech enters ACC play with an 8-5 record.

NCAA Basketball: Georgia at Georgia Tech Jason Getz-USA TODAY Sports

Overview

Record: 8-5
Scoring Leader: Jose Alvarado (13.2 PPG)
Rebounds Leader: James Banks (8.6 RPG)
Assists Leader: Jose Alvarado (3.0 APG)
Blocks Leader: James Banks (2.4 BPG)
Steals Leader: Jose Alvarado (1.8 SPG)

The Good

Arkansas (Dec 19)

Easily the Jackets best win of the season came on the road against Arkansas just before Christmas. The Razorbacks came into the game as a borderline top 25 team, but were held to just 38% shooting and turned the ball over 16 times. Jose Alvarado scored 20 points and James Banks had 14 points and 14 rebounds as Georgia Tech left Fayetville with a 69-65 win.

Kennesaw State (Dec 28)

One of the Jackets best offensive outputs of the young season came just after Christmas, against fellow Atlanta school Kennesaw State, whom Tech beat 87-57. Abdoulaye Gueye came off the bench to score 16 points on 7-7 shooting, while also pulling in 8 rebounds, in what was easily his best game of the season. As a team, Tech shot 57% and had four other scorers in double figures.

Florida A&M (Dec 9)

Florida A&M, the weakest rated team Tech has played on the season (according to Kenpom.com) was completely over-matched when they came to Atlanta December 9. They were held to just 40 points, the lowest scoring total the Jackets have allowed so far this seaosn. Khalid Moore had one of his best games in a Yellow Jacket uniform, scoring 14 points on a perfect 6-6 shooting. Tech won the game 73-40.

NCAA Basketball: Georgia at Georgia Tech Jason Getz-USA TODAY Sports

East Carolina (Nov 16)

A career high 18 points for Curtis Haywood II led the Jackets to a 79-54 win over East Carolina when they visited Atlanta November 16. Freshman Michael Devoe added 13 points as well in one of his better games of the season. East Carolina was held to just 36% shooting, including 2-17 from behind the arc.

UTRGV (Nov 21)

By far the Jackets best defensive effort of the season came November 21 against Texas-Rio Grande Valley, who they held to just 12 made field goals on 53 attempts (23% shooting). Michael Devoe was the catalyst offensively that night, scoring 14 points, tied for his career high. Tech won the game 72-44.

Lamar (Nov 9)

The season opener against Lamar saw the Jackets score a boatload of points from behind the arc in what stands out as a major outlier on the season so far. On the night, Tech went 12-30 from three-point territory, leading to their highest point total of the season and an 88-69 win. Brandon Alston had his best game of the season, scoring 17 points, including four three-pointers.

USC Upstate (Jan 2)

The final game of non-conference play saw USC Upstate come to McCamish Pavilion to kick off 2019. While the game was close for most of the first half, the Jackets easily pulled away in the second half, and the game was even more lopsided on the stat sheet. Tech shot 58% from the field, their highest total of the season and held Upstate to 31% shooting. The Jackets won the game 79-63.

NCAA Basketball: Georgia at Georgia Tech Jason Getz-USA TODAY Sports

The Bad

Tennessee (Nov 13)

The Jackets first road game of the season was not exactly an easy one, traveling to Knoxville to take on #5 Tennessee. In an ugly defensive battle, the Jackets hung around for much of the game, but could never cut it close enough to really put any pressure on the Volunteers. Brandon Alston was the highlight for the Jackets, scoring 16 points, but as a team, Tech shot just 28%. Tennessee won the game 66-53.

Northwestern (Nov 28)

Very close to falling in the ugly category, the Jackets trailed by as many as 28 points when they traveled to Evanston to take on Northwestern on November 28. Tech ended up rallying and got the game back to as close as five points, but eventually fell 66-61. Jose Alvarado had potentially his best game of the year, scoring 24 points while James Banks added a double-double with 12 points and 12 rebounds.

St. John’s (Dec 1)

In a game that had potential to be one of the Jackets best wins of the season, Tech ended up blowing a 16 point lead to fall to St. John’s 76-73 at the HoopHall Miami Invitational. Despite out-shooting St. John’s, this game was the worst turnover differential of the season for the Jackets. They coughed it up 16 times compared to just 5 for the Red Storm. Tech also had no answer late in the game for St. John’s guard Shamorie Ponds, who finished the game with 37 points.

Prairie View A&M (Nov 23)

The only win found in the bad category, Tech trailed Prairie View A&M at halftime and led by just two with four minutes to go in the game. The Jackets eventually pulled away and won 65-54.

NCAA Basketball: Georgia at Georgia Tech Jason Getz-USA TODAY Sports

The Ugly

Gardner Webb (Dec 17)

An outstanding shooting performance did the Jackets in when Gardner Webb came to Atlanta December 17. The Bulldogs shot 53% from the field, including 40% on threes, led by senior DJ Laster, who dropped 25 points on the night. The Jackets aren’t the only team to be upset by Gardner Webb this season. They also defeated fellow ACC opponent Wake Forest.

Georgia (Dec 22)

Down big from the beginning of the game, the Jackets were never really competitive in this one. At the 3:24 mark of the opening half, Tech had just 9 points. The Jackets eventually fell 70-59 after a 32% shooting night.

NCAA Basketball: Georgia at Georgia Tech Jason Getz-USA TODAY Sports