Georgia Tech basketball may have walked out of McCamish Pavilion on Wednesday night with a loss but it was a promising performance out of the Jackets.
At one point during Wednesday night’s game against the Duke Blue Devils, it seemed that the Georgia Tech men’s basketball team may just do it. They may just upset No.2 ranked Duke and pick up back-to-back wins over the Tar Heels and Blue Devils.
To say the Blue Devils escaped and survived McCamish Pavillion on Wednesday night would be a true statement. The Yellow Jackets had the top-5 ranked Blue Devils on the ropes late in the second half and the final nine-point margin doesn’t do the Jackets justice.
Out of their starting five, the Jackets really only got a clunker from Jordan Usher. The four other starters, Jose Alvarado (18-points), Michael Devoe (12-points), Moses Wright (12-points), and James Banks III (14-points) all scored double-digits in the loss. With that, the Yellow Jackets starters went toe-to-toe with the Blue Devils and actually outscored Duke’s starters 56-55.
The ultimate decider? Depth. This shouldn’t be shocking but depth is where the Yellow Jackets will get hurt down the stretch in ACC play. They may do very well in ACC play but there will be at least two or three losses the remainder of this season due to depth. Against the Blue Devils, the Jackets got just a mere eight points off the bench with six from Bubba Parham. Duke, on the other hand, got 18-points off their bench.
Despite the loss, the Jackets starters really showed the potential Georgia Tech does have. They’re truly a team that can be competitive with some of the best teams in the country. With their win last Saturday over North Carolina and their impressive performance against Duke, this is the first sign of consistency we’ve seen out of Josh Pastner’s group so far this season.
That being said, that consistency will be tested the remainder of the week. The Jackets have a pair of games against Notre Dame and Boston College that they’re good enough to win but following those two, they have Virginia, Louisville, and North Carolina State on deck.
If the Jackets are going to continue their strong play, they’ll need to continue to get complete games from their starting five but especially that of Jose Alvarado. When Alvarado is on, this team seems to be widely different, when he’s off his game offensively, they struggle. Alavardo has only scored double-digit points four times this season and in three of those games, the Jackets have won. They’re 1-3 in his other four games this season that he’s scored less than double-digit points.
The Yellow Jackets following Wednesday night’s loss is now 7-8 on the season and 2-3 in conference play. While still technically eligible for postseason play, the Jackets can still make a run here into the ACC Tournament and perhaps the NCAA Tournament. They also find themselves playing their best basketball at the most important time of the regular season but will they have the consistency? We’ll find out going forward starting on Saturday when the Jackets travel to take on Boston College at 6:00 pm.