Georgia Tech Basketball: Five Takeaways from Jackets 79-62 Victory Over Kentucky

Dec 6, 2020; Atlanta, Georgia, USA; Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets forward Moses Wright (5) shoots against the Kentucky Wildcats in the first half at State Farm Arena. Mandatory Credit: Brett Davis-USA TODAY Sports
Dec 6, 2020; Atlanta, Georgia, USA; Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets forward Moses Wright (5) shoots against the Kentucky Wildcats in the first half at State Farm Arena. Mandatory Credit: Brett Davis-USA TODAY Sports /

We look at five takeaways from the Georgia Tech Yellow Jacket’s dominating 79-62 victory over the Kentucky Wildcats on Sunday afternoon.

No.1: Moses Wright continues to dominate

On Sunday night, it was just another game for Moses Wright, at least even from a statistical point. The 6-foot-9 senior forward led the Jackets in points against the Wildcats, dropping 21-points while shooting 64.3% from the field. He also recorded eight rebounds, three assists, three blocks, and two steals in the game. One of the best performances you’ll see out of any player this season across the country.

Wright is now averaging 24 points per game this season as he’s scored 20+ points in all three games. In the Jackets season opener against Georgia State, Wright put up an incredible 31 points and 19 rebounds while against Mercer he recorded 20 points and five rebounds.

If there’s one thing for sure about this season through three games is that Moses Wright is much improved on from last season and he’s a man on a mission.

No.2: Jackets defense causes havoc

The Yellow Jackets’ defensive play on Sunday was excellent throughout the entire team. The Jackets kept the Wildcats to 44.9% shooting from the field (22-for-49) which is quality but were, more importantly, able to create 21 turnovers in the game including 15 steals. They also had a combined five blocks in the game.

In the first two games of the season, we saw a Jackets defense that was pretty weak all things considered and allowed the opposing teams to do way too much in moving the ball and getting open shots. On Sunday, that wasn’t the case as much and that’s most likely a testament to the Jackets having physical practices compared to the ones before their first two games of the season in which they didn’t have any contact.

The Jackets 21 forced turnovers was the first time they’ve had 21 or more since the 2018-19 season.

No.3 Devoe has a tough day…

It was a day for Michael Devoe to forget as for just the second time in his Tech career, he failed to record a single point. Devoe for the game was 0-for-6 from the floor including 0-for-3 from beyond the arch, he did not get to the free-throw line in the game either. Devoe still found ways to contribute to the Jackets victory, however, picking up three rebounds, five assists, and three steals.

For the most part, the performance from Devoe shouldn’t be all too concerning, everyone has their bad days shooting. Luckily, for the Jackets, it was a game in which Devoe did not have to carry a high amount of the offensive load which leads us to our next takeaway.

No.4: Everyone contributes… 

Everyone who played on Sunday in the game, in one way or another contributed in one big way or another. Moses Wright, we already discussed above, was terrific on both ends of the court. Jordan Usher contributed on both ends himself, offensively he was 5-for-10 from the floor, 2-for-3 from the perimeter for 12 points to go along with three assists while defensively he had two rebounds, three steals, and one block.

Bubba Parham was terrific, shooting 7-for-10 from the floor including knockdown three shots from beyond the arch. He also had four assists, two rebounds, and one steal in the winning effort. Jose Alvarado, had 10-points in the game on 4-for-9, shooting, he also contributed three rebounds, two assists, two rebounds, and a block.

Off the bench, Khalid Moore may have had just four points but also had an assist and three steals while Kyle Sturdivant, had 15-points on 5-of-6 shooting and 4-of-4 shooting from the line while also tacking on a rebound, two assists, and a steal.

But if I told you coming into the game that the Jackets would get a combined 10-points out of Alvarado and Devoe but would still win, by 17-points over Kentucky, you probably would’ve called me crazy. But that’s exactly what happened because everyone else who played in the game was able to pick up the slack and play a terrific game. If the Jackets could get even half of what they got from throughout the team going forward, they’ll win their fair share of games and have a chance to go dancing in March.

No.5: The bench still isn’t deep enough

It’s hard to find a lot of negatives from the Jackets victory on Sunday but if there is still one place that the Jackets are lacking and a place that may not get any better this season is their depth. The Jackets against Kentucky used just two guys off their bench. That being Kyle Sturdivant and Khalid Moore as mentioned above. Now, both had quality games in their own manners but only using two players off your bench has to be concerning. Now, you could point to the Jackets consistently leading in the game for the most part and having comfortable leads at times but this is not something that has been evident just on Sunday against Kentucky.

A lack of solid bench depth has haunted the Yellow Jackets over the past few seasons and while the Jackets will be able to get by in games like Sunday’s throughout the season when they get in tighter games against quality, physical opponents, the lack of bench depth will end up hurting the Jackets.