2019-20 Record: 2-1
Head Coach: Josh Pastner (4th season, 50-54)
Josh Pastner enters year 4 in Atlanta with his seat turning hot. Georgia Tech has declined in wins each of year of the Pastner era. However, that may not be the worst of it. Before the season, the NCAA ruled that Georgia Tech would not be eligible for the postseason due to violations. Was Georgia Tech going to make the NCAA Tournament this year? Most likely not, but you cannot break the rules and still struggle to win games.
The Yellowjackets are 2-1 with an impressive opening night win on the road at North Carolina State, a dominating with over Elon, and a close road loss to Georgia. That is respectable just three games in.
Michael Devoe has been nothing short of incredible for Josh Pastner. 26.0ppg on 58% shooting with 69% shooting from three. James Banks III and Moses Wright have combined for 22.4ppg and 14.6rpg. That is a solid trio to build around this season.
Pastner’s problem is there has not been any bright spots outside of those three players. Junior point guard Jose Alvarado, who lit the Hogs up in BWA last year, has struggled to start the season. Pastner revealed on Monday that Alvarado would not play tonight against the Hogs.
2019-20 Record: 5-0
Head Coach: Eric Musselman (1st season)
Arkansas overcame poor shooting again on Friday to get a win over South Dakota. The defense carried the team again. Jimmy Whitt was outstanding with his career-high 24 points with Mason Jones adding 14.
Five games in, it is reasonable to start worrying about how this team is shooting. The competition will only get tougher and that start on Monday night. Arkansas needs more consistency from Isaiah Joe and Desi Sills. The returning Arkansas players will remember the Yellow jackets coming into Bud Walton Arena to win last year.
This game will come down to Arkansas’ ability to hit shots. The defense -should- travel, but this will be their toughest challenge yet. Georgia Tech’s size in the paint should cause problems for the Hogs. Adrio Bailey and Reggie Chaney must find a way to stay out of foul trouble for Arkansas to have a chance.
Georgia Tech will be without starting point guard Jose Alvarado. He went 9-15 with 9 rebounds last year in the Bud. His ability to get to the basket opened lanes for himself and other Yellowjackets. Michael Devoe will have to create even more than usual.
Before the season, I had this game as a win for Arkansas, but the Hogs inability to shoot consistently has changed my mind. It will be a battle and should be a great game. I’ve got the Yellowjackets.
Score Prediction: Georgia Tech 68, Arkansas 61
Like many in our state, I didn’t have a choice in who my favorite team would be growing up. I was raised on Razorback. I remember watching the early season games on ARSN or conference games on JP Sports. My first favorite players were Brandon Dean and Joe Johnson. Great memories. I never thought years ago I would be writing about Arkansas Basketball. I don’t have a journalism background or anything like that. When given the opportunity, I wanted to challenge myself with something new and it has been a blast!