Pastner Adamant That Georgia Tech Is Better Than 8-10 Record

Matthew McGavic

As it stands at this point into the season, the Georgia Tech men's basketball program is not in the greatest of positions. After going 0-2 this past week against Notre Dame and Virginia, the Jackets now sit at a paltry 8-10 for the 2019-20 season and just 3-6 at home. In fact, Tech has dropped their last 5 games at McCamish Pavilion, having not won there since a 73-56 win over the Nebraska Cornhuskers back on December 4th.

Even with the under .500 record, head coach Josh Pastner is adamant on his position that his Yellow Jackets are performing at a much higher rate that what their record indicates.

"I know our record is what it is, but we have gotten better," he said. "From watching the tape vs. Virginia, we have gotten better. We have improved, we're a better team than what we've been."

While this team has its fair share of flaws, they have undoubtedly been playing better than when they did not have junior point guard Jose Alvarado and junior forward Jordan Usher in the lineup. Since the 2019 Diamond Head Classic in Hawai'i, their scoring and field goal percentage has increased, and shots at the free throw line have started falling at a higher clip.

Tech might not have the greatest offensive numbers overall for the season, but Pastner notes that in his tenure at the helm, it is the best it has ever been. "Offensively it's the best we've been in my four years here," he said. "Pace of play we've been the best, we're shooting the ball the best we've been, we're scoring the best we've been."

However despite the increase in play since Alvarado and Usher's inclusion in the lineup, the fact remains that turnovers and defensive rebounding is a detriment to this team. Pastner doesn't shy away from that either, especially with how they were key factors in both losses to Notre Dame and Virginia this past week.

"Yes we've dropped 3 of our last home games, it's hard not to win those home games," he said. "We had the opportunities to win the game. We played well vs. Duke, we played well vs. Notre Dame and we played well vs. Virginia. The bottom line is what cost us in all three games was our turnovers and second chance opportunities for the opponent."

With what is so obviously holding the team back, Pastner and the rest of the coaching staff have shifted their focus in practice in order to tone done the amount of times that Tech has seemingly gifted extra possessions to the opponent.

"Those are the two areas we have to clean up. We're still a top 30 defensive team in the country, but the two areas we have to clean up are turnovers and defensive rebounding. That's what we're locking in on."

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