Time: 2:01 p.m.
TV: ACC Network
— Louisville Basketball (@LouisvilleMBB) January 31, 2021
Vegas Line: Louisville -3.5, o/u 135.5
The Louisville Men’s Basketball team is at home on Monday afternoon for a matchup with the Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets. Louisville enters with a 10-4 record having lost three of its past four games. Georgia Tech has been one of the surprise teams in the ACC, but comes into Monday’s contest at 8-5 and 4-3 after losing two of its past three. Tech most recently beat Florida State by double digits on Saturday.
Georgia Tech starts five upperclassmen and has a team full of veterans who had some success against Louisville last year. The Cards squeaked out a close game at home in January before losing the return game in Atlanta. Jose Alvarado, Michael Devoe, and Moses Wright each played partiularly well in those matchups.
Alvarado has been one of the best players in the ACC this season, averaging 18.3 points, 3.5 rebounds, 4.5 assists and 2.8 steals per game. As a team, Georgia Tech averages nearly 10 steals a game. Their team defense as a whole has regressed quite a bit this season. Teams have been able to score in the paint, rebound, and take open threes against this Yellow Jacket team. For the majority of the season, the defense has been reliant on creating turnovers.
For Louisville, holding onto the ball has been a bit of an issue all season. The Cards are averaging about 12 per game in the ACC and have had double-digit turnovers in 12 straight games. Last week against Clemson was easily the Cards’ worst offensive performance of the conference season. Louisville only turned it over 10 times and held Clemson to just 54 points, but missed shots at every level resulted in an extended second half drought that they could not overcome.
On Monday, it will be all about slowing down the Georgia Tech backcourt and taking advantage of their undersized frontcourt. As we saw last week, if Carlik Jones and David Johnson do not put up big individual numbers, this Louisville team is going to struggle offensively. Stopping Alvarado and Devoe won’t automatically be enough. Luckily, this defense they are facing today will be a much different one than the teams they have faced recently.
Louisville should look to get its big men involved early, but the Cards are still going to need to make their jump shots. Teams have started to figure out that you can crowd the paint and force Louisville to beat you from outside. Louisville has not shot the ball well all season. They also have not shot many threes altogether though. Louisville is going to have to make some shots on Monday if they want to avoid another loss.
This is a Georgia Tech team that does not have the flashiest record, but they hold wins over three ranked teams and proved last season that they are capable of competing with this Louisville program. The offensive performances for the Cards have been worrying, to say the least. If there was ever a game that could help them get back headed in the right direction, it is this one on Monday.
Louisville 73 Georgia Tech 70