Louisville basketball may have caught Georgia Tech at just the wrong time in ACC play. After two straight losses for the Yellow Jackets, the Cardinals will have to deal with a Georgia Tech team on Monday that just knocked off Florida State Saturday afternoon.
Louisville, on the other hand, is not really riding any trend at the moment. They’ve been very up and down most recently with an ugly loss to Clemson where the Cardinals only scored 50 points. But a win over Duke last week proves the team still has some life left in them. They’re a very difficult team to read overall and this is a big test.
While Georgia Tech is typically classified as a bottom-feeder in the ACC, they have a veteran squad this year that can cause some serious issues at both ends of the floor. The Yellow Jackets forced 13 steals against Florida State who had previously been playing like one of the best teams in the nation until they ran into the GT buzzsaw.
There are some elite ACC players on this team we need to discuss
G Jose Alvarado
You can’t talk about Georgia Tech without talking about Jose Alvarado. The 6-foot senior does it all for the Yellow Jackets. He averages over 18 points per game, 4.4 assists, and 2.9 steals this season. In the last four games, Alvarado has racked up 19 total steals.
He can shoot the ball from anywhere on the floor and he’s best categorized as a pest that understands exactly when to take a chance on steals when players aren’t anticipating it.
Alvarado is also very quick in the open floor. He makes getting to the basket look easy and he does so very efficiently. He’s shooting almost 54 percent on the year and almost 44 percent from three-point range.
If Louisville wants to win, keeping Alvarado from going off seems like a good start. He’s simply a terrific college player that brings a ton of juice to their team.
F Moses Wright
Wright is an insane athlete that wins with strength, speed, and living above the rim. He is averaging over 17 points and 7 rebounds per game this year in addition to over a block per game. The 6’9″ 230-pounder will be a load inside for Jae’Lyn Withers to handle.
He doesn’t have a super amount of polish offensively, but he will attack mismatches and do the dirty work inside to earn tough baskets. Wright and Alvarado work very well together as a guard-forward tandem and he will be playing almost every minute of this game if he isn’t in foul trouble.
Wright filled up the stat sheet with 23 points, 8 rebounds, and 6 steals against Florida State.
G Jordan Usher
A true matchup nightmare, the 6’7″ Usher is an elite athlete and an acrobat around the rim. He has also increased his three-point percentage during the 2020-21 season (36 percent) by 16 percentage points from 2019-20.
He is a unique athlete for his size profile that can bother shots inside and will make life very difficult for the likes of David Johnson or the wing players that are hoping to use size to their advantage. Usher will be a problem for Louisville to hone in on. The USC transfer is an athletic marvel that could give the Cardinals issues with length and elite bounce.
Naturally, he’s very good at drawing “and-ones” around the basket and can drive like a true guard with extra authority. While he doesn’t lead the team in any one specific stat, Usher will be one of the most difficult players on the Georgia Tech team to keep under control.
This is a scary matchup for Louisville. The Yellow Jackets only consistently go about six deep as a team, but getting them into foul trouble could create some issues for them. Their starting lineup is one of the better groups in the ACC this season with four players averaging double figures.
While many still consider Georgia Tech to be the “little guys” in the conference, they play like anything but little. This is a legitimate team with serious top-end talent.
Louisville will have their hands full Monday afternoon.