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Louisville hopes Noah Locke can continue hot shooting at Georgia Tech

Sportsnaut
Michigan State's Marcus Bingham Jr., left, and Louisville's Noah Locke battle for a rebound during the second half on Wednesday, Dec. 1, 2021, at the Breslin Center in East Lansing.211201 Msu Lville 160a
Michigan State’s Marcus Bingham Jr., left, and Louisville’s Noah Locke battle for a rebound during the second half on Wednesday, Dec. 1, 2021, at the Breslin Center in East Lansing.211201 Msu Lville 160a

Georgia Tech hopes to pick it where it left off before taking a COVID break when the Yellow Jackets host Louisville in a rescheduled Atlantic Coast Conference basketball game on Sunday night.

The game had been originally slated for Saturday before the ACC stepped in and pushed the matchup back one day so that the Yellow Jackets (6-5, 0-1 in ACC) could satisfy protocol restrictions.

Georgia Tech paused its season, forcing postponement of games against Alabama A&M and Syracuse, after a 72-62 overtime victory at home over Georgia State on Dec. 21. Jordan Usher led the way with 30 points.

Saturday, Sunday or whenever, Georgia Tech coach Josh Pastner assured this week his guys are ready to get back in action.

“You’ve just got to be free-flowing and literally taking it one day at a time,” he said. “Throughout the season, it could be where game preparation is not going to be equal for everybody. It’s just going to be different because you’re just going to have to get the games in.”

The Yellow Jackets had lost four in a row before the overtime escape against Georgia State. Three of the defeats were to ranked opponents — Wisconsin, LSU and Southern Cal.

Louisville (8-4, 2-0) isn’t ranked, but it jumped immediately to the top of the ACC with wins over North Carolina State and Wake Forest. Noah Locke’s five 3-pointers paved the way in Wednesday’s 73-69 home win over the Demon Deacons.

Locke shot 5-for-7 from beyond the arc in the type of performance coach Chris Mack hopes demonstrates to his players why the rules are different for the Florida transfer.

“We have to search for the best shot that we can get, not the first shot,” he noted. “There are certain guys on the team that if it’s an advance in transition … I want Noah shooting it. I don’t know if I want 10 other guys on the roster shooting it. Not that I’m not confident in their abilities, but I think we can get that shot at any point in a 30-second shot clock. We’re teaching and learning.”

The Cardinals have dominated the series over the Yellow Jackets, winning 10 of the last 11 meetings. Georgia Tech prevailed in the most recent head-to-head played at home 64-58 in February 2020, snapping a five-game Louisville winning streak in Atlanta.

–Field Level Media