Few observers, casual or close, would point to Georgia Tech as an ACC defensive power. No knock on Josh Pastner, but who knew?
Georgia Tech’s status as a negligible ACC defensive power was established long before Pastner became the head coach in 2017. For instance, the program led the ACC in scoring defense once – in 1980, the year it joined the conference.
Field goal percentage defense? Tech led five times in its 40 years as an ACC member, most recently in Pastner’s first season.
Blocked shots? Three times, including in Pastner’s inaugural season at Atlanta.
Steals? Twice, most recently in 2011.
Not much of a tradition.
But last year the Yellow Jackets did an excellent job of extending their defense, sometimes with zone alignments, to stifle opponents’ 3-point accuracy. Their rivals’ .285 conversion rate ranked a smidge behind the 2014 Clemson squad as the fourth-best ACC 3-point defense in this century.
We can’t forget that 2020 saw a longer 3-pointer go into effect, matching the international distance at 22 feet, 1.75 inches. That surely affected accuracy. Even so, the longer shot influenced everyone, and Georgia Tech was less permissive than any other ACC program and one of the most restrictive in recent memory.
Incidentally, Duke led the ACC in 3-point defense six times in this century, more than any other program, and posted three of the seven best efforts.
|DISCONNECTING LONG-DISTANCE DIALING
Best 3-Point Defense To Lead ACC During Season This Century
|Opp 3%||Year||School||Opp 3M-3A|