THE FLATS – Two more basketball transfers originally from Georgia are coming back home. Forward Rodney Howard, a 6-11, from Alpharetta, and 6-3 guard Kyle Sturdivant from Norcross have signed grant-in-aid paperwork to join the basketball program at Georgia Tech, head coach Josh Pastner announced Tuesday.
Both players will enroll at Tech for the summer term, and will have three seasons to play with the Yellow Jackets once they are granted eligibility.
Howard, who attended Centennial High School in Alpharetta, Ga., his sophomore and junior years before completing his high school career at Legacy Charter School in Greenville, S.C., comes to Tech after spending his freshman season at Georgia. There, he saw action in 24 games, starting two, and played an average of 7.3 minutes per game while averaging 1.3 points and 1.5 rebounds per game.
“Rodney has really good size. He’s only played basketball for a few years, but I really liked him in high school,” said Pastner of the 245-pound Howard. “His best basketball is ahead of him, and we need to develop him. He’s a physical guy, a straight 5-man. He runs the floor hard, he’s a good screener, and he’s not afraid of physical contact in the post. He’s going to be a really good player, but it will be through player development, because he hasn’t been playing that long.”
A native of Ypsilanti, Mich., the former three-star prospect began playing basketball as a sophomore at Centennial and quickly rose in the recruiting rankings, topping out at No. 106 nationally, No. 36 among centers) in the summer of 2018, just before his senior year. As a senior at Legacy, Howard averaged 10.2 points, 7.4 rebounds and 1.4 blocks per game and helped lead the Lions to a 34-5 record and the USA National Prep School National Championship. In three outings at the National Prep tournament, averaged 10.7 points, 9.0 rebounds and 1.7 blocks while shooting 61.5 percent from the floor. As a junior at Centennial, he averaged 11.7 points, 9.1 rebounds and 1.3 blocks per game for the Knights, earning all-region honors.
Sturdivant, a product of the powerhouse Norcross (Ga.) High School program, joins the Yellow Jackets after playing his freshman year at Southern California, where he averaged 8.3 minutes over 21 games. Considered a tough playmaker and a solid scorer, he finished the season averaging 2.0 points and 1.1 rebounds while hitting 34.8 percent of his shots from the floor, while recording 25 assists over 22 turnovers. He scored a season-high 11 points vs. Marquette on Nov. 29, and played season-high 18 minutes vs. Florida Gulf Coast on Dec. 29. Sturdivant did not play after Feb. 8 following the death of his father.
“Kyle is a solid, tough, hard-nosed guard with really good speed. He helps us continue to get old and stay old since we have the chance to lose some perimeter players after next season,” said Pastner. “He’s similar to Jose (Alvarado) in that he’s going to make the same kinds of plays. He’s about winning. He’s a bigger guard. He’s a good shooter, but needs to get more consistent from long range. He’s been at USC, a power conference school, and he went to Norcross High School, one of the best programs in our state, so he’s been around high-level basketball.”
Ranked the No. 6 player in the state of Georgia and the No. 12-ranked point guard in the country by 247Sports, No. 93 overall in the country by Rivals.com, Sturdivant is the first Norcross High School alumnus to enroll at Tech since Gani Lawal (2007-10). He helped Norcross reach the state 7A final four in the state championship tournament three years in a row, including runner-up finishes in his sophomore and junior years. Sturdivant made the all-state second team in class 7A as a senior, scoring 21 points against Roswell to propel Norcross to the state final four. As a junior, he was named 7A Georgia Player of the Year as a junior, helped Norcross to the state’s No. 1 ranking and made the game-winning shot to lift the Blue Devils to victory in the 7A region title game.
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Georgia Tech’s men’s basketball team has completed its fourth year under head coach Josh Pastner. Tech has been a member of the Atlantic Coast Conference since 1979, won three ACC Championships (1985, 1990, 1993), played in the NCAA Tournament 16 times and played in two Final Fours (1990, 2004). Connect with Georgia Tech Men’s Basketball on social media by liking their Facebook Page, or following on Twitter (@GTMBB) and Instagram. For more information on Tech basketball, visit Ramblinwreck.com.