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Jackets Host No. 7 Duke to Open ACC Schedule

GEORGIA TECH (3-2, 0-0 ACC) vs. DUKE (5-2, 0-0 ACC)

Saturday, December 2, 2023 | 2:15 p.m. ET | Atlanta, Ga. | McCamish Pavilion


 

THE FLATS – Fresh off a home court victory over a top-25 team earlier this week, Georgia Tech opens Atlantic Coast Conference play at home Saturday afternoon, hosting No. 7 Duke at 2:15 p.m. at McCamish Pavilion.

Tech (3-2) stopped a two-game skid Tuesday night by defeating No. 21 Mississippi State, 67-59, in the ACC/SEC Challenge. The Yellow Jackets played their best defensive game of the season in shaking off losses to UMass Lowell and Cincinnati. Tech began its first season under head coach Damon Stoudamire with a pair of home court victories over Georgia Southern on Nov. 6 (84-62) and a come-from-behind 88-85 win over Howard on Nov. 9, and is 3-1 at home.

Duke (5-2) is playing its second straight true road game after falling at Arkansas, 80-75, Wednesday night in the ACC/SEC Challenge. The Blue Devils have played one other power conference team, dropping a 78-73 decision to current No. 2 Arizona at home in their second game of the season.

Saturday’s game will be televised live on the The CW (Peachtree TV in Atlanta). Radio coverage is on the Georgia Tech Sports Network by Legends Sports and flagship station 680 the Fan (680 AM/93.7 FM). The Tech broadcast is also available on the SiriusXM app and SiriusXM channel 386.

THE TIP-OFF

  • Georgia Tech is playing six of its first eight games of the 2023-24 season at home. The Jackets traveled to Cincinnati last Wednesday (an 89-54 loss), and visit Georgia next Tuesday.
  • Tech is looking to win its first ACC opener since the 2020-21 season, when the Yellow Jackets captured a 72-67 win at home over North Carolina. The Jackets have opened with losses to the Tar Heels each of the last two years.
  • Tech opens its ACC slate against Duke for the first time since the 2011-12 season, when the Yellow Jackets took the Bue Devils to the limit in an 81-74 defeat at State Farm Arena.
  • Duke is the second of two top-25 teams that Georgia Tech is facing this week. Tech scored a 67-59 win Tuesday over Mississippi State, ranked No. 21 in the Associated Press poll, No. 22 in the coaches’ rankings, while Duke is No. 7 in both. The Yellow Jackets have not faced two ranked teams this early in the season since 2020-21 (No. 20 Kentucky and No. 15 Florida State in the first five games, which the Jackets split).
  • Tech is in the midst of playing four consecutive games against power conference opponents – Cincinnati (Nov. 22), Mississippi State (Nov. 28), Duke (Dec. 2) and Georgia (Dec. 5), and will face a fifth on Dec. 16 (Penn State).
  • Tech is facing five guaranteed non-conference opponents that won 20 or more games in the 2022-23 season, including four that played in the post-season. Mississippi State (21-13), Penn State (23-14) and Howard (22-13) all played in the NCAA Tournament last season, while Cincinnati (23-13), a new member of the Big 12, reached the quarterfinals of the NIT. UMass Lowell (26-8) finished second in the America East Conference. The Yellow Jackets potentially could play two more 20-win teams in the Diamond Head Classic, with a possible game against Hawai’i (21-11) in the second round and TCU (22-13) in the final round.
  • Tech has yet to play a game with its full complement of 13 scholarship players due to injury. Senior guard Lance Terry, Tech’s second-leading scorer last season, has been sidelined the entire season, while freshman forward Baye Ndongo missed the first three games. Sophomore forward Tafara Gapare has missed the last two games.
  • Three of Tech’s four freshmen have now seen action for the Yellow Jackets. Forward Ibrahima Sacko has played in all five games, averaging 16 minutes, while forward Baye Ndongo and guard Naithan George debuted at Cincinnati and have played the last two.
  • Tech’s four returning scholarship players – Miles Kelly, Lance Terry, Dallan “Deebo” Coleman and Kyle Sturdivant – accounted for 59.4 percent of the Yellow Jackets’ points and 56.5 percent of the minutes during the 2022-23 season. They collectively shot 35.6 percent from three-point range. This season the group (minus Terry) has accounted for 53.8 percent of the points and 38.6 percent of the minutes.

Head coach Damon Stoudamire media availability from Friday

SERIES VS. DUKE

  • Duke won the teams’ only regular-season meeting in 2022-23, handing the Yellow Jackets their largest margin of defeat in an 86-43 win in Atlanta on Jan. 28.
  • Duke won the only meeting each of the last three seasons, and has won 16 of the last 17 games in the series. The Yellow Jackets earned an 81-77 overtime victory on March 3, 2021 in Atlanta, snapping a 14-game losing streak in the series that dated back to 2010.
  • Since 2010, Georgia Tech and Duke have met home-and-away just twice – in 2019-20 and 2013-14.
  • The Blue Devils won 11 of the last 13 meetings at Alexander Memorial Coliseum and won 21 of 34 games over Tech in games played on the Jackets’ former home court, as well as a 31-17 mark in games played in Atlanta. Duke is 5-1 at McCamish Pavilion.
  • Duke leads the overall series 77-24, and is 65-20 against Tech since the Jackets joined the ACC.
  • Tech’s only four wins over Duke since 2000 were by Yellow Jacket teams that made the NCAA Tournament (2004, 2007, 2010 and 2021).
  • Tech’s best stretch of the series occurred between 1982 and 1989, with 10 wins in 17 meetings. Tech has never won more than two in a row.

TEAM TRENDS

  • Tech’s win over Mississippi State was its first win against a top-25 team since last Jan. 4 (76-70 over No. 12 Miami). Tech was 1-4 vs. top-25 teams last season. It was Tech’s first win over a top-25 non-ACC team since Dec. 6, 2020 (79-62 vs. No. 20 Kentucky).
  • Tech has played its first five games without its full roster complement due to injuries. Sophomore forward Tafara Gapare has been sidelined the last two games after starting the first three. Senior guard Lance Terry, Tech’s No. 2 scorer last year, has not yet played this season.
  • Freshman point guard Naithan George and senior forward/center Ebenezer Dowuona made their first starts of the season. Dowuona had played off the bench in each game prior, and George made his debut last game at Cincinnati.
  • Tech made eight three-point field goals against Mississippi State, its most since draining 13 in the season opener vs. Georgia Southern. In between, the Jackets made a total of 15.
  • At least nine players have seen the court in each of Tech’s five games (10 vs. Howard and Mississippi State, 12 vs. Cincinnati). Eleven players average 10 or more minutes per game.
  • Tech permitted Mississippi State to make just 30.8 percent of its shots from the floor, a season low yield by nearly 10 percent. Georgia Southern hit 40.4 percent in the Jackets’ season opener.
  • Opponents have connected on just 28.5 percent from three-point range through five games, which matches the program record set in the 2019-20 season.
  • Tech has connected on 76.2 percent of its free throws (32-of-42) in the last two games after hitting just 59.7 percent (46-of-77) in the first three games.
  • Tech remains one of the nation’s best offensive rebounding teams, ranking 20th at 14.8 per game and producing 14.8 second-chance points per game. The Jackets pulled 12 offensive boards against Mississippi State.
  • Tech ranks No. 2 in in the ACC with 25.6 bench points per game.
  • Tech has been disruptive to opponents on the defensive end, limiting opponents to 39.2 percent assists-to-made field goals, which ranks No. 22 nationally, and also ranks 25th in block percentage 14.9 (blocked shots/opponent 2-pt FGA).

PLAYER UPDATES

  • Miles Kelly extended his streak of double-digit scoring games to 13 after tallying 22 points against Mississippi State. He has averaged 19.6 points per game over that stretch.
  • Kelly has 14 offensive rebounds this season, four more than he had all of last season.
  • Kelly (8-of-10 FT vs. Mississippi State) has averaged more than seven trips to the free throw line a game (38 total), compared to last season when he shot a total of 59 in 31 games and made a school-record 89.8 percent of them. Kelly has attempted six more free throws than three-pointers this season; last year he tried 235 three-pointers.
  • Kelly ranks No. 27 nationally, according to KenPom.com, in percentage of a team’s shots taken while on the court (34.7 pct.).
  • Freshman guard Naithan George made his first career start against Mississippi State and scored 11 points in just shy of 32 minutes. George made his Tech debut in the Jackets’ previous game at Cincinnati, scoring eight points in 15 minutes off the bench.
  • Kowacie Reeves, Jr., went 2-for-2 from the foul line against Mississippi State and has hit 15-of-16 for the season.
  • Kyle Sturdivant ranks No. 19 nationally, according to KenPom.com, in assist rate at 38.8 percent (assists divided by the field goals made by the player’s teammates while he is on the court).
  • Dallan “Deebo” Coleman has committed just one turnover in 127 minutes of action across five games. Coleman ranks No. 31 in the nation in offensive rating, a measure of personal offensive efficiency according to KenPom.com. Coleman leads the Jackets in shooting percentage and fewest turnovers.

Kyle Sturdivant media availability from Friday

 


Competitive Drive Initiative Turn 2

Looking to build on the success of last year’s Competitive Drive Initiative, Georgia Tech, the Georgia Tech Foundation and Georgia Tech athletics are partnering once again to launch Competitive Drive Initiative Turn 2. CDI Turn 2 has a goal of raising $2.5 million in new gifts to the Alexander-Tharpe Fund’s Athletic Scholarship Fund by Dec. 31, and Georgia Tech and the Georgia Tech Foundation will match eligible gifts to accelerate the impact for Tech athletics. Like last year, not only will gifts to CDI Turn 2 be matched, but so will the contributor’s benefits in the way of A-T Fund giving levels and priority points. To learn more and contribute online, visit atfund.org/turn2.

ABOUT GEORGIA TECH MEN’S BASKETBALL

Georgia Tech’s men’s basketball team is in its first year under head coach Damon Stoudamire. Tech has been a member of the Atlantic Coast Conference since 1979, won four ACC Championships (1985, 1990, 1993, 2021), played in the NCAA Tournament 17 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.

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