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Men’s Basketball Hosts Florida State for Senior Day

GEORGIA TECH (12-16, 5-12 ACC) vs. FLORIDA STATE (15-13, 9-8 ACC)

Saturday, March 2, 2024 | 12 p.m. EST | Atlanta, Ga. | McCamish Pavilion

THE FLATS – Having won two of its last three games, Georgia Tech closes out the home portion of its 2023-24 schedule Saturday when the Yellow Jackets host Florida State in a noon contest at McCamish Pavilion. The Jackets look to even the season series after taking an 82-71 defeat in Tallahassee on Jan. 3.

Tech (12-16, 5-12 ACC) are playing for the first time since last Saturday, when the Yellow Jackets downed Miami, 80-76, on the road. Tech split a pair of home games before that, defeating Syracuse, 65-60, followed by an 81-57 loss to Clemson. The Jackets have also scored ACC wins over Duke, Clemson (on the road) and North Carolina.

Florida State (15-13, 9-8 ACC) won five straight games beginning with its Jan. 3 victory over Tech, but the Seminoles have gone 4-7 since then, sweeping a pair of games against Boston College, winning at Syracuse and defeating NC State at home. FSU is 4-4 on the road in conference play this season, having won at Notre Dame, Miami, Syracuse and Boston College.

Saturday’s game will be televised live on ESPN2, with a live stream available on the ESPN app. 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 SiriusXM channel 139 or 193 and the SiriusXM app.

JACKETS HONOR SIX SENIORS

Georgia Tech will honor six senior members of its program Saturday prior to tipoff of its game against Florida State – three players and three managers.

Guard Kyle Sturdivant, a four-year member of the program after transferring from Southern California, will play his final home game along with forward Tyzhaun Claude and guard Carter Murphy, both graduate transfers.

Sturdivant attended high school in Norcross, Ga., and has enjoyed his best season as a Yellow Jacket as Tech’s first perimeter player off the bench.

Claude, a Goldsboro, N.C., native who came to Tech from Western Carolina, has been the Jackets first post player off the bench for most of the season.

Murphy, a Phoenix, Ariz., native who earned his undergraduate degree at the Air Force Academy, has used his final year of eligibility at Tech while pursuing a graduate degree in operations research as part of his five-year commitment to the Air Force.

Also honored Saturday will be managers Alex Gaynor of Boca Raton, Fla., Ankith “A.K.” Kodali of Raleigh, N.C., and Wyatt Pangan of Austin, Texas.

Head coach Damon Stoudamire Friday media availability

THE TIP-OFF

  • The first meeting between Georgia Tech and Florida State took place following a nine-day break for the Yellow Jackets after their runner-up finish in the Diamond Head Classic. Saturday’s meeting comes after the Jackets’ bye in the ACC schedule, a six-day break.
  • Tech is still looking for its first back-to-back wins in ACC play this season. The Jackets have not won two in a row since the first two games of the Diamond Head Classic in December.
  • Twelve of Tech’s 17 ACC games have been decided by single digits. Nineteen of Tech’s 27 games overall this season have been decided by fewer than 10 points, which is tied for third-most in Division I (Tech is 10-9 in those games). Twelve of those by five points or fewer.
  • Tech’s five ACC wins have been earned by a total of 17 points.
  • Tech is 7-12 against Quad 1 (3-6) and Quad 2 (4-6) teams this season, with Quad 1 wins over Duke, Clemson and North Carolina. The Jackets have two Quad 1 and one Quad 2 opponents remaining on its schedule (Miami is a Quad 3 opportunity). Tech was 3-14 last season against Quad 1/2 foes.
  • Three of Georgia Tech’s ACC wins have come against the ACC’s three highest-ranked teams in the NCAA’s NET rankings – North Carolina (9), Duke (13) and Clemson (23).
  • A win Saturday would give Tech an 8-7 record at home in 2023-24. A loss would give the Jackets their first sub-.500 record at home since 2011-12 (7-8) and their third in the program’s ACC era.
  • Miles Kelly (14.8 ppg) leads three Yellow Jackets averaging in double figures this season, including freshman forward Baye Ndongo (11.7) and junior guard Kowacie Reeves, Jr. (10.2). Tech’s other rotation player averaged between 4.8 and 8.9 points per game.
  • Tech has started two freshmen – Baye Ndongo and point guard Naithan George – in its last 24 games. The Jackets have not had two freshmen in its regular starting lineup since the 2018-19 season (Michael Devoe, Khalid Moore), and have not had a freshman regularly start at point guard since Jose Alvarado in 2017-18.
  • Tech’s point guard tandem of Naithan George and Kyle Sturdivant has averaged 7.1 assists per game combined, 8.2 per game in ACC play. Both players rank among the nation’s top 65 players in assist rate (assists divided by the field goals made by the player’s teammates while he is on the court) according to KenPom.com.
  • Seven Tech players have scored at least 20 points in a game this season – Naithan George, Kyle Sturdivant, Deebo Coleman, Tafara Gapare, Kowacie Reeves, Jr., Baye Ndongo and Miles Kelly. It is only the second time that as many as seven different Yellow Jackets have scored 20-plus in a game during a season (2007-08).

SERIES VS. FLORIDA STATE

  • Georgia Tech has won four of the last six games in the series, but the Seminoles took the first of two scheduled meetings this season with an 82-71 decision on Jan. 3 in Tallahassee.
  • The Seminoles have won 17 of the last 23 meetings in the series and hold a 46-33 advantage all-time.
  • Since FSU joined the ACC, Tech is 23-32 against the Seminoles. Florida State won the first six in a row, Tech followed by winning five straight, and is 18-26 against the Seminoles since then.
  • In those 55 games, 23 have been decided by four points or less, 34 by fewer than 10 points. One of those games went to double-overtime, which the Yellow Jackets won 111-108 on Feb. 11, 1999 in Tallahassee.
  • Tech is 19-18 against the Seminoles in Atlanta (including an ACC Tournament loss), 3-3 at McCamish Pavilion.
  • Tech is 12-20 against Seminoles teams led by head coach Leonard Hamilton. Tech is 13-20 against Hamilton overall, with a victory over his Miami team in December of 1997.
  • Tech and Florida State were both members of the old Metro Conference from 1976-78, and the Seminoles won three of those four meetings.
  • Florida State and Tech have split four ACC Tournament meeting, with Tech defeating the Seminoles, 80-75, in the championship game of the 2021 tournament. The four games have been decided by a total of nine points.

 

Kyle Sturdivant (1) has played 140 games in his college career. (photo by Danny Karnik)

 

TEAM TRENDS

  • Tech matched its season high for three-point field goals at Miami, getting 15 from six different players. Tech also hit 15 at Clemson in a double-overtime win on Jan. 16.
  • Tech hit 10 or more three-pointers for the seventh time this season at Miami, and for the first time since Feb. 3 at NC State. In between, Tech had connected on just 27.3 percent (30-of-110) from beyond the arc.
  • Tech has out-rebounded its last three opponents by an average of more than 10 per game. The Jackets had a 41-34 advantage on the boards over Miami, edged Clemson, 34-31, and dominated Syracuse, 49-28 advantage over Syracuse.
  • Tech has made 76.7 percent of its free throws (148-of-193) in its last eight games, and is 34-of-38 (89.5 percent) over its last three games.
  • Tech’s 22 assists at Miami were the most for the Jackets since they posted their season high of 25 in a Dec. 26 win over Penn State at Madison Square Garden. The Yellow Jackets have hit the 20-assist mark three times this season.
  • Tech’s 80 points at Miami were its most since its 93-90 double-OT win at Clemson on Jan. 16. The Jackets had reached 80 points in a regulation game only one other time this season, in a 95-87 loss to Boston College on Jan. 6.
  • Tech scored 1.17 points per possession against Miami, its third highest efficiency rate this season and first time over one point per possession since Feb. 3 at NC State.
  • Tech used just eight players in the win over Miami, only the second time this season only eight Yellow Jackets have seen the court in a game (Hawai’i on Dec. 22 was the other).
  • Tech ranks No. 2 in the ACC and No. 83 nationally in bench scoring (23.5 points per game). Tech’s reserves have scored 20 or more points in 10 of its last 12 games, and have out-scored its opponent’s bench in eight straight games.

PLAYER HIGHLIGHTS

  • Miles Kelly matched his career-high for three-point field goals with seven at Miami, equaling the seven he hit at Syracuse on Feb. 28 of last season and Notre Dame on Jan. 9 of this season.
  • Kelly vaulted into the top 10 on Tech’s all-time list for three-point field goals. His 177 ranks No. 10, and he needs three more to take over ninth place ahead of Drew Barry (179 from 1992-96).
  • Kelly, who scored 25 points at Miami, has scored 20 or more points in eight games this season, five times against ACC teams.
  • Kowacie Reeves, Jr., broke into double figures for just the second time in his last nine games, scoring 15 against Miami with three three-point field goals.
  • Kyle Sturdivant surpassed 900 career points (he has 901) after scoring 10 at Miami.
  • Sturdivant is 25-for-27 from the free throw line (92.6 percent) over Tech’s last 12 games, 8-of-8 in Tech’s last two games. He went 4-for-4 in the final 40 seconds of Tech’s win at Miami. He leads the Jackets at 88.1 percent from the line this season, 89.7 percent (35-of-39) in ACC play, but does not meet the minimum requirement of 2.5 Free throws made per game to be ranked.
  • Sturdivant and Naithan George combined for 13 assists against three turnovers at Miami. They have a combined assist/turnover ratio of 2.74-1 in ACC play this season.
  • Deebo Coleman saw his first action in five games (Feb. 6 vs. Wake Forest) at Miami. He scored eight points including two critical baskets on drives into the lane in the second half of the win.
  • Tafara Gapare has averaged 9.0 points and 6.3 rebounds in his last three games. He has started Tech’s last five games and more than 20 minutes in three of them.
  • A freshman has led Tech in scoring 12 times this season. Baye Ndongo led the Jackets in points in eight games this season, Naithan George in three, Ibrahima Sacko in one.
  • Freshman Baye Ndongo ranks No. 4 nationally among freshmen in rebound average (7.9 per game) and No. 2 in field goal percentage (56.0).
  • Ndongo is one of two freshmen in the nation (JT Toppin of New Mexico is the other) to average at least 11.7 points, 7.8 rebounds, 1.1 blocks and hit 56 percent from the floor.
  • George ranks No. 2 in the ACC in assist average (5.3 per game) and No. 1 in assist-turnover ratio (2.81-1) in conference games. He is one of only three freshmen who rank among the top 40 nationally in assist rate, according to KenPom.com.

Kyle Sturdivant Friday media availability

 


Alexander-Tharpe Fund

The Alexander-Tharpe Fund is the fundraising arm of Georgia Tech athletics, providing scholarship, operations and facilities support for Tech’s 400-plus student-athletes. Be a part of the development of Yellow Jackets that thrive academically at the Institute and compete for championships at the highest levels of college athletics by supporting the Annual Athletic Scholarship Fund, which directly provides scholarships for Georgia Tech student-athletes. To learn more about supporting the Yellow Jackets, visit atfund.org.

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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