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Men’s Basketball Starts Final Week of Regular Season at Wake Forest

GEORGIA TECH (13-16, 6-12 ACC) vs. WAKE FOREST (18-11, 10-8 ACC)

Tuesday, March 2, 2024 | 9 p.m. EST | Winston-Salem, N.C. | Lawrence Joel Veterans Memorial Coliseum

THE FLATS – Winners of three of its last four games, Georgia Tech closes out its regular season on the road this week, first visiting Wake Forest Tuesday night at 9 p.m. at the Lawrence Joel Memorial Coliseum in Winston-Salem, N.C.

Tech (13-16, 6-12 ACC) has won two in a row, having defeated Miami (80-76) and Florida State (85-76) in the last week. The Jackets have also scored ACC wins over Duke, Clemson (on the road), North Carolina and Syracuse, and are tied for 12th place in the ACC standings with Boston College and Miami.

Wake Forest (18-11, 10-8 ACC) has lost its last two games at Notre Dame (70-65) and Virginia Tech (87-76) but are undefeated at home this season (15-0), including a win over Duke on Feb. 24. The Demon Deacons defeated Tech in Atlanta, 80-51, on Feb. 6, and are 3-4 since then.

Tuesday’s game will be televised live on the ACC Network, 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 383 and the SiriusXM app.

THE TIP-OFF

  • Georgia Tech is on a two-game winning streak for the first time since defeating Massachusetts and Hawai’i back-to-back on Dec. 21-22 in the Diamond Head Classic.
  • Tech is 2-6 in ACC road games this season. Two wins this week would give the Yellow Jackets a 4-6 record, same as its home mark in conference games.
  • Thirteen of Tech’s 18 ACC games have been decided by single digits. Twenty of Tech’s 29 games overall this season have been decided by fewer than 10 points, which is tied for third-most in Division I (Tech is 11-9 in those games). Twelve of those games have been decided by five points or fewer.
  • Tech’s six ACC wins have been earned by a total of 26 points. The Jackets’ nine-point win over Florida State Saturday has been its widest margin of victory.
  • 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. Both of the Yellow Jackets’ games this week are Quad 1 opportunities. 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 (10) and Clemson (25). Wake Forest is No. 31, and Virginia is No. 49.
  • Tech has won nine consecutive Senior Day games against five different teams – Pittsburgh (3 times), Boston College (twice), Wake Forest, Duke, Louisville and Florida State.
  • Miles Kelly (14.4 ppg) leads three Yellow Jackets averaging in double figures this season, including freshman forward Baye Ndongo (11.8) and junior guard Kowacie Reeves, Jr. (10.1). Tech’s other rotation player averaged between 4.9 and 9.1 points per game.
  • Tech has started two freshmen – Baye Ndongo and point guard Naithan George – in its last 25 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, 8.1 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.

Head coach Damon Stoudamire on Monday's ACC Coaches Zoom

SERIES VS. WAKE FOREST

  • Georgia Tech has a 46-43 lead in the all-time series and a 45-41 lead in games played since it became a member of the ACC. That is the best winning percentage that the Yellow Jackets have against any of the pre-2005 expansion members of the conference.
  • Tech has won 11 of the last 17 meetings between the two teams, but the Demon Deacons have taken the last three, including an 80-51 win in Atlanta in the teams’ first meeting of the 2023-24 season.
  • Tech made a sweep of the season series in 2010-11, setting school records in each game for margin of victory in an ACC game (74-39 at home on Jan. 19) and for margin of victory in an ACC road game (80-54 on Mar. 3, broken in 2021). The Jackets also swept the Demon Deacons in 2012-13.
  • Tech has one of its better records in an opponent’s building, 10-21 in the Joel Coliseum. Tech is 14-28 against Wake Forest on the road, including a 2-3 mark in regular-season games played in Greensboro and a 2-4 mark in games played in Winston-Salem prior to the opening of Joel Coliseum.
  • Tech is 43-32 against Wake Forest since 1985, including 12 straight victories from 1985-91.
  • Demon Deacons’ coach Steve Forbes is 4-2 against the Jackets, having led his East Tennessee State team to a 69-68 victory over the Jackets in Atlanta during his first season with the Buccaneers on Nov. 15, 2015.

Kyle Sturdivant (1) has averaged 15.5 points over his last four games. (photo by Danny Karnik)

 

TEAM TRENDS

  • Tech has out-rebounded its last four opponents by an average of more than 13 per game, and posted its largest margin of the stretch against Florida State at 55-33, also its greatest margin of the season against an ACC team. The Jackets had a 41-34 advantage on the boards over Miami, edged Clemson, 34-31, and dominated Syracuse, 49-28 advantage over Syracuse. (The Seminoles out-rebounded Tech 38-31 in the teams’ first meeting.)
  • Tech’s 55 rebounds against Florida State was one shy of its all-time high in an ACC game, 56 vs. the Seminoles on Jan. 27, 1996.
  • Three Jackets hit double figures on the boards against FSU – Baye Ndongo (14), Tyzhaun Claude (10) and Tafara Gapare (10). The last time three or more Yellow Jackets grabbed 10 or more rebounds each in the same game was Nov. 25, 2020, when Moses Wright (19), Michael Devoe (13), Jordan Usher (10) and Jose Alvarado (10) each did, but that was accomplished in four overtimes.
  • Tech has made 76.0 percent of its free throws (165-of-217) in its last nine games, and is 51-of-62 (82.3 percent) over its last three games.
  • Tech has scored 80 or more points in back-to-back ACC games for the first time since late last season when the Jackets score 83 vs. Louisville and 96 vs. Syracuse on Feb. 25 and 28.
  • Tech’s 85 points at Florida State were its most since its 93-90 double-OT win at Clemson on Jan. 16. The Jackets had reached 80 points in a regulation ACC game only twice previously this season, in a 95-87 loss to Boston College on Jan. 6 and an 80-76 win at Miami last Saturday.
  • After a five-game stretch of scoring less than one point per possession, Tech has scored more than 1.1 points per possession in two straight games (1.17 against Miami and 1.10 against Florida State).
  • Tech has connected on 37.4 percent of its three-point tries in road games, compared to 30.7 percent in home games.
  • Tech ranks No. 2 in the ACC and No. 76 nationally in bench scoring (23.7 points per game). Tech’s reserves have scored 20 or more points in 11 of its last 13 games, and have out-scored its opponent’s bench in nine straight games.

PLAYER HIGHLIGHTS

  • Kyle Sturdivant scored a game-high 20 points against Florida State, his second 20-point effort this season (he set his career high of 21 vs. UMass on Dec. 21) and second of his career against an ACC team (20 points at Syracuse last season). He hit 6-of-11 shots from the floor, 4-of-6 from three-point range, 4-of-5 from the free throw line.
  • Sturdivant has hit four three-pointers (his career best) three times in his career, all this season (North Carolina, Syracuse, Florida State).
  • Sturdivant has scored in double digits in his last four games (15.5 points per game). He is 18-of-46 (39.1 pct.) from the floor, 12-of-27 (44.4 pct.) from three-point range and 13-of-15 (86.7 pct.) from the foul line in that stretch.
  • Sturdivant is 29-for-32 from the free throw line (90.6 percent) over Tech’s last 13 games, 12-of-13 in Tech’s last three games. He leads the Jackets at 87.5 percent from the line this season, 88.6 percent (35-of-39) in ACC play.
  • Baye Ndongo has six double-doubles this season after scoring 15 points with 14 rebounds against Florida State. His 14 boards are his most since taking his season-best of 19 against Penn State on Dec. 16.
  • Tafara Gapare has averaged 8.8 points and 7.3 rebounds in his last four games, grabbing a career-best 10 rebounds against Florida State.
  • Gapare has started Tech’s last six games and played more than 20 minutes in four of them, including a career-high 29:59 against Florida State.
  • Gapare has blocked at least one shot in six straight games, and had three against Florida State, giving him 31 for the season and 18 in 17 ACC games.
  • Naithan George broke into double figures for the first time in six games, scoring 15 points against Florida State with two assists and no turnovers in 30:32. George had totaled 19 points in his previous five games. He has eight double-digit games against ACC teams this season, 10 in all games.
  • Tyzhaun Claude reached double digits in rebounds (10 vs. FSU) for the first time since Tech’s season opener against Georgia Southern (also 10).
  • Freshman Baye Ndongo ranks No. 4 nationally among freshmen in rebound average (8.1 per game) and No. 2 in field goal percentage (55.9).
  • Ndongo is one of two freshmen in the nation (JT Toppin of New Mexico is the other) to average at least 11.8 points, 8.1 rebounds, 1.1 blocks and hit 55 percent from the floor.
  • George ranks No. 2 in the ACC in assist average (5.1 per game) and No. 1 in assist-turnover ratio (2.88-1) in conference games. He ranks fourth among freshmen nationally in assist rate, according to KenPom.com.

Tafara Gapare (5) has averaged 8.8 points and 7.3 rebounds over his last four games. (photo by Danny Karnik)

 


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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