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Men's Basketball Takes On Wake Forest

GEORGIA TECH (10-12, 3-8 ACC) vs. WAKE FOREST (14-7, 6-4 ACC)

Tuesday, February 6, 2024 | 7 p.m. EST | Atlanta, Ga. | McCamish Pavilion


 

THE FLATS – Ready to battle the highest-scoring team in the Atlantic Coast Conference, Georgia Tech returns home to face Wake Forest in a 7 p.m. contest Tuesday night at McCamish Pavilion, continuing the back half of the ACC regular-season schedule.

Tech (10-12, 3-8 ACC) looks to bounce back from another close loss, 82-76 Saturday at NC State, and searches for consistency in a season in which the Yellow Jackets have toppled No. 3 North Carolina (74-73), Clemson (93-90 in overtime) and No. 7 Duke (72-68) in ACC play this season.

Wake Forest (14-7, 6-4 ACC) has averaged more than 80 points per game in conference play, and come to Atlanta following a 99-70 win Saturday over Syracuse. The Demon Deacons have scored 80 or more in five of their six ACC wins, 90 or more in their last two.

Tuesday’s game will be televised live on ESPNU, 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 388 and the SiriusXM app.

THE TIP-OFF

  • Georgia Tech’s three ACC wins have come against the ACC’s three highest-ranked teams in the NCAA’s NET rankings – North Carolina (9), Duke (18) and Clemson (34). Wake Forest is the fourth highest at No. 41.
  • Nine of Georgia Tech’s 11 ACC games have been decided by single digits. Sixteen of Tech’s 22 games overall this season have been decided by fewer than 10 points (Tech is 8-8 in those games), nine of those by five points or fewer.
  • Tech’s two largest defeats (by scoring margin) have been followed by wins over top-25 teams (No. 21 Mississippi State after Cincinnati, No. 3 North Carolina after Virginia Tech).
  • Tech is 6-9 against Quad 1 and Quad 2 teams this season, with Quad 1 wins over Duke, Clemson and North Carolina and Quad 2 wins over Mississippi State, Penn State and Massachusetts. The Jackets have three Quad 1 and two Quad 2 opponents remaining on its schedule (Wake Forest is a Quad 2 opportunity). Tech was 3-14 last season against Quad 1/2 foes.
  • Tech has averaged 74.3 points per game and has connected on 44.6 percent of its field goal tries in ACC play, both of which rank No. 8 in the conference. Tech leads in three-point field goal per game on conference play (9.64) and is fifth in percentage (.375).
  • Tech has the ACC’s sixth-most efficient offense in conference games (107.4 points per 100 possessions according to KenPom.com) and ranks No. 4 in effective field goal percentage (52.8) in conference games.
  • Four Tech players are averaging double figures in ACC play – Miles Kelly (14.3), Baye Ndongo (13.4), Kowacie Reeves, Jr. (11.4) and Naithan George (11.2). Those four players have combined to hit 46.8 percent of their shots from the floor (204-of-436) and 38.2 percent from three-point range (73-of-191).
  • Tech has started two freshmen – Baye Ndongo and point guard Naithan George – in its last 18 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.
  • Either Ndongo or George has led Tech in scoring in eight of Tech’s last 12 games, and in seven of 11 ACC games. They have accounted for 33.3 percent in ACC games.
  • Miles Kelly, Tech’s leading scorer in 2022-23 at 14.4 points per game, is Tech’s leading scorer again this season at 14.5 points per game. The junior guard leads four Jackets averaging in double figures with freshman forward Baye Ndongo (12.3 ppg), junior guard Kowacie Reeves, Jr. (11.3 ppg) and freshman guard Naithan George (10.1). Five other Jackets average between 4.4 and 8.7 points per game.
  • Freshman forward Baye Ndongo has won the ACC’s Rookie of the Week honor three times this season (Dec. 2, Dec. 18, Dec. 26), most for a Yellow Jacket since current NBA star Josh Okogie did so during the 2016-17 season.
  • Tech’s point guard tandem of Naithan George and Kyle Sturdivant has averaged 7.3 assists per game combined, 9.3 in ACC games. Their assist/turnover ratio is 2.48-to-1 combined overall, 3.29-to-1 in conference games. Both players rank among the nation’s top 52 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.
  • Naithan George needs four assists to become the first Tech freshman since Iman Shumpert in 2008-09 to collect 100 in a season.

Head coach Damon Stoudamire on Monday's ACC Coaches Zoom call

SERIES VS. WAKE FOREST

  • Georgia Tech has a 46-42 lead in the all-time series and a 45-40 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 16 meetings between the two teams, but the Demon Deacons have taken the last two, 80-64 in Atlanta during the 2021-22 season and 71-70 in Winston-Salem during the 2022-23 season.
  • Tech had won its last 14 games against Wake Forest at home, dating back to an 80-76 Demon Deacon win on Feb. 22, 2004, before Wake won at McCamish Pavilion on their last visit (Jan. 19, 2022). The Jackets won the last seven meetings in Alexander Memorial Coliseum, a 69-62 decision at Philips Arena during the 2011-12 season, and the first six meetings at McCamish Pavilion.
  • Tech was 24-9 against Wake Forest in games played at Alexander Memorial Coliseum, and is 31-10 against the Demon Deacons in Atlanta.
  • Tech is 43-31 against Wake Forest since 1985, including 12 straight victories from 1985-91.
  • Demon Deacons’ coach Steve Forbes is 3-2 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.

Naithan George needs four assists to reach 100 for the season, and become the 11th Tech freshman to dish a hundred or more. (photo by Jaylynn Nash)

 

TEAM TRENDS

  • Tech has exceeded a point per possession in seven consecutive games, and in nine of 11 ACC games this season (KenPom.com).
  • Only six Tech teams since 1997 have finished a season with a KenPom.com offensive efficiency rating higher than the current Yellow Jackets’ rating of 110.6. All but one of those teams played in the post-season.
  • Tech’s offensive efficiency is also the highest for a Damon Stoudamire-coached team, as is its adjusted tempo rate of 67.5 possessions.
  • Tech has made 74.7 percent of its free throws (80-of-107) in its last four games.
  • Tech hit 10 or more three-point field goals for the fifth time in its last nine games, going 11-for-27 at NC State. Across those nine games, the Jackets are 92-of-236 from three-point range (38.9 percent).

PLAYER HIGHLIGHTS

  • Miles Kelly has scored 20 or more points in six games this season, three of those in ACC games (20 at Florida State, 25 vs. Notre Dame, 20 at NC State).
  • Kelly has three double-doubles this season, adding 10 rebounds to his 20 points at NC State. Kelly had 22 points and 12 boards against No. 21 Mississippi State in November, and had 16 points and 11 rebounds at No. 11 Duke in January.
  • Freshman point guard Naithan George reached double digits in points six times in Tech’s last seven games with his 18-point effort against NC State. The 6-3 guard has averaged 14.7 points over that stretch, hitting 44.6 percent from the floor and 41.2 percent from three-point range. He also has 38 assists against 11 turnovers across those seven games.
  • George ranks No. 2 in the ACC in assist average (6.2 per game) and in No. 1 assist-turnover ratio (3.58-1) in conference games.
  • George’s five assists at NC State gave him 96 for the season in 19 games (5.1 per game). He is on the verge of becoming the 11th Tech freshman to dish 100 assists in a season, and first since Iman Shumpert in 2008-09. The list is a star-studded one that includes Dennis Scott, Kenny Anderson, Travis Best, Drew Barry, Stephon Marbury, Tony Akins and Jarrett Jack.
  • Kyle Sturdivant is 14-for-15 from the free throw line over Tech’s last six games. He leads the Jackets at 87.2 percent from the line this season, 88.9 percent (24-of-27) in ACC play.
  • In Tech’s last six games, Sturdivant averaged 12.7 points and hit 25-of-57 shots from the floor, 12-of-28 from three-point range, 14-of-15 from the free throw line, 14 assists/7 turnovers
  • Tyzhaun Claude has averaged 6.3 points and 6.0 rebounds over Tech’s last six games, hitting 11-of-16 from the floor and 16-of-21 from the foul line. He has averaged 25 total minutes.
  • Claude is 18-of-23 from the free throw line over Tech’s last seven games.
  • Tafara Gapare has scored 13 points (4-11 FG, 5-8 FT) with 13 rebounds, playing 46 total minutes, in Tech’s last two games, his best back-to-back efforts since early December.
  • Kelly (929 career points) is Tech’s closest player to 1,000 points in his career. Sturdivant has 50 points to go to reach that milestone, and five three-point field goals to reach 100.
  • Ndongo is converting at a 59.2-percent rate in ACC games, 59 percent for the season. He ranks No. 2 nationally among freshmen in field goal percentage.
  • Ndongo’s current scoring average of 12.3 points per game is the highest for a Tech freshman since Josh Okogie in 2016-17 (16.1), and his rebound average of 8.1 is the highest since Derrick Favors in 2009-10 (8.2), Chris Bosh (9.0 in 2002-23) owns the highest rebound average ever for a Tech freshman.
  • Kowacie Reeves, Jr., has hit 45.4-percent of his shots from the floor and a team-best 46.7 percent from three-point range in ACC games. He shot just 19 percent from three-point range in SEC games last year at Florida.

Miles Kelly (13) has three double-doubles this season. (photo by Jaylynn Nash)

 


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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