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Tech Back Home to Face Virginia

GEORGIA TECH (9-8, 2-4 ACC) vs. VIRGINIA (12-5, 3-3 ACC)

Saturday, January 20, 2024 | 6 p.m. EST | Atlanta, Ga. | McCamish Pavilion


 

THE FLATS – Back on the winning track after a thrilling overtime win at Clemson Tuesday night, Georgia Tech returns home for its next two games, first against Virginia at 6 p.m. Saturday at McCamish Pavilion.

The Yellow Jackets (9-8, 2-4 ACC) used a late rally to tie the Tigers at the end of regulation and outlasted Clemson in two overtimes to win 93-90. The win snapped a four-game ACC losing streak to Florida State (82-71), Boston College (95-87), Notre Dame (75-68 in overtime) and No. 11 Duke (84-79). The Jackets will be looking to end another long skid in the series against Virginia on Saturday.

Virginia (12-5, 3-3 ACC), which had been in the national top 25 during November and December, had dropped four of six games before downing Virginia Tech, 65-57, at home Wednesday night. The Cavaliers have lost all four of their road games this season, including their last three ACC road trips to Notre Dane, NC State and Wake Forest.

Saturday’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 119 or 193 and the SiriusXM app.

THE TIP-OFF

  • Georgia Tech has averaged 78.3 points per game and has connected on 47.8 percent of its field goal tries in ACC play, which ranks No. 2 and No. 1, respectively, in those categories.
  • Tech has the ACC’s third-most efficient offense in conference games (110.3 points per 100 possessions according to KenPom.com) and ranks No. 1 in effective field goal percentage in conference games.
  • With a season-high 20 points at Clemson, Naithan George became the seventh Tech player to score 20 points this season, joining 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).
  • Three Tech players are averaging 13.7 points or better on ACC play – Miles Kelly (17.2), Baye Ndongo (15.3) and Kowacie Reeves, Jr. (13.7). Those three players have combined to hit 51.0 percent of their shots from the floor (106-208) and 44.7 percent from three-point range (38-of-85). They have accounted for 58.9 percent of the Yellow Jackets’ points in ACC games.
  • Tech has started two freshmen – Baye Ndongo and Naithan George – in its last 13 games, winning seven of them. 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.
  • Miles Kelly, Tech’s leading scorer in 2022-23 at 14.4 points per game, is Tech’s leading scorer again this season at 15.5 points per game. The junior guard leads three Jackets averaging in double figures with freshman forward Baye Ndongo (12.7 ppg) and junior guard Kowacie Reeves, Jr. (12.2 ppg). Five other Jackets average between 4.6 and 8.9 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 duo of Naithan George and Kyle Sturdivant has averaged 7.0 assists per game combined, 10.0 in ACC games. Their assist/turnover ratio is 2.29-to-1 combined overall, 3.53-to-1 in conference games. Both players rank among the nation’s top 50 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.
  • Tech is 4-5 against Quad 1 and Quad 2 teams this season, with a Quad 1 win over Duke and Quad 2 wins over Mississippi State and Massachusetts. The Jackets have eight Quad 1 and three Quad 2 opponents remaining on its schedule. Tech was 3-14 last season against Quad 1/2 foes.

Head coach Damon Stoudamire Friday media availability

SERIES VS. VIRGINIA

  • Virginia has won the last 10 games in the series, and 18 of the last 20 meetings to move ahead 47-40 in the all-time series, which dates back to 1947.
  • The Cavaliers won the only meeting between the two teams in the 2022-23 season, 74-56 on Dec. 31. Tech’s last win over UVA occurred Feb. 9, 2016 in Atlanta (68-64).
  • Tech is 2-5 against Virginia in McCamish Pavilion after going 21-8 against the Cavaliers in Alexander Memorial Coliseum. Overall, the Yellow Jackets are 24-16 on all home courts and 26-17 in games played in the city of Atlanta.
  • Since Tech joined the ACC, the Yellow Jackets are 38-46 against Virginia.
  • Tech was 11-8 against Virginia under Paul Hewitt, including wins in all three meetings in Hewitt’s first season of 2000-01. Josh Pastner was 0-9 vs. Virginia (including one loss while at Memphis), and Tony Bennett is 17-2 vs. Tech.
  • Tech has failed to score 50 points in six of the 19 meetings against Bennett’s Virginia teams. Tech’s high of 75 came in the very first meeting in 2010.
  • Tech and Virginia have played to overtime seven times since the 1983-84 season, including a 72-71 triple-overtime win for Tech in Atlanta on Jan. 23, 1984, and an 88-85 double-overtime triumph for Virginia in Charlottesville on Jan. 22, 1995.

Senkor forward Tyzhaun Claude Friday media availability

TEAM TRENDS

  • Tech has made at least 10 three-point field goals in four straight games (Boston College, Notre Dame, Duke, Clemson) and has connected on 47-of-113 (41.6 percent) in those games. The Jackets had hit just 28.3 percent over its first 13 games, and are now at 31.9 percent for the season, 37.7 percent across six ACC games.
  • Tech’s 15 three-point field goals at Clemson were its most since hitting 18 in its win at Syracuse last Feb. 28. Its 35 attempts (out of 62 total field goal attempts) were the most since it tried 40 in the same Syracuse game.
  • Twelve of Tech’s 17 games this season have been decided by 10 points or fewer, eight of those by five points or fewer.
  • Tech is shooting 47.8 percent from the floor in ACC games, 37.7 percent from three-point range, and has a team 96-to-69 assist/turnover ratio.
  • Only two Tech teams in the last 15 (2020-21, 2015-16) have finished a season with a KenPom.com offensive efficiency rating higher than the current Yellow Jackets’ rating of 109.7.
  • Tech has averaged just 10.7 turnovers over its last seven games, after averaging more than 19 in the three games prior and 14 over the first 10 games of the season.
  • Tech has exceeded a point per possession in 10 games this season, winning eight of them.

PLAYER HIGHLIGHTS

  • Freshman Naithan George has reached career highs in points in each of his last two games – 17 points at Duke, 20 at Clemson. He made 14-of-24 shots from the floor (58.3 percent) and 7-of-13 from three-point range (53.8 percent) combined in the two games, adding 11 assists against two turnovers in 69 total minutes.
  • George ranks No. 2 in the ACC in assist average (6.33) against the conference, and he has 38 total assists to just 10 turnovers over six games (3.8-to-1), which also ranks No. 2.
  • Miles Kelly is averaging 17.2 points in ACC games this season, and his shooting percentages are well above his full-season norms – 43.0 percent from the floor, 37.8 percent from three-point range and 70.6 percent from the foul line.
  • Freshman Baye Ndongo has scored in double digits in Tech’s last nine games, averaging 15.2 points and 10.0 rebounds, and has hit on 67.4 percent of his field goals (58-of-86).
  • Ndongo ranks No. 2 in the nation among freshmen in field goal percentage (59.8) and No. 2 in rebound average (8.9).
  • Kowacie Reeves, Jr., has hit 51.7-percent of his shots from the floor and a team-best 52.9 percent from three-point range in ACC games. He is Tech’s No. 3 scorer at 12.1 points per game.

Naithan George has scored career highs in points in each of Tech’s last two games. (photo by Andy Mead)

 


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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