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Tech Back on the Road to Face No. 11 Duke

GEORGIA TECH (8-7, 1-3 ACC) vs. #11/11 DUKE (12-3, 3-1 ACC)

Saturday, January 13, 2024 | 5 p.m. EST | Durham, N.C. | Cameron Indoor Stadium


 

THE FLATS – Looking to get back on the winning track after four straight losses, Georgia Tech goes back on the road to face No. 11/11 Duke in a 5 p.m. tip Saturday at Cameron Indoor Stadium.

The Yellow Jackets (8-7, 1-3 ACC) have lost their last three ACC games to Florida State (82-71), Boston College (95-87) and Notre Dame (75-68 in overtime), the latter two at home, since defeating the Blue Devils, 72-68, in their conference opener on Dec. 2 in Atlanta.

Duke (12-3, 3-1 ACC) has reeled off seven consecutive wins since then. including conference triumphs over Syracuse (86-66), Notre Dame (67-59) and Pittsburgh (75-53), the latter two on the road. The Blue Devils have won those seven games by an average of 20.1 points.

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 380 and the SiriusXM app.

THE TIP-OFF

  • 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.
  • Ndongo is the only freshman in the nation to average at least 12.5 points per game, 9.2 rebounds per game, 1.3 blocked shots per game, and a field goal percentage of .593.
  • Three Tech players are averaging 14.5 points or better on ACC play – Miles Kelly (18.3), Baye Ndongo (16.3) and Kowacie Reeves, Jr. (14.5). Those three players have combined to hit 50.3 percent of their shots from the floor (74-147) and 45.3 percent from three-point range (29-of-64).
  • Tech has started two freshmen – Ndongo and point guard Naithan George – in its last 11 games, winning six 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 15.6 points per game. The junior guard leads three Jackets averaging in double figures with freshman forward Baye Ndongo (12.6 ppg) and junior guard Kowacie Reeves, Jr. (12.3 ppg). Six other Jackets average between 4.7 and 7.6 points per game.
  • Tech’s point guard duo of Naithan George and Kyle Sturdivant has averaged 7.0 assists per game combined, 11.5 in ACC games. Their assist/turnover ratio is 2.23-to-1 combined overall, 3.54-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’s returning scholarship players – Kelly, Dallan “Deebo” Coleman and Kyle Sturdivant – have accounted for 42.3 percent of Tech’s points this season. That number has diminished somewhat as freshmen Baye Ndongo and Naithan George and sophomore transfer Tafara Gapare have taken on greater loads.
  • Georgia Tech is 1-3 in true road games this season, the lone win coming in the semifinals of the Diamond Head Classic over host Hawai’i (73-68).
  • Tech has not defeated Duke at Cameron Indoor Stadium since March of 2004 and is 5-38 in the building all-time. The Jackets have not swept the Blue Devils in a season series since the 1995-96 season and only twice in Tech’s ACC history.
  • Tech is 3-4 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 nine Quad 1 and four Quad 2 opponents remaining on its schedule. Tech was 3-14 last season against Quad 1/2 foes.
  • Tech recruits Jaeden Mustaf (6-4 guard) and Cole Kirouac (6-11 center), who both signed letters-of-intent to play for the Yellow Jackets in November, have been nominated to play in the McDonald’s All-American Game.

Head coach Damon Stoudamire Friday media availability

SERIES VS. DUKE

  • Tech and Duke have split their last four meetings after the Yellow Jackets claimed a 72-68 win over the Blue Devils on Dec. 2 in Atlanta in the teams’ first meeting this season.
  • Still, Duke has won 16 of the last 18 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 2013-14 and 2019-20.
  • Tech has swept the Blue Devils only twice in the team’s ACC history, in the 1986-87 season and again in 1995-96.
  • Duke leads the overall series 77-25, and is 65-21 against Tech since the Jackets joined the ACC.
  • Tech’s four wins over Duke since 2000, not counting this season’s victory, 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.
  • Tech is 1-1 vs. current Duke coach Jon Scheyer.
  • Tech has won just five of 43 games played at Cameron Indoor Stadium, the first four coming in (1959, 1984, 1987 and 1996). Tech’s last win occurred on Mar. 3, 2004 in a 76-68 victory, which snapped a 41-game homecourt winning streak for the Blue Devils and helped propel the Jackets to the Final Four.

Freshman guard Naithan George Friday media availability

TEAM TRENDS

  • Tech is 6-5 since freshmen Baye Ndongo and Naithan George entered the starting lineup Nov. 28 against Mississippi State.
  • Tech has outrebounded 10 of 15 opponents and tied one this season, after Notre Dame outrebounded the Jackets 48-33 Tuesday night. Tech entered the game with a plus-5.9 rebounding margin and ranked No. 3 in the ACC, No. 67 nationally.
  • Tech has averaged less than 10 turnovers (9 each vs. Hawai’i and Nevada, 10 FSU, 11 vs. BC, 10 vs. Notre Dame) in its last five games, after averaging more than 19 in the three games prior.
  • Tech tallied 20 assists on its 27 made field goals against Notre Dame, just the second time this season the Jackets have recorded 20 or more assists. Tech has assisted on 59.4 percent of its made field goals in ACC play.
  • Tech forced 16 turnovers and had 10 steals against Notre Dame, the most for the Jackets in each category since the season opener against Georgia Southern.
  • Tech has connected on 21-of-58 from three-point range (36.2 pct.) in its last two games, after failing to hit more than 30,4 percent in any game over the prior 12 contests. The Jackets have connected on 29.6 percent this season from beyond the arc.
  • Miles Kelly and Kowacie Reeves, Jr., are the only Tech players to start every game this season.
  • Deebo Coleman and Kyle Sturdivant have not started a game this year, but have been on the floor for 11 and 9 of Tech’s games, respectively, at the finish.
  • Tech has exceeded a point per possession in eight games this season, winning every one until losing to Boston College, in which the Yellow Jackets posted their highest offensive efficiency of the season (1.25 points per possession).
  • Tech remains one of the nation’s better offensive rebounding teams this season, and averaging 13.4 per game. The Jackets lead the ACC in that category and rank 30th-best nationally. Tech ranks No. 1 in the ACC in total rebounds per game and is No. 30 nationally.

PLAYER HIGHLIGHTS

  • Miles Kelly’s 25 points against Notre Dame were his most since the first two games of the season, when he tallied 25 against Georgia Southern and 27 against Howard.
  • Kelly has scored 20 or more points in six of his last 11 ACC games, and has averaged 19.9 points across those 11 games, hitting 47.2 percent of his field goal tries and 43.9 of his three-point attempts.
  • Kelly is averaging 18.3 points over four ACC games this season, and his shooting percentages are well above his full-season norms – 44.1 percent from the floor, 40.0 percent from three-point range and 70.0 percent from the foul line.
  • Kelly has hit 12-of-27 three-point tries in his last three games after hitting just 2-for-25 from behind the three-point line in the four games prior.
  • Baye Ndongo has scored in double digits in Tech’s last seven games, averaging 15.7 points and 10.7 rebounds, and has hit on 68.7 percent of his field goals (46-of-67).
  • Ndongo ranks No. 2 in the nation among freshmen in field goal percentage (59.3) and rebound average (9.2).
  • Kyle Sturdivant has 15 assists and three turnovers in his last two games, and has a 50/24 (2.08-to-1) ratio for the season, 19/5 vs. the ACC.
  • Kowacie Reeves, Jr., has hit 44.4-percent of his shots from the floor for the season, a team-best 39.7 percent from three-point range and 82.5 percent from the foul line. He is Tech’s No. 3 scorer at 12.3 points per game.
  • Three Tech players – Kelly, Ndongo and Reeves, Jr., are averaging 14.5 points or better in ACC games this season. They have combined to hit 50.3 percent from the floor and 45.3 percent from three-point range.
  • Freshman Naithan George has started Tech’s last 11 games at the point guard position and has averaged 7.3 points and 5.0 assists in those games. His 11 assists against Notre Dame were the most for a Tech player since Iman Shumpert dished 12 against Penn State on Dec. 3, 2008. George has had four games of eight or more assists this season.
  • George and Sturdivant have recorded 33 assists and just eight turnovers combined in Tech’s last three games. For the season the point guard combo has 105 assists vs. 47 turnovers, a 2.23-to-1 ratio (3.54-to-1 in ACC games).
  • Deebo Coleman has just six turnovers this season in 362 minutes (none in 101 ACC minutes), and has had 11 turnover-free games.

Baye Ndongo is the only freshman in the nation to average at least 12.5 points, 9.2 rebounds, 1.3 blocks and hit 59.3 percent from the floor. (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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