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Tech Finishes Homestand vs. Notre Dame

GEORGIA TECH (8-6, 1-2 ACC) vs. NOTRE DAME (6-9, 1-3 ACC)

Tuesday, January 9, 2024 | 9 p.m. EST | Atlanta, Ga. | McCamish Pavilion


 

THE FLATS – Looking to even its Atlantic Coast Conference slate, Georgia Tech finishes off a two-game homestand at 9 p.m. EST Tuesday night against Notre Dame at McCamish Pavilion.

The Yellow Jackets (8-6, 1-2 ACC) are looking to end a three-game skid that includes losses to Nevada (72-64) and Florida State (82-71) away from home, and a 95-87 defeat at home Saturday to Boston College. Tech won its only conference game against Duke, 72-68 at home on Dec. 2.

Notre Dame (6-9, 1-3 ACC) is on the road for the first time since early December, having finished a six-game home stretch with ACC losses to NC State (54-52) and Duke (67-59) last week. The Fighting Irish’s lone conference win came Dec. 30 with a 76-54 decision over Virginia.

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 381 and the SiriusXM app.

THE TIP-OFF

  • Georgia Tech is 7-13 against Notre Dame since it joined the ACC, with all seven wins against the Fighting Irish coming at home.
  • Tech is looking to even its ACC record at 2-2 and improve to 6-2 at home with a win Tuesday.
  • Tech saw its NCAA NET ranking leap from No. 162 following its loss to Georgia on Dec. 5 to No. 110 after its runner-up finish in the Diamond Head Classic. Tech’s NET ranking is now No. 124.
  • Tech concluded its non-conference schedule 7-4 against a slate that included six teams that won 20 or more games in the 2022-23 season, four of them post-season teams. Tech’s four non-conference losses came to teams that currently have a combined record of 43-10.
  • Tech is 3-5 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 nine Quad 1 and four Quad 2 opponents remaining on its schedule. Tech was 3-14 last season against Quad 1/2 foes.
  • Lance Terry, Deebo Coleman and Kyle Sturdivant combined for 42 of Tech’s 70 points in Tech’s last meeting vs. Notre Dame, a 70-68 Yellow Jacket win in which Terry scored the winning basket at the final horn. Only Miles Kelly, Coleman and Terry played in that game, while Matt Zona is the only Fighting Irish player back.
  • 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.
  • Three Tech players are averaging 16 points or better on ACC play – Kowacie Reeves, Jr. (16.3), Baye Ndongo (16.3) and Miles Kelly (16.0). Those three players have combined to hit 55 percent of their shots from the floor (55-of-100) and 47.6 percent from three-point range (20-of-42).
  • Tech has started two freshmen – Ndongo and point guard Naithan George – in its last 10 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 14.9 points per game. The junior guard leads three Jackets averaging in double figures with junior guard Kowacie Reeves, Jr. (12.5 ppg) and freshman forward Baye Ndongo (12.3 ppg). Five other Jackets average between 5.1 and 8.0 points per game.
  • Tech’s point guard duo of Naithan George and Kyle Sturdivant has averaged 6.6 assists per game combined, 11.3 in ACC games. Their assist/turnover ratio is 2.16-to-1 combined overall, 3.78-to-1 in conference games.
  • Tech’s returning scholarship players – Kelly, Dallan “Deebo” Coleman and Kyle Sturdivant – have accounted for 42.2 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.

Head coach Damon Stoudamire Monday media availability

SERIES VS. NOTRE DAME

  • Notre Dame has won seven of the last nine meetings and lead 15-13 in the all-time series. Georgia Tech’s only wins came by an 82-80 score on Feb. 6, 2021 and a 70-68 in the most recent meeting on Feb. 8, 2023, both at McCamish Pavilion. The Fighting Irish won the teams’ initial meeting in 2022-23, 73-72 in overtime on Jan. 10 in Atlanta.
  • Notre Dame swept the regular season series in 2019-20 and 2021-22, and had won the last two meetings of 2018-19, the final regular season contest and an ACC Tournament meeting.
  • Since Notre Dame joined the ACC, the teams have split their regular season series five times, and the Fighting Irish have swept the Yellow Jackets three times. Tech has yet to sweep the Irish.
  • Notre Dame is one of two permanent home-and-away opponents for Tech in the ACC. However, the teams did not play in South Bend during the 2020-21 season when the game was canceled due to COVID-19.
  • The Yellow Jackets are 7-13 against Notre Dame since the Fighting Irish joined the ACC. The first 17 meetings were decided by a total of 88 points, and the widest margin of victory was 10 points by Notre Dame on Feb. 10, 2019 before the Fighting Irish scored a 34-point win (90-56) on Feb. 26 2022 in South Bend.
  • The teams have played to overtime four times, most recently on Jan. 10, 2023.
  • At McCamish Pavilion, Tech is 7-3 against the Irish (minus one 2017 win vacated by the NCAA), and the games have been decided by a total of 28 points. Tech won all three of the teams’ meetings at the Jackets’ former home court in Alexander Memorial Coliseum.
  • The Yellow Jackets won five straight meetings between the two teams from 1972 through Tech’s 74-69 victory in McCamish Pavilion on Jan. 11, 2014, the team’s first meeting as ACC foes.
  • That game and a 90-80 Tech victory in Atlanta a year earlier were the only two face-offs ever between legendary coaches Bobby Cremins and Digger Phelps.
  • All but one game in the series has been played on the two campuses, the exception being a 2007 meeting in the third-place game of the Paradise Jam. The Yellow Jackets erased a 9-point deficit in the final 5:11 and won the game on a three-point basket by Matt Causey with two seconds remaining.

Baye Ndongo ranks No. 2 nationally among freshmen in rebound average (9.2 per game) and field goal percentage (61.2). (photo by Danny Karnik)

 

TEAM TRENDS

  • Tech has outrebounded 10 of 14 opponents and tied one this season, posting a 36-24 advantage over Boston College. For the season, Tech has a plus-5.9 rebounding margin and entered the game No. 3 in the ACC, No. 67 nationally.
  • Tech has shot 50 percent or better from the floor in each of its last three halves of basketball, hitting 57 percent in the opening half against Boston College and an even-50 percent in the second half. The Jackets connected on 58.6 in the second half of the Florida State game.
  • Tech’s 54.2-percent clip against BC was just its second game shooting 50 percent this season; the Jackets hit 50.9 percent against Duke on Dec. 2. The Jackets have connected on 42.4 percent for the season, but 49.1 percent in three ACC games.
  • Conversely, Tech surrendered 55.6 percent to Boston College and its last three opponents have connected on 52.2 percent from the floor.
  • 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 has averaged less than 10 turnovers (9 each vs. Hawai’i and Nevada, 10 FSU, 11 vs. BC) in its last four games, after averaging more than 19 in the three games prior.
  • Tech remains one of the nation’s better offensive rebounding teams this season, grabbing 11 against Boston College for 11 second-chance points, and averaging 13.6 per game. The Jackets lead the ACC in that category and rank 24th-best nationally. Tech ranks No. 2 in the ACC in total rebounds per game and is No. 26 nationally.
  • Tech went 10-of-23 from three-point range against BC (9-of-18 first half), its most threes since going 13-for-29 in its 2023-24 opener against Georgia Southern. The Jackets have connected on 29.4 percent this season from beyond the arc.
  • Miles Kelly and Kowacie Reeves, Jr., are the only Tech players to start every game this season.
  • Ebenezer Dowuona made his first start in the post for Tech since the Yellow Jackets’ quarterfinal round game against Massachusetts after not playing at all in the three games in between. Tech went 5-1 in the games he started previously.
  • At least nine players have seen the court in 13 of Tech’s first 14 games (only eight played against Hawai’i). Eleven players average more than 10 minutes per game.

PLAYER HIGHLIGHTS

  • Two Tech players posted double-doubles in the same game for the first time since Jan. 10 of last season. Baye Ndongo scored a team-high 18 points with 10 rebounds against Boston College, and point guard Kyle Sturdivant had 11 points with a career-best 10 rebounds. Last Jan. 10, Ja’von Franklin (12 pts/12 reb) and Deivon Smith (16 pts/10 reb) did so against Notre Dame.
  • Sturdivant fell one assist shy of a triple-double, recording a season-high nine dimes against BC, one short of his career-best in that category set last Feb. 25 vs. Louisville.
  • Sturdivant has 14 assists and two turnovers in his last two games, and has a 49/23 (2.13-to-1) ratio for the season, 18/4 vs. the ACC.
  • Kowacie Reeves, Jr., has scored in double digits in nine of Tech’s 14 games. The 6-7 junior has scored 35 points on 13-of-25 shooting in Tech’s last two games, 7-of-13 from three-point range.
  • Reeves has hit 45.8-percent of his shots from the floor for the season, a team-best 41.4 percent from three-point range and 83.8 percent from the foul line. He is Tech’s No. 2 scorer at 12.5 points per game.
  • Reeves and Ndongo share the team lead in scoring in ACC games at 16.3 points per game, and have combined to hit 61.2 percent of their shots from the floor (38-of-62).
  • Miles Kelly is averaging 16.0 points over three ACC games, and his shooting percentages are well above his full-season norms – 44.7 percent from the floor, 35.0 percent from three-point range and 77.8 percent from the foul line.
  • Freshman Baye Ndongo is Tech’s leader in rebound average (9.2 rpg) and has averaged 11.0 rebounds over his last six games.
  • Ndongo has scored in double digits in Tech’s last six games, averaging 15.6 points, 11.0 rebounds, and has hit on 71.1 percent of his field goals (38-of-52)
  • Ndongo ranks No. 2 in the nation among freshmen in field goal percentage (61.3) and rebound average (9.2).
  • Freshman Naithan George has started Tech’s last 10 games at the point guard position and has averaged 7.1 points and 4.4 assists in those games. He had eight dimes each against Alabama A&M and Penn State, and nine vs. Duke.
  • George and Sturdivant have recorded 21 assists and just four turnovers combined in Tech’s last two games. For the season the point guard combo has 93 assists vs. 43 turnovers, a 2.16-to-1 ratio (3.78-to-1 in ACC games).
  • Deebo Coleman has just six turnovers this season in 328 minutes (none in 67 ACC minutes), and has had 10 turnover-free games.

Kowacie Reeves, Jr., shares the team lead in scoring against ACC teams at 16.3 point per game. (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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