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Tech Back on the Road to Face Virginia Tech

GEORGIA TECH (9-10, 2-6 ACC) vs. VIRGINIA TECH (12-7, 4-4 ACC)

Saturday, January 27, 2024 | 5 p.m. EST | Blacksburg, Va. | Cassell Coliseum


 

THE FLATS – Georgia Tech goes back on the road Saturday, looking to get back on the winning track against a resurgent Virginia Tech team in a 5 p.m. tip at Cassell Coliseum in Blacksburg, Va.

The Yellow Jackets (9-10, 2-6 ACC) go to Blacksburg having lost six of their last seven conference games, five of those by single digits. The Yellow Jackets’ only win in that stretch came at Clemson (93-90 in overtime). Tech opened its ACC slate with a 72-68 win over Duke on Dec. 2.

Virginia Tech (12-7 4-4 ACC) has won two straight games, capturing an 84-78 decision at NC State and a 76-71 win at home over Boston College in the last week. The Hokies are 9-1 at home, having defeated Louisville and Clemson as well as BC in conference play along with a close loss to Miami.

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 389 and the SiriusXM app.

THE TIP-OFF

  • Tech’s ACC losses have been decided by an average of eight points, only one by double digits. In the last five, the Jackets had leads of 16 points against Boston College, seven vs. Notre Dame, 10 at Duke, 11 vs. Virginia, six vs. Pittsburgh.
  • Tech is 4-7 against Quad 1 and Quad 2 teams this season, with Quad 1 wins over Duke and Clemson and Quad 2 wins over Mississippi State and Massachusetts. The Jackets have five Quad 1 and three Quad 2 opponents remaining on its schedule (Virginia Tech is a Quad 1 opportunity). Tech was 3-14 last season against Quad 1/2 foes.
  • Tech is 4-5 away from McCamish Pavilion this season, 2-4 in true road games (at Hawai’i, at Clemson).
  • Tech has averaged 75 points per game and has connected on 46.5 percent of its field goal tries in ACC play, which ranks No. 7 and No. 2, respectively, in those categories. Tech leads in three-point field goal per game on conference lay (9.75) and is sixth in percentage (.364).
  • Tech has the ACC’s fifth-most efficient offense in conference games (108.9 points per 100 possessions according to KenPom.com) and ranks No. 2 in effective field goal percentage (54.8) in conference games.
  • Four Tech players are averaging double figures in ACC play – Baye Ndongo (15.5), Miles Kelly (12.9), Kowacie Reeves, Jr. (12.9) and Naithan George (10.5). Those three players have combined to hit 48.6 percent of their shots from the floor (159-327) and 38.4 percent from three-point range (55-of-143).
  • Tech has started two freshmen – Baye Ndongo and point guard Naithan George – in its last 15 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 seven of Tech’s last nine games, and in six of eight ACC games.
  • Kelly sits 17 points away from 900 for his career, while Tyzhaun Claude needs 15 to reach the same plateau.
  • Tech’s point guard tandem of Naithan George and Kyle Sturdivant has averaged 7.1 assists per game combined, 9.5 in ACC games. Their assist/turnover ratio is 2.45-to-1 combined overall, 3.62-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.

Head coach Damon Stoudamire at Friday media availability

SERIES VS. VIRGINIA TECH

  • Virginia Tech has won 22 of 31 all-time meetings with Georgia Tech, including 18 of 26 as a member of the ACC.
  • The Yellow Jackets have won three of the last five meetings in the series, winning the only scheduled regular-season meetings in 2019-20, 2020-21 and 2022-23. The Hokies swept both meetings in 2021-22.
  • The Hokies had won six straight over the Jackets prior to 2019-20.
  • Tech has won only twice in 13 trips to Cassell Coliseum, including a 64-54 win on Feb. 9, 2013. The Hokies, led by future NBA star Dell Curry, held off the Jackets and their future All-Americans Mark Price and John Salley, 77-74, in the teams’ first meeting, a first-round post-season NIT game, at Cassell Coliseum in 1984.
  • Both teams were members of the old Metro Conference, but not at the same time. Georgia Tech was a member for three seasons from 1975-76 through 1977-78 before leaving to join the ACC. Virginia Tech joined the league for the 1978-79 season.

TEAM TRENDS

  • Only five Tech teams since 1997 have finished a season with a KenPom.com offensive efficiency rating higher than the current Yellow Jackets’ rating of 111.1. The Jackets have exceeded a point per possession in four straight games and in six of eight ACC games.
  • Tech has averaged 10.7 turnovers over its last eight games, after averaging more than 19 in the three games prior and 14 over the first 10 games of the season. The Jackets had nine against Pitt, their fifth game with under 10 this season.
  • In road games, Tech has connected on 35.9 percent of its three-point tries. The quintet of Miles Kelly, Kowacie Reeves Jr., Naithan George, Kyle Sturdivant and Deebo Coleman have hit 39.2 percent collectively.
  • Tech is 17-of-52 from three-point range (32.7 percent) in its last two games after hitting 10 or more in four straight games (39.7 percent).
  • Tech has shot under 40 percent in seven games this season, just two of those (Notre Dame, Pitt) in ACC play.
  • Tech has shot 50 percent or better in five games this season, four of them in ACC games.

PLAYER HIGHLIGHTS

  • Freshman forward Baye Ndongo has scored in double digits in Tech’s last 11 games, averaging 15.4 points and 9.3 rebounds, and has hit on 67.6 percent of his field goals (71-of-105).
  • Ndongo made 7-of-12 shots from the floor against Pitt and is converting at a 62.7-percent rate in ACC games, 61.0 percent for the season. He ranks No. 2 nationally among freshmen in field goal percentage.
  • Freshman point guard Naithan George reached double digits in points in four straight games (17 at Duke, 20 at Clemson, 15 vs. Virginia, 10 vs. Pitt). George has averaged 15.5 points over that stretch, hitting 21-of-42 from the floor, 10-of-27 from three-point range. He also has 24 assists against six turnovers in those four games.
  • Kowacie Reeves, Jr., has hit 49.3-percent of his shots from the floor and a team-best 47.7 percent from three-point range in ACC games. He shot just 19 percent from three-point range in SEC games last year at Florida.
  • Reeves has made 101 three-point field goals in his college career, including 35 in 19 games this season, more threes than in either of his first two full seasons in college.
  • Kyle Sturdivant has reached double figures off the bench in seven games this season, three in ACC play (Boston College, Clemson, Pittsburgh)

Kowavie Reeves (14) has 101 three-point field goals in his career. (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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