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Tech Travels to Face Clemson

GEORGIA TECH (8-8, 1-4 ACC) vs. CLEMSON (12-4, 2-3 ACC)

Tuesday, January 16, 2024 | 9 p.m. EST | Clemson, S.C. | Littlejohn Coliseum


 

THE FLATS – Looking to get back on the winning track after five straight losses, Georgia Tech plays its second straight road game when it visits Clemson at 9 p.m. Tuesday night at Littlejohn Coliseum.

The Yellow Jackets (8-8, 1-4 ACC) have lost their last four ACC games to Florida State (82-71), Boston College (95-87), Notre Dame (75-68 in overtime) and No. 11 Duke (84-79), two of those on the road. Tech held second-half leads in three of those games, two of them by double digits.

Clemson (12-4, 2-3 ACC), which began its season with nine straight wins, is 3-4 since then. The Tigers ended a three-game losing streak to conference foes (at Miami, North Carolina, at Virginia Tech) by defeating Boston College, 89-78, at home Saturday. Still, they fell out of both top-25 polls after being ranked for six straight weeks.

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 382 and the SiriusXM app.

THE TIP-OFF

  • Georgia Tech has averaged 75.4 points per game in ACC play, its highest figure since the 2007-08 season, and has connected on 47.3 percent of its field goal tries, an average exceeded by only one Tech team (2021 ACC champs) since 2006-07.
  • Tech has the fifth-most efficient offense in the ACC (107.4 points per 100 possessions in ACC games), according to KenPom.com, and ranks No. 2 in effective field goal percentage in conference games.
  • Three Tech players are averaging 13.4 points or better on ACC play – Miles Kelly (17.8), Baye Ndongo (16.2) and Kowacie Reeves, Jr. (13.4). Those three players have combined to hit 51.4 percent of their shots from the floor (89-177) and 44.4 percent from three-point range (32-of-72). They have accounted for 62.8 percent of the Yellow Jackets’ points in ACC games.
  • Tech has started two freshmen – Ndongo and point guard Naithan George – in its last 12 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 (12.8 ppg) and junior guard Kowacie Reeves, Jr. (12.2 ppg). Five other Jackets average between 4.9 and 8.1 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.
  • Ndongo is the only freshman in the nation to average at least 12.8 points per game, 8.8 rebounds per game, 1.3 blocked shots per game, and a field goal percentage of .605.
  • Tech’s point guard duo of Naithan George and Kyle Sturdivant has averaged 6.9 assists per game combined, 10.4 in ACC games. Their assist/turnover ratio is 2.26-to-1 combined overall, 3.47-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 41.8 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.
  • Tech is looking to snap a three-game losing streak in its series with Clemson, and a three-game skid at Littlejohn Coliseum. The Jackets’ last won at Littlejohn on March 6, 2020 and is 9-42 in the building.
  • Georgia Tech is 1-4 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 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. 135.
  • 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 49-11.
  • 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 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 on Monday ACC Coaches Call

SERIES VS. CLEMSON

  • The oldest and longest-running series the Yellow Jackets have with an ACC member, the 144 all-time meetings are more than 30 greater than Tech has played with any other ACC opponent. The series dates back to the 1912-13 season, when John Heisman coached the Tech basketball team.
  • The teams have split the last eight meetings, but Clemson won the last three, including a sweep of the 2022-23 regular-season series. The Tigers won 79-66 in Atlanta and 72-51 in Clemson.
  • The Yellow Jackets have swept the season series just once (2019-20) since the 2004-05 season.
  • Clemson holds a 11-8 in games played over the last nine seasons.
  • The Yellow Jackets trail 54-39 to the Tigers since joining the ACC.
  • Tech is 8-20 vs. Tiger teams coached by Brad Brownell.
  • Tech is just 17-49 all-time in games played at Clemson, including an 9-42 mark in Littlejohn Coliseum. The Jackets lost 14 straight games on the road in the series, and 13 in a row at Littlejohn, before Tech won on March 6, 2020. Tech was Clemson’s first opponent in Littlejohn Coliseum back on Nov. 30, 1968. The Tigers won, 76-72.
  • Tech’s 111-108 win against the Tigers at Littlejohn Coliseum on Jan. 24, 2001 is the highest-scoring regulation game Tech has had with any ACC opponent. The Jackets’ current record of 17 three-point field goals was set in that game. The Jackets defeated Florida State by the same score in Tallahassee (in two OTs) on Feb. 11, 1999, and lost to Wake Forest in the 2007 ACC Tournament, 114-112 in double-overtime.

 

TEAM TRENDS

  • Tech’s effective field goal percentage against Duke (64.5) was its highest of the season, and its offensive efficiency rating of 113.7 was the highest surrendered by the Blue Devils in 2023-24.
  • Eleven of Tech’s 16 games have been decided by 10 points or fewer, seven of those by five points or fewer.
  • Tech has outrebounded 11 of 16 opponents and tied one this season, after outrebounding Duke, 34-32, Saturday night. Tech has a plus-4.4 rebounding margin and ranks No. 5 in the ACC, No. 86 nationally.
  • Tech is shooting 47.6 percent from the floor in ACC games, 36.2 percent from three-point range, and has a team 83-to-57 assist/turnover ratio.
  • Tech’s current scoring average of 75.4 points per game in ACC play would be the highest for the team since the 2007-08 season (77.4) if maintained.
  • Tech’s 14 turnovers against Duke were its most in six games, however, the Yellow Jackets have averaged just 10.5 over its last six games, after averaging more than 19 in the three games prior.
  • Tech tallied 17 assists on its 30 made field goals against Duke, and has assisted on 58.9 percent of its made field goals in ACC play.
  • Tech has made at least 10 three-point field goals in three straight games (Boston College, Notre Dame, Duke) and has connected on 32-of-78 (41 percent) in those games. The Jackets had hit just 28.3 percent over its first 13 games, and are now at 30.9 percent for the season, 36.2 percent across five ACC games.
  • Tech has exceeded a point per possession in nine games this season, winning every one until losing to Boston College and Duke, in which the Yellow Jackets posted their highest offensive efficiencies (1.25 points per possession vs. BC, 1.14 ppp vs. Duke) since the season’s first two games.

PLAYER HIGHLIGHTS

  • Miles Kelly is averaging 17.8 points over five ACC games this season, and his shooting percentages are well above his full-season norms – 44.3 percent from the floor, 41.0 percent from three-point range and 73.3 percent from the foul line.
  • Kelly has averaged 18.3 points over Tech’s last four games, hitting 45.6 percent from the floor (26-of-57) and 45.2 percent (14-of-31) from three-point range.
  • Freshman Baye Ndongo has scored in double digits in Tech’s last eight games, averaging 15.8 points and 10.0 rebounds, and has hit on 69.2 percent of his field goals (54-of-78).
  • Ndongo ranks No. 1 in the nation among freshmen in field goal percentage (60.5) and No. 2 in rebound average (8.8).
  • Freshman Naithan George has started Tech’s last 12 games at the point guard position and has averaged 8.1 points and 5.0 assists in those games. He scored a season-high 17 points at Duke, knocking down a personal-best six field goals and three three-pointers. He also had five assists and just one turnover in 33 minutes.
  • George ranks No. 2 in the ACC in assist average (6.2) against the conference, and he has 32 total assists to just nine turnovers over five games (3.56-to-1).
  • Kyle Sturdivant has 16 assists and four turnovers in his last three games, and has a 51/25 (2.04-to-1) ratio for the season, 20/6 vs. the ACC.
  • George and Sturdivant have recorded 39 assists and just 10 turnovers combined in Tech’s last four games. For the season the point guard combo has 111 assists vs. 49 turnovers, a 2.27-to-1 ratio. In ACC games they have a 3.47-to-1 ratio and rank No. 3 and 4 individually.
  • Kowacie Reeves, Jr., has hit 44.7-percent of his shots from the floor for the season, a team-best 38.8 percent from three-point range and 82.5 percent from the foul line. He is Tech’s No. 3 scorer at 12.1 points per game.

 

Baye Ndongo is the only freshman in the nation to average at least 12.8 points, 8.8 rebounds, 1.3 blocks and hit 60.5 percent from the floor. (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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