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Men’s Basketball Returns Home to Host Alabama A&M

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GEORGIA TECH (4-3, 0-0 ACC) vs. ALABAMA A&M (1-6, 0-0 SWAC)

Saturday, December 9, 2023 | 4 p.m. ET | Atlanta, Ga. | McCamish Pavilion


 

THE FLATS – Looking to get back on the winning track just before taking a week off for fall semester finals, Georgia Tech returns home to McCamish Pavilion to take on Alabama A&M at 4 p.m. Saturday.

Tech (4-3) stumbled 76-62 in a road game at state-rival Georgia Tuesday night, ending a two-game winning streak in which the Yellow Jackets knocked off No. 21 Mississippi State, 67-59, in the ACC/SEC Challenge and No. 7 Duke, 72-68, in its Atlantic Coast Conference opener. The Jackets are 4-1 at home this season, the lone loss coming at the hands of UMass Lowell on Nov. 14.

Alabama A&M (1-6) continued an opening stretch in which it plays eight of its first nine games away from home, most recently dropping a 78-59 decision at Vanderbilt. The Bulldogs’ lone win occurred in their only home game to date, 85-83 in overtime on Nov. 29 over Tennessee State.

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 the SiriusXM app and SiriusXM channel 380.

THE TIP-OFF

  • Alabama A&M is the third opponent in Georgia Tech’s last four games nicknamed the Bulldogs. The Yellow Jackets look to win the rubber match after defeating Mississippi State and losing to Georgia.
  • Tech plays its next four games away from Atlanta leading into the Christmas holiday break, traveling to New York to play Penn State, Dec. 16 at Madison Square Garden, and Honolulu, Hawai’i to compete in the Diamond Head Classic, Dec. 21-24. Tech does not play at home again until Jan. 6 vs. Boston College.
  • Tech is in the midst of playing five power conference foes in a stretch of six games – Cincinnati (Nov. 22), Mississippi State (Nov. 28), Duke (Dec. 2) and Georgia (Dec. 5), Penn State (Dec. 16).
  • Tech is guaranteed to face five non-conference opponents that won 20 or more games in the 2022-23 season, including four that played in the post-season. Mississippi State (21-13), Penn State (23-14) and Howard (22-13) all played in the NCAA Tournament last season, while Cincinnati (23-13), a new member of the Big 12, reached the quarterfinals of the NIT. UMass Lowell (26-8) finished second in the America East Conference. The Yellow Jackets potentially could play two more 20-win teams in the Diamond Head Classic, with a possible game against Hawai’i (21-11) in the second round and TCU (22-13) in the final round.
  • Tech has yet to play a game with its full complement of 13 scholarship players due to injury. Senior guard Lance Terry, Tech’s second-leading scorer last season, has been sidelined the entire season, while freshman forward Baye Ndongo missed the first three games.
  • Tech has started two freshmen – forward Baye Ndongo and point guard Naithan George – in its last three 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.
  • Three of Tech’s four freshmen have seen action for the Yellow Jackets this season. Forward Ibrahima Sacko has played in all seven games, averaging 13 minutes, while forward Ndongo and George debuted at Cincinnati and have played the last four.
  • Tech’s four returning scholarship players – Miles Kelly, Lance Terry, Dallan “Deebo” Coleman and Kyle Sturdivant – have accounted for 49.4 percent of Tech (minus Terry, who has yet to play). Last season the quartet accounted for 59.4 percent of the Yellow Jackets’ points during the 2022-23 season. They collectively shot 35.6 percent from three-point range.
  • Tech has a total of nine scholarship newcomers on its roster, five transfers who were judged the 17th best transfer class in the country by 247Sports, and four freshmen.
  • Tech’s five transfers combined to play in 263 games in their careers, and made 116 starts at their previous schools. They have combined for 19 of a possible 30 starts this season.
  • Kyle Sturdivant, a transfer himself from USC prior to the 2020-21 season, is the elder statesman on the Tech roster, playing his fourth season. He is the lone player remaining from Tech’s 2021 ACC Championship team and has played 95 games (50 starts) in a Tech uniform.

Freshman Naithan George has started Tech’s last three games at point guard. (photo by Danny Karnik)

 

SERIES VS. ALABAMA A&M

  • Georgia Tech has won all five prior meetings vs. Alabama A&M in a series that began in 1982.
  • All five meetings have taken place in Atlanta, the most recent on Nov. 18, 2014 at McCamish Pavilion, a 66-46 Tech victory.
  • Six members of the Tech team from that last meeting remain active in pro basketball abroad – Charles Mitchell (Argentina), Marcus Georges-Hunt (Kuwait), Josh Heath (Belgium), Robert Sampson (Vietnam), Abdoulaye Gueye (Turkey) and Ben Lammers (Spain).
  • The first three meetings took place in Alexander Memorial Coliseum two under head coach Bobby Cremins and one during Paul Hewitt’s tenure. The fourth meeting was played at The Arena at Gwinnett (now Gas South Arena) in 2011, while McCamish Pavilion was under construction.
  • Tech is 18-0 all-time against members of the Southwestern Athletic Conference, and 52-2 against Division I HBCU programs. The Jackets have played, or at least scheduled, a team from either the MEAC or the Southwestern Athletic Conference every year since 2011-12.

TEAM TRENDS

  • Tech shot a season-low 32 percent from the floor at Georgia, one game after posting a season-best 50.9 percent against Duke. The Jackets’ previous low was 34.4 percent in a win over No. 25 Mississippi State last week.
  • Tech’s six free throws and 13 attempts also were season lows.
  • Tech had 15 assists on 24 made field goals and has assisted on 51.1 percent of its made shots this season.
  • Tech committed just eight turnovers, the second time in seven games the Jackets have had fewer than 10. The Jackets are averaging 11.7 this season.
  • Tech has outrebounded five of its seven opponents and tied one this season.
  • Georgia hit 30.3 percent of its threes (10-of-33), only the second team to make 30 percent or more of its long-range shots this season against the Jackets, who have permitted teams to make just 28.5 percent.
  • At least nine players have seen the court in each of Tech’s five games (10 vs. Howard, Mississippi State and Duke, 11 vs. Georgia, 12 vs. Cincinnati). Eleven players average 11 or more minutes per game.
  • Tech remains one of the nation’s best offensive rebounding teams, ranking 29th at 13.8 per game (No. 1 in the ACC). Tech also ranks 14th nationally and No. 2 in the ACC in blocked shots per game (5.9).
  • Tech’s average height, according to KenPom.com, is 78.3 inches, making the Jackets the 30th tallest team in the nation and a full inch taller than last year’s team, which ranked No. 171.
  • Tech’s D-I experience is rated No. 172 nationally (1.87 years), compared to No. 255 (1.55 years) for last year’s team. The Jackets’ experience value has dropped as their two freshmen (Baye Ndongo, Naithan George) have played more minutes.
  • Tech has been disruptive to opponents on the defensive end, limiting opponents to 41.8 percent assists-to-made field goals, which ranks No. 32 nationally, and also ranks 13th in block percentage 15.4 (blocked shots/opponent 2-pt FGA).

PLAYER UPDATES

  • Miles Kelly extended his streak of double-digit scoring games to 15 after tallying 12 points against Georgia. He has averaged 18.9 points per game over that stretch.
  • Kelly grabbed seven rebounds against Georgia and averages 6.7 this season. He has 16 offensive rebounds this season, six more than he had all of last season.
  • Kelly has hit 20-of-23 from the charity stripe in Tech’s last four games after going 12-of-21 in the first three games. He is now at 71.1 percent for the season after setting a Tech record by making 89.8 percent a year ago.
  • Freshman forward Baye Ndongo had hit first double-digit rebound game as a Yellow Jacket with 11 to go with his eight points, three blocked shots, three steals and three assists at Georgia. Ndongo is Tech’s leading rebounder (7.5 per game) and shot blocker (2.8) this season having played just four games.
  • Kowacie Reeves, Jr., has scored in double digits in five of Tech’s seven games, including 12 vs. Georgia, and has hit 47.4 percent of his shots from the floor (5-10 vs. Georgia) and 40.7 from three-point range (2-5 vs. Georgia).
  • Kyle Sturdivant ranks No. 15 nationally, according to KenPom.com, in assist rate at 40.5 percent (assists divided by the field goals made by the player’s teammates while he is on the court).
  • Deebo Coleman had his sixth turnover-free game this season against Georgia. He has committed just one in 176 minutes of action across seven games and ranks No. 6 nationally in turnover rate (KenPom.com).
  • Coleman has played six fewer minutes per game this season (25.1 from 31.3) yet has increased his scoring (9.6 from 9.5) and rebounding (3.0 from 2.9) averages by one-tenth of a point each.
  • Freshman Naithan George has started Tech’s last three games at the point guard position and has averaged 6.5 points and 2.8 assists in the four games he has played.

Dallan “Deebo” Coleman has just one turnover in 176 minutes on the court this season. (photo by Danny Karnik)

 


Competitive Drive Initiative Turn 2

Looking to build on the success of last year’s Competitive Drive Initiative, Georgia Tech, the Georgia Tech Foundation and Georgia Tech athletics are partnering once again to launch Competitive Drive Initiative Turn 2. CDI Turn 2 has a goal of raising $2.5 million in new gifts to the Alexander-Tharpe Fund’s Athletic Scholarship Fund by Dec. 31, and Georgia Tech and the Georgia Tech Foundation will match eligible gifts to accelerate the impact for Tech athletics. Like last year, not only will gifts to CDI Turn 2 be matched, but so will the contributor’s benefits in the way of A-T Fund giving levels and priority points. To learn more and contribute online, visit atfund.org/turn2.

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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