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NC State Welcomes the Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets

To make the tournament, February needs to be a very good month for us.

NCAA Basketball: Georgia Tech at N.C. State
Casey Morsell defends Miles Kelly last season. JT should have him this week.
Jaylynn Nash-USA TODAY Sports

When: Saturday February 3 - 5:30 PM ET

Where: PNC

TV: The CW

Opponent: Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets (Q3)

Pomeroy Prediction: Wolfpack 77-69

Wolfpack Snapshot: NET 80, 10th in ACC NET rankings

Wolfpack Season So Far: (14-7, 6-4) Home 10-2, Away 3-3, Neutral 1-2

The Pack has a lot of ground to make up in order to get called out on Selection Sunday. The bright spot on our resume is no bad losses so far. This is the first of three Q3 games in February (Cuse is waffling around NET 75 so could be a Q2), we need to win them all.

Wolfpack Injury Report:

MJ Rice will sit out the remainder of the season and apply for a redshirt.

Opponent Overview:

The Yellow Jackets (10-11, 3-7) NET 129 (13th in ACC NET rankings) are unrecognizable from last season. There is a new coaching staff and 10 new players, six of them transfers.

First year coach, former NBA player, Damon “Mighty Mouse” Stoudamire has one head coaching job on his resume prior to Tech, the University of the Pacific, where he inherited a disaster but after five seasons left it in much better shape (including being named West Coast Conference COY) to take a job as assistant coach for the Celtics from 2021-2023. Georgia Tech lured him out of Beantown and back to the college ranks last March.

Team Statistical Comparison

Team PPG FG% 3PT% 3PT pg Reb pg Ast pg TO pg ST pg BL pg
Team PPG FG% 3PT% 3PT pg Reb pg Ast pg TO pg ST pg BL pg
NCS 75.4 44.0% 33.3% 7.1 35.9 13.2 9.9 8.1 3.2
Georgia Tech 72.8 42.7% 32.7% 8 38.3 13.3 12.2 4.7 4.6

Their ACC Rankings of Note:

  • Team defense – 14th
  • Team FG Percentage – 14th
  • Team FT percentage – 13th
  • Combined Team Rebounds – 3rd
  • Team Offensive Rebounds – 3rd
  • Turnover Margin – 14th

Georgia Tech Season So Far - Key wins / losses

Good Wins Bad Losses ACC - Wins ACC - Losses
Good Wins Bad Losses ACC - Wins ACC - Losses
Miss St (NET 37) UMass Lowell (NET 123) Duke FSU
Umass (NET 90) Clemson Boston College
UNC Notre Dame
Virginia Tech

“How The Heck Did They Beat UNC?”

Tuesday night, Tech beat the Heels in Atlanta 74-73 with our buddy Ebe Dowuona guarding RJ Davis on the final shot of the game, which Davis missed. The referees clearly did not get the memo that they were supposed to call a foul on the shot attempt, and UNC was not happy with them. They will probably be fired. To make the win even more unlikely, their leading rebounder and 2nd leading scorer Baye Ndongo got a head injury 5 minutes into the game and was ruled out.

  • The Heels SHOULD have won because: 16 more shot attempts, 3 more made FG, UNC won - rebounding, assists, steals, fewer turnovers, fast break points, points in paint, and fewer fouls.

The Yellow Jackets DID win because:

  • 1 extra 3PT shot - 45% 3PT shooting (made 9 to UNC’s 8)
  • 6 extra free throws - both teams had 17 FT-A but Tech made 15 (88%) and UNC 9 (52.9%)

Player Notes

  • Miles Kelly - leads team in minutes, scoring, FG-A, 3PT-A, 2nd in rebounding
  • Baye Ndongo – 7th in the ACC in rebounding and 3rd in FG%
  • Naithan George – 2nd in the ACC in assists
  • Kyle Sturdivant came off the bench in the UNC game and led the team in scoring with 18 points, including 4-4 from 3PT
  • Tatara Gapare and Tyzhaun Claude came off the bench against UNC and each had 8 rebounds and 3 blocked shots

Key Player Injuries

Baye Ndongo - head injury - Unknown if it will impact our game, but it didn’t affect the UNC outcome.

Georgia Tech Probable Starters

Player Class Pos Height Weight PPG 3PT% 3PTApg REB ASST STL BLK
Player Class Pos Height Weight PPG 3PT% 3PTApg REB ASST STL BLK
Baye Ndongo FR F 6'9" 214 12.7 37.5% 0.4 8.2 0.9 1 1.3
Ebe Dowuona SR F 6'11" 230 1.1 0.0% 0 1.4 0.1 0 0.3
Naithan George FR G 6'3" 180 9.6 27.3% 3.6 2 5.1 0 0.2
Miles Kelly JR G 6'6" 180 14.2 28.9% 6.4 5.7 1.9 1 0.3
Kowacie Reeves Jr JR G 6'7" 202 11.3 39.4% 4.5 4 0.8 1 0.7

Keys To The Game:

  • The Yellow Jackets are not a good defensive team, we should be able to get to the basket.
  • They are prone to turnovers and taking poor shots.
  • Tech is a very good rebounding team, they rank 3rd in league play
  • They are big - the anticipated starting lineup averages 6’7”.

For The Wolfpack to Win:

  1. Rebounding - We’re going to have to rebound much better than we did against Miami to offset one of the Jacket’s strengths. GT has the size, so we are going to have to block out well and rebound at all positions.
  2. Shot selection - We got assists on 65% of our made field goals against Miami. That’s a trend that needs to continue in order that we improve our recent poor shot quality.
  3. Guard the star - Miles Kelly is ‘the guy’. Jaden Taylor will get the assignment and needs to make him work hard for his points.
  4. Don’t let them get hot from the arc - Kowacie Reeves Jr (39.4%) and Kyle Sturdivant (40%) off the bench are their two best 3PT shooters.
  5. Guard the power forward - Assuming GT forward Baye Ndongo plays, he is a matchup problem. At 6’9”, he shoots 60.2% FG, is the second leading scorer and leading rebounder.
  6. Use our depth - Tech may be the deepest team we play this season, they have 10 players averaging 10 minutes or more. We’re going to have to use our bench well early to avoid getting gassed late.