2024 North Carolina Sports Network
Atlantic Coast Conference Basketball Spotlight:
Georgia Tech

By Ben McCormick
North Carolina Sports Network

School: Georgia Institute of Technology

Location: Atlanta, Ga.

Previous Conference Affiliations: Independent (1919-20, 1964-75 and 1978-79), Southern (1920-32), SEC (1932-64), Metro (1975-78)

ACC Member Since: 1979-80

ACC Ranking Among 32 Leagues (KenPom): 7th (2023), 5th (2022), 5th (2021), 4th (2020)

NCAA Tournament Bids: 17 (1960, 1985, 1986, 1987, 1988, 1989, 1990, 1991, 1992, 1993, 1996, 2001, 2004, 2005, 2007, 2010, 2021)

NCAA Championships: 0

Final Fours: 2 (1990, 2004)

Conference Titles: 5 (1938 in SEC; 1985, 1990, 1993, 2021 in ACC)

Conference 1st-Place Finishes: 3 (1938 in SEC; 1985, 1996 in ACC)

Head Coach: Damon Stoudamire (50, 1st season at GT)

As A Player: Arizona (1991-95) + 13 seasons in NBA

Record As Head Coach (Through Jan. 29): 80-88 (.476) in 5+ seasons

Previous HC Experience: Pacific (2016-21)

AC Experience: Memphis Grizzlies/NBA (2009-11), Memphis (2011-13 and 2015-16), Arizona (2013-15), NBA’s Boston Celtics/NBA (2021-23)

Assistant Under: Lionel Hollins, Josh Pastner, Sean Miller, Ime Udoka, Joe Mazzulla

2022-23 Record: 15-18, 6-14 (13th in 15-team ACC)

2023-24 Preseason Prediction (Media): 13th in 15-team ACC

2023-24 Record (Through Jan. 29): 9-11, 2-7 ACC

2023-24 Midseason Ranking (KenPom): #134 nationally (13th in ACC)

Upcoming Schedule Highlights: #3 North Carolina (1/30), at NC State (2/3), Wake Forest (2/6)

Damon Stoudamire was a first-team All-American at Arizona in 1995. He was the NBA Rookie of the Year in 1996. He’s likely had to invest in some pretty sturdy shelves for all those trophies at some point down the line.

Now, after spending five mostly unsuccessful seasons as the head coach at the University of the Pacific and serving as an assistant in both the NBA and college hoops, he’s in the midst of the most prominent opportunity of his entire coaching career.

Stoudamire’s first head coaching job at a Power Six program is certainly an honor, but bringing Georgia Tech back into the national spotlight won’t be easy.

Before Bobby Cremins was the namesake of Georgia Tech’s court, he was the man who brought Yellow Jackets basketball to prominence. In 1981, the now-retired legendary coach took over a program that had last appeared in the NCAA Tournament 22 years prior — its only appearance before Cremins.

Cremins retired following the 1999-00 season — he came out of retirement later, to coach College of Charleston from 2006-2012 — but his time at Georgia Tech was special. In his nearly two decades in Atlanta, he led the Yellow Jackets to the Big Dance 10 times, including a Final Four appearance in 1990.

Cremins’ successor, Paul Hewitt, didn’t have the same level of success, but he kept Tech nationally relevant, there’s no doubt about that. Hewitt took the Yellow Jackets to the NCAA Tournament in five of his 11 years at the helm, and in 2004, he ushered in a trip to the Final Four.

What followed Hewitt’s firing in 2010 has been the deterioration of one of the ACC’s once-great brands. Brian Gregory had little success in his five years as the head man. Then, over his seven seasons, Josh Pastner was able to deliver only one single campaign of hope for Yellow Jackets fans.

In 2020-21, for the first time since 2009-10, Tech made the NCAA Tournament, after winning the ACC Tournament for the first time in 28 years.

In the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic, which brought about some of the oddest circumstances in college basketball history, with teams often confined to hotels and games frequently canceled, Tech had seemingly risen from the ashes.

But just as the world began to return to normal during the 2021-22 season, Tech returned to its previous ways, rattling off two consecutive seasons below .500, promptly ending the Pastner era.

The expectations weren’t high entering Stoudamire’s first season, although already the Yellow Jackets have claimed exciting wins over then-#7 Duke and a quality Clemson squad.

Those games have proven to be outliers, though. The Jackets suffered an ugly loss to UMass Lowell, and they have been handed a steady diet of defeats by Power Six opponents in Quad Two and Quad Three games.

On the bright side, Georgia Tech boasts two of the most productive freshmen in the ACC: point guard Naithan George and forward Baye Ndongo.

George, who delivered an array of clutch plays to help seal the win at Clemson, is averaging 9.2 points and 5.1 assists per game (second-most in the ACC). Ndongo, a 6-foot-9 forward, has been the talk of the team. He is averaging 13.3 points and 8.6 rebounds per game, which has him deeply embedded in the ACC Rookie of the Year discussion.

“(Ndongo’s) long, he’s athletic, he’s mobile,” Stoudamire said. “He can switch one through five, he can make plays at the five, and I think eventually that’ll be his most natural position.”

There is a steady diet of returning talent in Atlanta, too. Tech returned four starters from 2022-23: Miles Kelly, Dallan Coleman, Kyle Sturdivant and Lance Terry, although Terry is redshirting this season because of an injury. Kelly’s 14 points per game has led Tech in scoring, both this season and last.

The transfer portal also delivered plenty of experience for Stoudamire. Florida guard Kowacie Reeves, Western Carolina forward Tyzhaun Claude and NC State center Ebenezer Dowuona all had long stretches as starters at their previous schools.

The Jackets present a diverse threat to opponents. Not only do they have a good blend of experience and youth, they are versatile positionally. Stoudamire’s time in the NBA has influenced how he approaches the use of his team’s versatility defensively.

“Defensively, you’ll see a lot of different things,” Stoudamire said. “I would not be scared to put one of my 6-10 guys on a little guard.”

At 9-11, the start of the Stoudamire era has been unsteady. That was expected. Now it’s time to wait and see whether Stoudamire can put the pieces together at a much higher level in the long run.


2023-24 Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets
(9-11, 2-7 ACC; through Jan. 29)


PG Naithan George, Fr. — 29 mpg, 9 ppg, 2 rpg, 41% FG, 64% FT, 29% threes, 87/30 ATO, 3 blocks, 7 steals
(6-3/180); 2x state champion at Canyon (Ariz.) International; Toronto, Canada

G Miles Kelly*, Jr. — 32 mpg, 14 ppg, 6 rpg, 35% FG, 70% FT, 28% threes, 39/37 ATO, 6 blocks, 13 steals
(6-6/180); 32 mpg, 14 ppg in 2022-23; Hargrave (Va.) Military Academy; Stone Mountain, Ga.

G Kowacie Reeves Jr., Jr. — 32 mpg, 12 ppg, 4 rpg, 44% FG, 82% FT, 40% threes, 16/26 ATO, 14 blocks, 13 steals
(6-7/202); 2023 Florida transfer (part-time starter); Westside HS; Macon, Ga.

F Baye Ndongo, Fr. — 29 mpg, 13 ppg, 9 rpg, 60% FG, 59% FT, 38% threes (few), 15/47 ATO, 24 blocks, 16 steals
(6-9/214); 21-year-old freshman; Putnam (Conn.) Science; Mboro, Senegal

C Ebenezer Dowuona, Sr. — 10 mpg, 1 ppg, 1 rpg, 50% FG, 0% FT, 2/7 ATO, 4 blocks, 1 steal
(6-11/230); 2023 NCSU transfer (part-time starter); Heritage (Ga.) School; Accra, Ghana

Key Reserves

PG Kyle Sturdivant*, Sr. — 19 mpg, 8 ppg, 2 rpg, 42% FG, 88% FT, 35% threes, 59/27 ATO, 0 blocks, 13 steals
(6-3/195); 2020 USC transfer (reserve); Norcross HS; Norcross, Ga.

G Dallan Coleman*, Jr. — 22 mpg, 7 ppg, 3 rpg, 41% FG, 60% FT, 36% threes, 13/8 ATO, 5 blocks, 10 steals
(6-6/210); 31 mpg, 10 ppg in 2022-23; West Nassau (Fla.) HS; Memphis, Tenn.

F Tyzhaun Claude, Sr. — 17 mpg, 5 ppg, 5 rpg, 52% FG, 63% FT, 14% threes (few), 18/16 ATO, 10 blocks, 8 steals
(6-7/226); 2023 WCU transfer (starter); Moravian (N.C.) Prep; Goldsboro, N.C.

F Tafara Gapare, So. — 15 mpg, 4 ppg, 2 rpg, 35% FG, 58% FT, 25% threes, 7/11 ATO, 17 blocks, 5 steals
(6-9/206); 2023 UMass transfer (reserve); South Kent (Conn.) School; Wellington, New Zealand

F Ibrahima Sacko, Fr. — 10 mpg, 1 ppg, 3 rpg, 40% FG, 14% FT (few), 22% threes, 2/9 ATO, 2 blocks, 7 steals
(6-6/225); among top-rated Canada prospects; J. Addison School; Conakry, Guinea

*—returning starter (started at least 50% of current team’s games last season)

Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets
10-Year Snapshot

2022-23: 15-18, 6-14 ACC (13th), no postseason (Josh Pastner)
2021-22: 12-20, 5-15 ACC (14th), no postseason (Josh Pastner)
2020-21: 17-9, 11-6 ACC* (4th), NCAA Round of 64 (Josh Pastner)
2019-20: 17-14, 11-9 ACC (5th), COVID (Josh Pastner)
2018-19: 14-18, 6-12 ACC (10th), no postseason (Josh Pastner)
2017-18: 13-19, 6-12 ACC (13th), no postseason (Josh Pastner)
2016-17: 21-16, 8-10 ACC (11th), NIT Runner-Up (Josh Pastner)
2015-16: 21-15, 8-10 ACC (11th), NIT Elite Eight (Brian Gregory)
2014-15: 12-19, 3-15 ACC (14th), no postseason (Brian Gregory)
2013-14: 16-17, 6-12 ACC (11th), no postseason (Brian Gregory)

*—conference champion

NOTE: Please visit the North Carolina Sports Network’s 2023-24 profiles and 10-year snapshots for all 19 Division One men’s basketball programs in North Carolina and all 15 Atlantic Coast Conference programs.

Appalachian State Mountaineers, Sun Belt Conference

Boston College Eagles, Atlantic Coast Conference

Campbell Camels, Coastal Athletic Association

Charlotte 49ers, American Athletic Conference

Davidson Wildcats, Atlantic-10 Conference

Duke Blue Devils, Atlantic Coast Conference

East Carolina Pirates, American Athletic Conference

Elon Phoenix, Coastal Athletic Association

Florida State Seminoles, Atlantic Coast Conference

Gardner-Webb Runnin’Bulldogs, Big South Conference

High Point Panthers, Big South Conference

Louisville Cardinals, Atlantic Coast Conference

NC Central Eagles, Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference

NC State Wolfpack, Atlantic Coast Conference

North Carolina Tar Heels, Atlantic Coast Conference

North Carolina A&T Aggies, Coastal Athletic Association

Notre Dame Fighting Irish, Atlantic Coast Conference

Pitt Panthers, Atlantic Coast Conference

Queens Royals, Atlantic Sun Conference

Syracuse Orange, Atlantic Coast Conference

UNC Asheville Bulldogs, Big South Conference

UNC Greensboro Spartans, Southern Conference

UNC Wilmington Seahawks, Coastal Athletic Association

Virginia Cavaliers, Atlantic Coast Conference

Virginia Tech Hokies, Atlantic Coast Conference

Wake Forest Demon Deacons, Atlantic Coast Conference

Western Carolina Catamounts, Southern Conference