Game 5: Georgia Tech Preview

The 4-0 Bearcats will welcome Georgia Tech on Wednesday night as the Cincinnati basketball program looks to improve to 5-0 for the second time in three years under Wes Miller. 

(Photo Credit: Taylor Keeton)

What you need to know:

Cincinnati is seeking its eighth-straight win over an ACC opponent, a streak that began against Maryland in Maui (2009). The Bearcats defeated Louisville in Maui last year and Virginia Tech in the NIT.

- UC is coming off a 90-66 win over NKU, while Georgia Tech lost their most recent game, 74-71, to UMass-Lowell. Dan Skillings scored 25 points and pulled down 9 rebounds in UC's most recent win. Day Day Thomas (20 points) and Vik Lakhin (14 pts, 14 rbs) both reached double figures as well in the lopsided victory.

- Utah Valley transfer and WAC Defensive Player of the Year Aziz Bandaogo is now eligible and expected to make his debut. He averaged 11.4 points per game and ranked in the top-10 nationally for rebounds (10.5) and blocks (2.86) last year.

- Georgia Tech has played its first three games without two players expected to be significant contributors this season, senior guard Lance Terry who averaged 10.1 points per game a year ago, and 6-9 freshman forward Baye NdongoHear how to pronounce Baye Ndongo, a four-star prospect from Putnam Science Academy in Connecticut.. Ndongo is expected to return on Wedneday night against the Bearcats. 

- At least nine players have seen the court in each of Tech’s three games (10 vs. Howard). Eight players average 13 or more minutes per game.

- Tech has a 40-to-31 assist/turnover ratio over its first three games, averaging 10.3 turnovers per game.

- Tech leads the ACC and ranks fifth nationally in offensive rebounds per game (18.33).

- Tech also leads the ACC and ranks 23rd nationally in three-point percentage defense (24.1 pct.).

- Tech's offensive game plan is to shoot from outside. They are currently averaging 25.7 three-point attempts per game (No. 2 in the ACC). 

- Tip off is at 7:00 on ESPN+

Wes Miller on the Jackets:

Players to know:

6'6 junior Miles Kelly

Averaging 21 ppg through the first three games, Kelly has scored double figures in 11 consecutive games. He has had a rough shooting start to the season (25% 3FG, 57% FT) but he has the ability to fill it up in a hurry. He shot 38% from 3 last year and 90% from the free throw line.

6'6 JR Dallan Coleman

Coleman has been extremely efficient through the first three game, He is currently averaging 16 ppg, 3 rpg on 63% FG and 56% from beyond the arc. Perimeter defense has been a strength for the Bearcats through the first 4 games and Coleman should be their primary focus defensively. He has made at least one three pointer in 18 consecutive games.

6'7 SR Tyzhaun Claude

Claude has made an impact inside for the Jackets, averaging 13 ppg, 8 rpg. Not a threat to shoot from outside but will take 1 or 2 per game. Coming off a 9 point, 9 rebound game against UMass-Lowell, it was the first time in 18 games that he didn't reach double figures. 

6'7 JR Kowacie Reeves Jr.

Another guy the Bearcats will have to put a body on at both ends of the floor. Reeves averages 11.3 ppg, 4.3 rpg on 43% shooting. He will take shots from outside and has the ability to knock them down. Only shooting 33% from beyond the arc but was 3-of-5 in Georgia Tech's first game. 

6'3 SR Kyle Sturdivant

Sturdivant is the guy that makes everything go for Tech. Not a great shooter but gets to the rim and converts (47% FG). Also averages 4 assists per game. Georgia Tech's offense is predicated on Sturdivant running action for Kelly and Coleman. 


6'4 SO Amaree Abram , 6'6 FR Ibrahima Sacko ; 6'9 SO Tafara Gapare

Those three combine for just 8 ppg. This isn't a particularly deep Georgia Tech team but Damon Stoudamire will roll out an 8 man rotation consistently. 

Final Thoughts:

Georgia Tech has some really solid guards that could present some problems for the Bearcats if they aren't disciplined out on the perimeter. Kelly and Coleman can both fill it up if given the opportunity and Sturdivant was apart of the 2021 ACC Championship team. UC does have an advantage inside with the trio of Lakhin, Oguama, and Bandaogo.

I'd expect there to be a lot of energy in Fifth Third Arena Wednesday night with the Bearcats improving to 5-0. 



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