Georgia Tech coach Damon Stoudamire on Monday said he felt his team was, “really close,” to turning a corner and setting the 2023-24 season on the right course.

On Tuesday, Stoudamire’s Yellow Jackets were nowhere near close. Light years away, perhaps.

Visiting Wake Forest won 80-51 inside McCamish Pavilion, a victory in which the Demon Deacons led by as many as 38 and only trailed during 50 seconds at the game’s outset. Tech, one week from having beaten No. 3-ranked North Carolina at home, took a major step backward along its journey with Stoudamire during the coach’s first season with the program.

“Got that (butt) whooped. Nothing really to say, man,” Stoudamire said. “”We just didn’t come ready to play. It’s a make-or-miss game, so you’re gonna make shots, you’re gonna miss shots. But that don’t mean you don’t play hard. I just didn’t think we played hard, collectively. It’s not one person.

“When you start missing shots and they score, I felt like we took some difficult shots and it just kinda got away from everything. We weren’t getting downhill, we weren’t creating advantages, we weren’t making plays for one another. It just makes it harder because Wake Forest is a really good team when they don’t have resistance on the offensive end. We didn’t give ‘em any resistance.”

Tech (10-13, 3-9 ACC) missed 43 shots and 21 3-pointers. The team’s field-goal percentage of 28.3 was its lowest since shooting 27.4% on Jan. 29, 2000, against North Carolina.

Nait George and Baye Ndongo were the Jackets’ lone individual bright spots. George had 12 points, seven assists and five rebounds while Ndongo had 14 points and six boards.

Tech returns to action at 6:30 p.m. Saturday when it plays at Louisville (7-15, 2-9).

“The inconsistency really hurts because we know the team that we can be,” George said. “That comes from us sharing the ball. I feel like I do that the best so me just getting guys involved and kinda leading them to have energy, even if it’s like a lower-team game or a higher-team game, keep the same energy through it all. I gotta motivate guys to go. That’s what can help us be more consistent.”

Georgia Tech head coach Damon Stoudamire talks with Georgia Tech guard Kowacie Reeves Jr. (14) during Tech’s loss to Wake Forest during the second half at McCamish Pavilion, Tuesday, February 6, 2024, in Atlanta. Wake Forest won 80-51. (Jason Getz /


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Tech’s start to Tuesday’s contest was, to be blunt, shockingly bad.

The Jackets missed 15 of their first 16 shots (they would start 1-for-24 overall) in the first nine minutes. Wake Forest eased out to a 23-3 lead in a game that looked more like a scrimmage than an ACC affair.

With 10:16 on the clock, Tech forward Ibrahima Sacko knocked down a pair of free throws, the scores drawing loud, sarcastic cheers from the home fans. Those points were Tech’s first after a drought of 8:45. The Jackets also then went on a 5:08 stretch without scoring.

Tech trailed 46-20 after 20 minutes. It made only four field goals, turned the ball over seven times and allowed the Demon Deacons to shoot 50% from the floor and score 26 points in the paint. The Jackets’ only saving grace was 10 made free throws which helped them avoid having one of the worst scoring halves in program history.

Wake’s lead was never threatened in the second half as it cruised to just its second road victory of the season. Cameron Hildreth had 17 to lead the Demon Deacons (15-7, 7-4) and Andrew Carr had 13 points and 10 rebounds.

“We just didn’t bring the juice tonight,” Stoudamire said. “It’s all summed up the same way, we didn’t play hard enough to win.”


  • George’s seven assists Tuesday gave him 103 for the season and made him the first Jacket with 100 assists in a single season since Jose Alvarado in 2020-21. He also became the first Tech freshman to have 100 assists in a season since Iman Shumpert in 2008-09.
  • George became the 11th freshman in program history with an 100-assist season, joining Shumpert, Javaris Crittendon (2006-07), Jarrett Jack (2002-03), Tony Akins (1998-99), Travis Spivey (1997-98), Stephon Marbury (1995-96), Drew Barry (1992-93), Travis Best (1991-92), Kenny Anderson (1989-90) and Dennis Scott (1987-88)
  • Tech is 44-62 all-time against Wake Forest and 31-11 against the Deacons at home.
  • Tuesday’s margin of loss against Wake was Tech’s worst since losing 81-58 on Jan. 21, 1993.
  • The Jackets are 6-11 this season against teams with winning records, 2-8 when trailing at halftime, 3-13 when trailing at 5-minute mark, 5-13 when the opponent scores 70 and 6-3 when the opponent shoots less than 50%.
  • Attendance on Tuesday was announced as 4,239, giving Tech an average of 4,849 fans per game after 12 homes games this season.