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With four of last season's top five scorers returning, Georgia Tech coach Damon Stoudamire begins his first season with the team Monday night when the Yellow Jackets welcome Georgia Southern into Atlanta.

After a slow start last season, the Yellow Jackets won seven of their last 10 games. But their 15-18 season, including 6-14 in the Atlantic Coast Conference, cost coach Josh Pastner his job. Enter Stoudamire.

"I've been very demanding and very intentional about the things I've done so far. To me, it's just the attention to detail that is the bottom line to success," Stoudamire said this week. "It's trying to get guys to understand that we can't skip steps to be a great team."

Stoudamire, who played 13 seasons in the NBA and averaged 13.4 points per game, looks to get the most out of star guard Miles Kelly.

As a sophomore, Kelly led the Yellow Jackets last season at 14.4 points per game and considered going pro. He was not invited to the NBA Draft Combine, however, and chose to return to Georgia Tech.

"I'm trying to get Miles to understand you gotta play hard every single play. If you want to be a leader, if you want to be the player that you're capable of being, you got to play hard every single play. You got to play hard 'till exhaustion. You don't save yourself because that's how you get in better condition," Stoudamire said.

Kelly shot only 4 of 13 from the field and finished with 12 points in 36 minutes in Georgia Tech's 91-75 win over Clark Atlanta in an exhibition game on Wednesday night. Two players who arrived via the transfer portal led the way: Kowacie Reeves Jr. (two seasons at Florida) had 19 points, and Amaree Abram (one at Ole Miss) scored 18.

Georgia Southern played its lone exhibition game on Oct. 20 and lost to Division II Augusta 82-77. Freshman forward Avantae Parker had a big night with 28 points and 11 rebounds. Returning starter Tyren Moore and Malik Tidwell, a transfer from Bluefield State, each added 12 points.

The Eagles finished last season at 17-16, including 9-9 in the Sun Belt Conference. Coach Brian Burg was fired shortly thereafter, and former Alabama assistant Charlie Henry is beginning his first job as head coach.

The league's head coaches aren't expecting big things of Georgia Southern, however, pegging them 13th in the 14-team conference in their preseason poll.

Georgia Tech was picked 13th in the ACC's preseason media poll.

--Field Level Media

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