A week ago there was much discussion about the potential of junior forward Abdoulaye Gueye to take his skills to the next level. He gave a sample of that potential on Saturday in Georgia Tech’s 74-60 win over Yale.
Gueye, a 6-foot-8 redshirt junior from Senegal, scored a career-high 14 points, hitting 6 of 12 from the field. That included a slam and a little hook around the basket. He made 2 of 4 free throws, the two coming toward the end of the game to help preserve the lead.
“He has become an ACC-level player,” coach Josh Pastner said.
Gueye added nine assists, which matched his career high, and added three steals (another career high) and two blocked shots. He committed three turnovers in 38 minutes.
“A.D.’s working at it,” Pastner said. “He’s spent a lot of time on it. He’s one of the first ones in the gym, one of the last ones to leave, and he’s wanting to get better.”
Gueye’s strength remains his defense. He’s an imposing player at the strong forward spot and is capable of helping center Ben Lammers keep the opposition out of the lane. But his improvement on offense can be the trigger that propels him to the next level.
“What did he go for?” asked Yale coach James Jones. “He went for 14 and nine and made six shots. Career high? Thanks for that. Tell him I appreciate it. But, not, we didn’t expect him to go for 16 and nine. We did a poor job of double-teaming him in the post when we had opportunities and he did a good job of finishing.”
It’s all about the work, Gueye said.
“The work I put in, off-season, summer,” Gueye explained.
Point guard Jose Alvarado jumped in and added, “He’s working hard. I see him every day after practice, staying late.”
Against Yale, Gueye was able to avoid some of the silly foul trouble that’s plagued him and stay on the court. He played a season-high 38 minutes and picked up just two fouls. He was limited to 24 minutes against both Notre Dame (when he had four fouls) and Miami (when he fouled out).
“A.D. had a great game,” Pastner said. “He gets credit for continuing to get better. The assistant coaches have done an excellent job on individual skill development and A.D.’s time and effort that he’s put in.”
Gueye’s big game was somewhat overshadowed by Alvarado, who had a career-high 23 points, including four 3-pointers, with six rebounds and four assists. Alvarado didn’t commit a turnover, one game after having seven against Miami.