TUESDAY, JAN. 4, 2022 | CAMERON INDOOR STADIUM | DURHAM, NC | 9 PM ET
Overall Duke leads, 75-24
In Durham, NC Duke leads, 37-5 (37-5 at Cameron Indoor)
In Atlanta, GA Duke leads, 29-16 (25-14 at McCamish Pavilion)
Last Meeting GT, 81-77 ot (3/2/21 @ GT)
Coach K vs. Georgia Tech 60-19
Last 10 Games (Streak) Duke, 9-1 (GT, 1W)
Network ACC Network
Play-by-Play Wes Durham
Analyst Cory Alexander
Producer Katie Bessell
Network Blue Devil Sports
Play-by-Play David Shumate
Analyst John Roth
Engineer John Rose
Stream GoDuke.com; Varsity app
Sirius/XM 81 / 81
Coming off of a 67-64 home loss to Louisville on Sunday night, Georgia Tech visits Duke on Tuesday. At 6-6 overall and 0-2 in ACC play, the Yellow Jackets are in need of a quality win and the Blue Devils, coming off of COVID shutdown and one day of practice, may be that win. After starting the year 5-1, Tech has dropped five of its last six games. As a team, Georgia Tech’s .374 three-point percentage ranks fourth in the conference. The Jackets are also fourth in the ACC in guarding the three-point line, allowing opponents to shoot just .313.
Michael Devoe leads the ACC in scoring at 21.2 points and is shooting .494 from the field. His .464 (32-of-69) percentage from three-point range ranks second in the conference. Michael Devoe is crafty with the ball and doesn’t need a lot of space to get his shot off. In addition to being the leading scorer for the Yellow Jackets, Devoe leads the team in assists at 3.3 per game. Jordan Usher is leading Georgia Tech in rebounding at 7.1 per game and is second in scoring at 15.1 points per game. Just like his backcourt mate Devoe, Usher is adept at shooting 3’s, shooting at at 38.6% per game clip.
Duke will be playing for the first time since Dec. 22 where they defeated Virginia Tech in Cameron Indoor Stadium. The Blue Devils have had their last two games postponed due to the University’s health and safety protocols. Duke has won four straight games and opened ACC play with a 76-65 victory over Virginia Tech on Dec. 22, behind 23 points — including 17 in the second half — from freshman Paolo Banchero. Banchero is the leading scorer for the Blue Devils by just a tenth of a point over Wendell Moore, at 17.1 per game with Moore averaging 17. Banchero is also the leading rebounder for the Blue Devils at 7.3 per game and leads all power conference true freshman in scoring. Wendell Moore Jr. is second in the ACC in assists (5.0), second in assist/turnover ratio (+2.86), seventh in scoring (17.0) and third in field goal percentage (.586). He’s the nation’s only player averaging 17.0+ points, 5.0+ rebounds and 5.0+ assists on .580+ shooting from the field. Mark Williams averages 2.9 blocks per game, leading the Blue Devils in the category. Duke leads the ACC in field goal percentage (.494, ranked 12th in the NCAA), scoring margin (+20.8, 10th) and scoring offense (85.2, 8th). One of the nation’s best ball-handling teams, Duke ranks third in the NCAA in assist/turnover ratio (+1.9), eighth in fewest turnovers (9.3), 13th in turnover margin (+5.8) and 12th in assists (17.8).
Keys to the Game
Don’t let a 6-and-6 record fool you about Georgia Tech, they are a team with weapons, still trying to get their footing. Michael Devoe and Jordan Usher are legitimate weapons, and if Duke does not bring the defensive intensity on the perimeter, it could be a long night. The 3-point shooting of Georgia Tech is not a fluke and it definitely helps to get other guys open. The Yellow Jackets are an excellent cutting team and backdoor cutting is a staple of their offense. Duke has to be careful with how they defend the perimeter, but they have had practice against teams like that in the non-conference games.
The variable in this game for the Blue Devils is the layoff. Coach K alluded to the fact that the Blue Devils have not practiced and have not done any individual work due to COVID protocols and isolation periods. The game could be a messy one for the Blue Devils; as noted earlier, they have had one team practice (today), but hopefully by the second half the team will have hit their stride. I would expect the bench to be a factor in this game due to a lack of conditioning routines available during the isolation period. Coach K also alluded to the team needing to regain their legs as a process, not all at once to prevent injury.
PROJECTED STARTING LINEUPS
Duke Blue Devils
Guard Jeremy Roach, 6’1, 172lbs – Sophomore
Guard Trevor Keels, 6’4, 221lbs – Freshman
Guard Wendell Moore, 6’5, 213lbs – Junior
Forward Paolo Banchero, 6’10, 250lbs – Freshman
Center Mark Williams, 7’0, 242lbs – Sophomore
Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets
Guard Deivin Smith 6’1, 172lbs Sophomore
Guard Michael Devoe 6’5, 191lbs Senior
Guard Jordan Usher 6’7, 220lbs Senior
Forward Khalid Moore 6’7, 208lbs Senior
Forward Jordan Meka 6’8, 225lbs Sophomore