Game Preview by @RandyDunson – Duke Blue Devils vs. Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets

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Apologies for the brief preview but I had technical difficulties that prevented me from completing the usual format.

Summary

The Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets will travel to Cameron Indoor Stadium to take on the 8th ranked Duke Blue Devils this Wednesday night in College Basketball action.

The Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets won their 3rd straight game and improved to 9-4 on the season after defeating the 9th ranked North Carolina Tar Heels, 75-63, this past Saturday. Georgia Tech was outstanding on the offensive end in the 2nd half and used a 7-1 run late in the 2nd half to take a 57-50 lead in which they wouldn’t give up. Georgia Tech held North Carolina to just 33.3% shooting from the field and 19.2% (5-26) from beyond the arc. Leading the way for the Yellow Jackets was Josh Okogie who had 26 points, 5 rebounds, 3 assists, and 2 steals. On the season, Georgia Tech is averaging 68.6 ppg on 43.2% shooting from the field. The Yellow Jackets are averaging 4.2 three-pointers per game on 35.1% shooting from beyond the arc. Offensively, Georgia Tech has been led by Ben Lammers (14.6 ppg, 10.1 rpg, 2.1 apg, 3.6 bpg), Josh Okogie (14.2 ppg, 3.9 rpg, 1.5 apg, 1.4 spg), Tadric Jackson (11.3 ppg, 2.4 rpg, 1.3 apg), and Quinton Stephens (10.2 ppg, 8.2 rpg, 2.2 apg, 1.5 spg). Defensively, Georgia Tech is holding their opponents to an average of 64.8 ppg on 38.5% shooting from the field. The Yellow Jackets have a rebound margin of 1.5 and a turnover margin of -0.3.

The 8th ranked Duke Blue Devils had their 10-game winning streak snapped and dropped to 12-2 on the season after being defeated by the Virginia Tech Hokies, 89-75, this past Saturday. Duke had no answers on the defensive end for the Hokies and was down by double-digits for the entire 2nd half after trailing by a 47-31 margin at halftime. Duke allowed Virginia Tech to shoot 55.2% from the field and 61.5% (8-13) from beyond the arc in the loss. Leading the way for the Blue Devils was Luke Kennard who had 34 points, 7 rebounds, 1 assist, and a steal. On the season, Duke is averaging 82.9 ppg on 47.7% shooting from the field. The Blue Devils are averaging 7.6 three-pointers per game on 35.4% shooting from beyond the arc. Offensively, Duke has been led by Luke Kennard (21.4 ppg, 6.0 rpg, 2.7 apg, 1.1 spg), Grayson Allen (16.0 ppg, 4.7 rpg, 3.5 apg), Jayson Tatum (15.8 ppg, 7.5 rpg, 2.2 apg), and Amile Jefferson (13.8 ppg, 10.9 rpg, 2.1 apg). Defensively, Duke is allowing their opponents to average 63.8 ppg on 40.5% shooting from the field. The Blue Devils have a rebound margin of 7.4 and a turnover margin of 3.3.

Endgame

Ever since exams Duke has had many more questions than answers. Duke is a team in transition right now. With one of its best players suspended and new pieces to the puzzle in Harry Giles and Marques Bolden still rounding into shape. This team is primed for a very tough game against a Georgia Tech team looking for another upset.

With Coach K surgery and subsequent recovery time looming everyone will be watching how Duke comes out. Will they come out with more fire or still looking like a team in October mode rather than January?

Georgia Tech was able to pull off an impressive upset of a very good North Carolina team behind their solid defense that ranks 49th in scoring defense and 28th in defensive FG%. Duke struggled without Grayson Allen on the floor, however, this is still a very talented team that currently ranks 31st in scoring offense and 34th in scoring defense. Georgia Tech is just 1-2 on the road this season and can struggle scoring the basketball and as I think the Blue Devils will bring a better defensive effort in Coach K’s last game on the sidelines before his back surgery, I’m taking the Blue Devils to make comeback at home, more so if Grayson is back. I’m going with the Devils 75-70.

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