Durham, NC (SportsNetwork.com) - Coming off a rare conference-opening loss, the 16th-ranked Duke Blue Devils set out to right the ship, as they play host to the Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets in ACC action at Cameron Indoor Stadium on Tuesday night.
Mike Krzyzewski's Blue Devils opened league play on the road at Notre Dame this past weekend and dropped a narrow decision to the Fighting Irish at Purcell Pavilion, 79-77. The loss ended a five-game win streak for Duke and dropped the team to 11-3 on the season. The team returns to Durham, where it is a perfect 8-0 on the season.
Brian Gregory's Yellow Jackets are also seeking a quick turnaround after losing their ACC opener as well this past weekend, falling at Maryland, 77-61. The loss was the second in the last three games for Georgia Tech, which is still a solid 9-5 on the campaign.
Duke has won 29 of the last 32 meetings with Georgia Tech to open a 66-23 series advantage. The Blue Devils have won the only meeting between the teams each of the last three seasons, including a 73-57 win last year at Cameron Indoor Stadium.
Maryland drained seven 3-pointers in the first half and shot 51.5 percent from the floor to take a 43-29 lead into intermission against Georgia Tech last time out. The Yellow Jackets shot a mere .353 from the floor after the break and weren't able to dig themselves out and make a game of it. Marcus Georges- Hunt was just 4-of-11 from the floor and led the team with 11 points in the loss. Trae Golden went 4-of-12 and finished with 10 points, as did Quinton Stephens.
The Yellow Jackets are not a strong offensive squad, averaging modest numbers at 71.2 ppg on .439 shooting. The defensive effort has been much more consistent, limiting foes to just 65.9 ppg and under 40 percent shooting accuracy (.393). In addition, Tech has done a nice job on the glass, holding a +6.9 rebounding advantage coming into this contest. Depth wise, the team has taken a hit with the recent knee injury to Robert Carter Jr. (10.3 ppg, 9.3 rpg), Carter is out indefinitely with a torn meniscus in his left knee. More of the scoring burden will now fall on Golden (12.9 ppg), Georges-Hunt (11.7 ppg) and Daniel Miller (10.2 ppg). The seven-foot Miller will need to elevate his rebounding efforts as well (7.9 rpg).
There is nothing modest about Duke's offensive numbers this season. The team is averaging an impressive 84.6 ppg and doing so on .496 shooting overall, including a .412 clip from behind the arc. Freshman phenom Jabari Parker headlines the group. The 6-foot-8 youngster leads the team in both scoring and rebounding, averaging 20,4 points and 7.7 rebounds per game. Rodney Hood continues the strong play along the frontline with 17.9 ppg. Both he and Parker are shooting over 51 percent from the floor. Quinn Cooks has grown into his role as team facilitator and has proved to be equally adept at scoring (14.1 ppg) and distributing to others (6.1 apg).
Duke held a 10-point lead in the second half (60-50), but couldn't close out on the road, falling to the Irish by two points. Hood did his part in the narrow loss, pouring in a game-high 27 points. Parker however, struggled in a rare showing, going a mere 2-of-10 from the floor and finishing with just seven points. Cook picked up some of the offensive slack, going 7-of-14 from the field and netting 22 points in the setback.