Mark Dolejs-USA TODAY Sports
The road for the Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets is not going to get any easier on Tuesday. After losing their conference opener to the Maryland Terrapins,77-61, the Yellow Jackets will look to get their first conference win at Cameron Indoor Arena against the 16th ranked Duke Blue Devils.
Game Time: 7:00 pm ET
Venue: Cameron Indoor Stadium , Durham, NC
Series Record: Duke leads 66-23
Last Meeting: 1/17/2013 Duke 73 – Georgia Tech 57
Records: Georgia Tech (9-5 , 0-1 ACC), Duke (11-3, 0-1 ACC)
Current Odds: Duke -16.5
Injuries: GT – Travis Jorgensen, Out For Season (knee), Corey Heyward, Out for Season (knee) Robert Carter Jr. (knee), out indefinitely; Duke – None
Radio: 106.7 FM
Right now, the Yellow Jackets are trying to figure things out with their team. Coach Brian Gregory has to find a way to make up for the lost production of Robert Carter, Jr. while getting his team to perform better on a difficult ACC road trip.
After taking their first lump in conference to Maryland, the Yellow Jackets now have to go to a very hostile environment in Cameron Indoor Stadium to take on a highly upset No. 16 Duke Blue Devils squad who just lost their ACC opener on the road to the Notre Dame Fighting Irish 79-77. With that loss, the Blue Devils fell out of the Top 10 for the first time in six and a half years.
Fans of Georgia Tech should be familiar with the reputation that Duke has and the stature of their head coach, Mike Kryzewski. Yellow Jackets fans will also know how daunting a task it is going to “Tobacco Road” to face the Dukies. The Duke team that will be waiting for the Yellow Jackets to arrive is going to be focused.
Duke’s star Freshman phenom, Jabari Parker, will be looking to redeem himself after a meager showing in South Bend where he scored seven points on 2 of 10 shooting. The 6-foot-8, 235 lbs forward out of Chicago has dominated his opposition all season, averaging 20.4 points and 7.7 rebounds on the year. He will be looking to get his game back on track in a major way Tuesday.
Also Georgia Tech is going to keep close tabs on 6-foot-8 forward Rodney Hood, a Sophomore who transferred to Duke from Mississippi State, and who has been a beast since joining the Blue Devils. The sweet shooting left-handed swingman averages 17.9 ppg and is second on the team in 3-point shooting percentage at 44.1%.
Duke as a whole is just a deadly 3-point shooting team. They are second in the ACC shooting the trey at a 41.2% clip. They also lead the conference in team scoring at 84.6 ppg.
That is the juggernaut that the ailing, struggling Yellow Jackets will be going up against Tuesday. It looks like an impossible feat to go into Durham and get this win against an angry Duke team. But nothing is impossible. Georgia Tech is going to have to do some things that they have not done consistently all season. That is knock down perimeter shots and take care of the ball.
Georgia Tech also is going to have to make a bigger effort to guard the perimeter against Duke, both in the halfcourt and especially in transition. Trae Golden and Marcus Georges-Hunt are going to have to keep Duke guards Quinn Cook and Andre Dawkins in check.
The Jackets must also continue to win the battle of the boards. You don’t want to give an offensively gifted team like Duke second and third looks at the rim. Duke’s depth is going to create issues for the Yellow Jackets going into this game, so keeping fouls down is going to have to be a major priority. Basically, Georgia Tech is going to have to play a perfect game.
The noise that the Cameron Crazies create is going to make it even more difficult. Georgia Tech needs to put their best foot forward and give a strong effort Tuesday.