For the second time in less than a week, the Georgia Tech men’s basketball team will look to pull an upset of a top ten ranked team.
Last Time Out:
Last time the Yellow Jackets took the floor was on the final day of 2016. What a finally it was for the 2016 calendar year. On Saturday, the Yellow Jackets took down ninth ranked North Carolina 75-63 to open up their ACC schedule.
For Georgia Tech, it was a game like no other they have played this season. The Yellow Jackets shot over 40% from the floor and 84.8% from the free throw line. Their shooting percentage from the line was almost 20% above their season average of 65.4%
Freshman guard Josh Okogie had one of the best games of his early career, dropping 28 points while bringing down five rebounds and three assists. His performance on Saturday, earned him ACC Rookie of the Week honors, the second time he was awarded with the honor this season.
The upset victory over North Carolina marked the first time in 11 years that the Yellow Jackets won their ACC opener.
Know the Opponent:
Duke will enter Saturday’s game looking for vengeance for their own upset loss. Last Saturday, the Blue Devils fell to the hands of Virginia Tech. Wednesday’s game will also mark the last game legendary Duke coach Mike Krzyzewski before his four week absence.
The first major note about the Blue Devils is that they will be without junior guard Grayson Allen for his controversial tripping play against Elon back on December 21st. He’s suspended indefinitely with no announcement of when he could potentially return.
That being said, despite the loss of Allen, the Blue Devils have plenty of talent to go around. Sophomore guard Luke Kennard is the Blue Devils leading scorer and has been one of the best players in the country through the first two months of the season.
In the Blue Devils last game against Virginia Tech, Kennard put up 34-points and seven rebounds. One of the best games of his two-year career, earlier this season, the Ohio native put up 35 points in a 94-55 win over Maine.
Cameroon Indoor Stadium:
Before last Saturday, the Blue Devils were on a ten game winning streak with their only other loss coming to the hands of Kansas,a 77-75 defeat. If the Yellow Jackets want to pull off a second straight upset, they’ll have to do it in one of the hardest places in college basketball. Cameron Indoor Stadium, where the Blue Devils have lost just four games over the last four seasons.
Players to Watch:
Georgia Tech: F Josh Okogie
The freshman is coming off arguably the best game of his career overall and the expectations for him going forward will just begin to get higher. If Okogie can come out and do well against the Blue Devils, it could begin to be the emergence of a future star player for the Yellow Jackets.
Duke: G Luke Kennard
As talked about above, Kennard is overall one of the best players in the country and one of the best shooters. Any given night Kennard has the ability to drop 30-points. Kennard has yet failed to score double-digit points this season and has averaged 26.5 points over his last six games.
In the end, Duke is going to have too much for Georgia Tech to handle. Asking the Yellow Jackets to play better than they did against North Carolina is hard to ask. While they could have a strong shooting night, it’s hard seeing them upsetting Duke. Ultimately, Wednesday should be a reminder that program still has a long way to go.