Starting Five: Georgia Tech (13-12, 9-5 ACC) vs. No. 8/9 Duke (20-5, 9-3 ACC)

Feb. 17, 2014

The Yellow Jackets host #8/9 Duke on Tuesday – By Jon Cooper

The Good Word

Georgia Tech will have a packed house tonight when it welcomes No. 8/9 Duke to McCamish Pavilion for the first time. Tip-off is set for 9:00 p.m.

The Yellow Jackets evened their record on their four-game homestand and snapped a three-game, conference-home-losing streak the last time out, winning a heart-stopping 74-71 victory over Boston College Thursday night. Center Daniel Miller scored a game-high 18 points and guard Marcus Georges-Hunt added 15, scoring Tech’s final eight points, and making a dramatic four-point play with 0.7 seconds left to lift the Jackets. Georges-Hunt had given Tech the lead with 19 seconds remaining on a lay-up, before nemesis Olivier Hanlan hit a jumper with three seconds left gave B.C. a 71-70 lead. The game, delayed one day due to bad weather, was tight throughout, as there were 11 ties and 10 lead changes — three coming in the final 22 seconds — and neither team led by more than six points. Kam Holsey (15) and Robert Carter, Jr. (10) also scored in double-digits for the Jackets, who shot a sizzling 77.8 percent in the second half (14-for-18).

The Blue Devils began a stretch that will see them play four games in eight days, by edging Maryland, 69-67, Saturday at Cameron Indoor. Jabari Parker had 23 points and a crucial shot block late for Duke, which won for the eight time in nine games. Rodney Hood and Rasheed Sulaimon each added 11. The Blue Devils survived the Terrapins despite shooting only 23.1 percent in the second half, hitting only 5-of-24 attempts from three-point range and getting beat on the boards, 43-36. Duke never trailed in the first half, taking a 39-33 lead into the break, and led 51-42 with 12:32 to play. But a 12-1 run gave Maryland its first lead with 8:26 to play. The game would see six ties and five lead changes the rest of the way, with Parker’s dunk with 1:17 left giving Duke the lead for good. He then blocked a Charles Mitchell lay-up and the Blue Devils watched as Mitchell’s ensuing shot for the lead rolled off the rim.

Tonight’s game will be the second meeting this season and the 91st all-time between the schools in a series that dates back to 1922. The Yellow Jackets are 23-67 all-time vs. Duke and 19-54 as ACC rivals. They have lost six straight, 10 of 11 and 30 of 33 since their last series-winning streak in 1996.

The game can be seen on WATL in Atlanta, with Tim Brando and Mike Gminski calling the action. It also can be heard on the Georgia Tech IMG Sports Network, WYAY (106.7 FM), with Brandon Gaudin and Randy Waters on the call and via Satellite Radio on Sirius (Channel 119) and XM (Channel 191). Tech fans also can see the game online on ESPN3 and get up-to-the-minute stats or Ramblinwreck.com.

And now, the Starting Five for tonight’s game.

The Last Time We Met: Georgia Tech dropped a 79-57 decision to the No. 16 Blue Devils on Jan. 7 at Cameron Indoor Stadium but the game that was much closer than the final score indicated. Marcus Georges-Hunt led Georgia Tech with 18 points and Daniel Miller added 14, as the Yellow Jackets shot over 53 percent in the first 20 minutes and trailed only 34-33, at intermission. But Tech could not keep up in the second half, as Duke shot nearly 58 percent and over 58 percent from three-point range (7-for-12). The Devils’ 12-3 run early in the second half turned a one-point game into a double-digit game, and their late 8-0 run to put the game away.

Tech Trivia: Duke freshman sensation Jabari Parker has won eight ACC Freshman of the Week awards, two short of the conference single-season record. Which Georgia Tech player set and still holds a share of that record?

Carter Comin’: Sophomore forward Robert Carter is showing signs of getting back to the form that he’d displayed prior to injuring his left knee back on Dec. 29 at Charlotte. Carter had 10 points on 5-for-7 shooting against Boston College and grabbed five rebounds, three off the offensive glass, in 24 minutes. In his two games back, since missing 10 in recovering from the knee, Carter has had two assists and two blocks and a steal. His presence makes a huge difference as the Jackets are 10-5 with him this season, 3-7 without him. They’re scoring nearly seven more points a game, are holding opponents to four fewer points, are shooting 17 percentage points higher, while opponents are shooting 53 points lower, and the Jackets have an increase of seven in rebounding margin (plus-6.1 with him, minus-1.1 without him). Carter did not face Duke earlier this season, instead getting surgery the day of the game. Last season against Duke, Carter had eight points on 3-for-6 shooting, 0-for-1 from three and 2-for-7 from the line, with nine rebounds and two blocks in 29 minutes.

The Power of 3: As ACC competition has ramped up, so has Marcus Georges-Hunt. Against Boston College, Georges-Hunt scored 15 points on 5-for-10 shooting and took the game over, scoring the Yellow Jackets’ final eight, including the miraculous four-point play on their final possession. The outburst vs. the Eagles snapped him out of a two-game slump, during which he scored 16 points and shot only 4-for-22. That skid followed the sophomore scoring a career-high 23 points on 8-for-16 shooting, with 2-for-4 from three and 5-for-5 from the line against Wake Forest. Georges-Hunt has become a fixture at the foul line, as over his last six games he’s made 40 attempts and has been money, canning 30 of them. The 75 percent shooting is up from 62.9 percent he shot as a freshman, and the 66.1 percent he’d been shooting prior to the recent stretch (41-of-62).

Confident Corey: Redshirt freshman Corey Heyward is showing signs of becoming more and more comfortable as the season comes down to the wire. Over his last five games, he’s averaged just over 30 minutes per game, handing out 17 assists vs. eight turnovers and has grabbed 17 rebounds. On Thursday night against Boston College, Heyward found that he needn’t be shy about shooting the ball, as he hit two of his four FGAs, going 2-for-2 from three-point range. Since starting the year 0-for-4 from three, Heyward has made four of his last five from behind the arc.

The Sixth Man: Center Daniel Miller is leading the ACC in field goal percentage in conference play, shooting 57.5 percent (61-for-106). He’s got a 55-point lead on Maryland’s Dez Wells (65-for-125)…Guard Chris Bolden saw his streak of multi-three-point field goal games end on Thursday night against Boston College, as he went 1-for-4 from downtown, but the three-pointer did extend his streak to a season-high four straight games. Bolden, who hit a career-high four threes last year against Duke in scoring his then-career-high 20 points, has hit at least one 3-PTFG in nine of 12 ACC games…Tech Trivia: Georgia Tech guard Kenny Anderson won ACC Freshman of the Week 10 times in 1990. His record was tied in 2006 by North Carolina’s Tyler Hansbrough…Center Kam Holsey set his season-high with 15 points against Boston College and matched his season-high for field goals with six. It was his fourth six-field-goal game, all of them coming in ACC play…Sophomore guard Ron Wamer, who started the year as part of Georgia Tech’s “Iron Five” scout team, handed out his first collegiate assist on Thursday against Boston College.

GEORGIA TECH SCORING LEADER: Trae Golden, 13.4 ppg
DUKE SCORING LEADER: Jabari Parker, 19.3 ppg


GEORGIA TECH SCORING LEADER (ACC): Trae Golden, 13.8 ppg
DUKE SCORING LEADER (ACC): Jabari Parker, 17.1 ppg


GEORGIA TECH REBOUNDS LEADER: Robert Carter, Jr., 8.5
DUKE REBOUNDS LEADER: Jabari Parker, 8.5 rpg

GEORGIA TECH REBOUNDS LEADER (ACC): Daniel Miller, 7.3 rpg
DUKE REBOUNDS LEADER (ACC): Jabari Parker, 9.0 rpg

GEORGIA TECH ASSISTS LEADER: Trae Golden, 3.1 apg
DUKE ASSISTS LEADER: Quinn Cook, 5.0 rpg

GEORGIA TECH ASSISTS LEADER (ACC): Trae Golden, 2.6 apg
DUKE ASSISTS LEADER (ACC): Quinn Cook, 3.6 apg

GEORGIA TECH PPG: 67.8/63.2 ppg.
 OPP. PPG: 67.0/69.2 ppg.

DUKE PPG/ACC: 81.7/77.8 ppg.
 OPP. PPG/ACC: 67.4/65.8 ppg.

DUKE Player To Watch: Jabari Parker: The 6-9, 235-pound freshman forward continues to strengthen his case not only for ACC Freshman, but also ACC and National Player of the Year. The defending ACC Player of the week (his second) and Freshman of the Week (his eighth) averaged 25.0 points and 12.0 rebounds while shooting 74.1 percent. He added five blocks, two assists and two steals. He kicked off the next week with his third straight and Duke freshman record 15th 20-point game, going for 23 against Maryland, which included the game-winning basket, then a blocked shot that would have given Maryland the lead. Parker has a chance to become the first freshman to lead the Blue Devils in scoring and rebounding. He’s led Duke in scoring 14 times and rebounding 16, yet one of the four games in which he hasn’t led the team in either came against Georgia Tech, when he had a rather pedestrian 12 points (his third-lowest scoring game of the season), and six rebounds (his third-lowest output), shooting 4-for-12, 0-for-2 from three, 4-for-4 from the line.

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