Feb. 1, 2016
THE FLATS – Georgia Tech (12-9, 2-6 ACC), looking forward to having its next three games at home, gets the homestand started at 9 p.m. Tuesday against a rested Duke (15-6, 4-4 ACC) team in a nationally-televised contest at McCamish Pavilion.
The Yellow Jackets split a pair of road games last week, leading nearly wire-to-wire in a 90-83 victory at NC State, then dropping another close affair Saturday, 60-57, at Syracuse. Tech’s six ACC losses this season have come by a total of 30 points, an average of 5.0 points per game.
Tuesday night is the third straight road game for Duke, which has lost four of its last five games since beginning the ACC slate with three wins. The Blue Devils have not played since falling 80-69 at Miami last Monday, two days after winning at NC State, 88-78.
Tuesday’s game will be televised nationally on ESPNU and will be streamed live on the WatchESPN app. Radio coverage of the game is provided by the Georgia Tech/IMG Sports Network, and can be heard in Atlanta on 680 the Fan (680 AM and 93.7 FM). The game can also be heard nationally on satellite radio (Sirius ch. 93, XM ch. 193).
Duke would’ve been the fifth top-25 team Georgia Tech has played since the beginning of January, but the Blue Devils fell out of both polls this week. The Yellow Jackets are 1-3 against top-25 teams, having beaten No. 4 Virginia at home on Jan. 9.
Tech is 9-3 at home this year, 1-2 in conference play. The three losses have occurred by a total of six points. Duke has played five of its first eight ACC games on the road, same as Tech, and has gone 3-2 in those games.
Tech has already played six of the top eight teams in the current ACC standings, and the Yellow Jackets’ eight opponents have a combined regular-season record of 112-47 (.704).
Tech’s overall strength of schedule ranks the 24th strongest in the CBSSports.com RPI rankings (5-7 vs. top-100 teams). The Jackets’ non-conference schedule strength is rated No. 93.
Dating back to the 2014 ACC Tournament, 20 of Tech’s 23 losses to ACC teams in that period have been decided by eight points or fewer.
Tuesday is the only scheduled meeting between Tech and Duke during the regular season. The two teams met only in Durham last year.
Still relentless on the boards – Tech is out-rebounding its opponents by 8.0 per game, which ranks 22nd in the nation and No. 3 in the ACC. Tech has out-rebounded 17 of 21 opponents this season with two ties. Tech is No. 4 in the ACC and 21st nationally in offensive rebounds per game (13.8).
Turnovers down – Tech is averaging 10.3 turnovers this season (2nd in the ACC, 13th NCAA), down two-and-a-half per game (12.7) from last season. Tech has averaged 9.8 turnovers in ACC play, the second-lowest figure among the 15 teams.
Scoring up – Tech is averaging 76.1 points per game, 73.6 in ACC games, both figures more than 13 points per game higher than a year ago. The Yellow Jackets have connected on 44.5 percent of their field goal tries, an increase of four percent over last year.
Outside threat – Tech’s 36.5-percent success rate from three-point range is up almost 10 percent over last year. The Yellow Jackets have hit 37.2 percent against the ACC, which ranks fourth in the conference.
Tech ranks 47th in the nation and No. 3 in the ACC in three-point field goal defense (31.3 pct.). The Jackets’ seven ACC opponents have converted an even 30 percent, the third-best figure in the league.
Tech has been outscored from the free throw line seven times in eight ACC games, and by a total of 165-113. In the second half of those games, the difference is 121-61. Only at NC State did the Yellow Jackets have the advantage (29-19).
Four Georgia Tech players are averaging in double digits – Marcus Georges-Hunt (15.9 ppg), Adam Smith (14.3), Charles Mitchell (11.3) and Nick Jacobs (11.3). Tech has not finished a season with four or more players averaging in double figures since 2008-09.
According to KenPom.com, Tech has the ninth most experienced roster in the nation, with an average number of years experience at 2.37.
Nick Jacobs has scored in double figures six straight games, averaging 15.2 points (52.1 pct. FG, 17-of-21 FT) and 6.8 rebounds over that stretch.
Charles Mitchell’s 12 double-doubles this season is tied for the ACC lead and ranks 12th in the nation. Mitchell is bidding to become the first Tech player to average in double digits in points and rebounds since Alvin Jones in 2000-01. Only Jones and Malcolm Mackey (1991-92 and 1992-93) have done so since Tech joined the ACC.
Mitchell leads the ACC in rebound average (10.7 rpg) and is No. 2 in offensive rebounds (4.05 per game). Mitchell ranks 11th and 12th in the nation, respectively, in those categories.
Adam Smith leads the ACC in three-point field goals made (3.29 per game) and fourth in percentage (42.9). He ranks 17th and 40th, respectively, in the nation in those two categories. He has averaged 3.9 three-pointers in ACC games and has made 41.9 percent of his tries.
In 21 games, Smith has made more three-pointers (69) than Tech’s leader in each of the past five seasons and the most for any Tech player since 2008-09.
INSIDE THE SERIES WITH DUKE
Georgia Tech and Duke met only once last season, a 72-66 Blue Devil win at Cameron Indoor Stadium, Duke’s eighth consecutive win in the series. Tech’s last win in the series occurred Jan. 9, 2010 in Atlanta.
Duke has won 32 of the last 35 games in the series.
The Blue Devils won 11 of the last 13 meetings at Alexander Memorial Coliseum and posted a 21-13 lead over Tech in games played on the Jackets’ former home court, as well as a 26-15 mark in games played in Atlanta. Duke’s win on Feb. 18, 2014 was their first game at McCamish Pavilion.
Duke leads the overall series 69-23, and is 56-19 against Tech since the Jackets joined the ACC.
Tech’s best stretch of the series occurred between 1982 and 1989, with 10 wins in 17 meetings. Tech has never won more than two in a row.
Tech is 19-58 against Duke teams coached by Mike Krzyzewski, 12-19 in games played in Atlanta.
TECH PLAYERS VS. DUKE
Marcus Georges-Hunt has averaged 10.8 points and 5.3 rebounds in four career games against Duke, hitting 47.2 percent of his shots from the floor and 4-of-8 on threes.
Charles Mitchell has averaged 7.8 points and 3.8 rebounds in five career meetings against the Blue Devils. Last season in Durham, Mitchell scored four points (2-5 FG) and had two rebounds in 18 minutes.
Adam Smith has faced Duke only once, last year in Blacksburg while at Virginia Tech, and scored 15 points (3-8 on threes) in 30 minutes.
Nick Jacobs faced Duke once while at Alabama, scoring 18 points (8-14 FG) with seven rebounds and three blocked shots in an early season tournament game during the 2013-14 season.
ABOUT GEORGIA TECH MEN’S BASKETBALL
Georgia Tech’s men’s basketball team is beginning its fifth year under head coach Brian Gregory. The Yellow Jackets have been a member of the Atlantic Coast Conference since 1979, won three ACC Championships (1985, 1990, 1993), played in the NCAA Tournament 16 times and played in two Final Fours (1990, 2004). Connect with Georgia Tech Men’s Basketball on social media by liking their Facebook Page, or following on Twitter (@GTMBB).