Feb. 19, 2011
ATLANTA – After a break from Atlantic Coast Conference play this week, Georgia Tech dives back into conference action Sunday night with a 7:45 p.m. contest against fifth-ranked Duke at Cameron Indoor Stadium. It is the Yellow Jackets’ third appearance on Fox Sports Net’s ACC Sunday Night Hoops this season.
Tech (11-14, 3-8 ACC) snapped a five-game swoon Wednesday night with a 62-53 win over Chattanooga, a team that leads the Northern Division of the Southern Conference, at Alexander Memorial Coliseum. The Yellow Jackets are tied for 10th place in the ACC standings, a game out of eighth and two out of seventh with five games to go.
Tech leads the ACC in turnovers forced (17.2 per game) and steals (9.6 per game) and ranks seventh in scoring defense. But Tech has averaged just 63 points and shot just 36.2 percent during its last six games.
The Jackets are led by All-ACC candidate Iman Shumpert, a 6-5 guard from Oak Park, Ill., who is bidding to become the fourth player in ACC history to lead his team in scoring, rebounding, assists and steals.
Head coach Paul Hewitt’s team, which returned two starters and eight letterwinners from a team that reached the championship game in last year’s ACC Tournament and won their first-round game in the NCAA Tournament, is one of the youngest in the ACC, with freshmen and sophomores making 82 of 125 possible starts and playing around 70 percent of the minutes.
Duke (24-2, 11-1 ACC) is the highest-ranked team in the ACC, losing only to Florida State this year in conference play and to St. John’s in a non-conference game on Jan. 30. The Blue Devils have won five straight games since then, and hold a one-game lead over North Carolina in the ACC standings.
After playing three times last year, this is the only scheduled meeting between the two teams this season. Following Sunday night’s game, Tech has a pair of home games and a pair of road games remaining on its regular season schedule.
Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets (11-14, 3-8 ACC) vs. Duke Blue Devils (24-2, 11-1 ACC)
Date: Sunday, February 20, 2011
Tipoff: 7:45 p.m. Eastern time
Site: Cameron Indoor Stadium (capacity 9,314), Durham, N.C.
Television: Fox Sports Net – Tim Brando, play-by-play; Mike Gminski, color; Jenn Hildreth, reporter
Radio: Georgia Tech Sports Network from IMG College, live on flagship station WQXI-AM (790 the Zone) and WYAY-FM (106.7) – Wes Durham, play-by-play; Randy Waters, color.
Satellite Radio: Sirius Ch. 122, XM Ch. 143 (Duke broadcast)
Tech Record Breakdown: 9-5 at home, 0-8 on the road, 2-1 neutral
Series History: Duke leads, 63-23 (30-5 at Cameron Indoor Stadium)
National Rankings: Georgia Tech is unranked; Duke is ranked 5th in both the AP and Coaches polls.
Series History – Tech vs. Duke
> Duke has won 26 of the last 29 games in the series. The teams split their regular season series in 2009-10, Tech winning 71-67 in Atlanta and Duke capturing an 86-67 win in Durham. The Blue Devils won the rubber match in the ACC Tournament championship game.
> Tech has won just five of 35 games played at Cameron Indoor Stadium, the first four coming in 1959, 1984, 1987 and 1996. Tech’s most recent win occurred on Mar. 3, 2004 in a 76-68 victory, which snapped a 41-game homecourt winning streak for the Blue Devils.
> Duke leads the overall series 63-23, and is 50-19 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 19-49 against Duke teams coached by Mike Krzyzewski, 12-17 in games played in Atlanta. Paul Hewitt is 3-18 vs. Duke.
> Tech is 3-7 against the Blue Devils in ACC Tournament encounters. Tech defeated Duke on the way to each of its three tournament titles, including semifinal victories in 1985 and 1990 and a first-round triumph in 1993. The Blue Devils have defeated Tech three times in championship games (1986, 2005, 2010).
Last Year vs. Duke
Jan. 9 in Atlanta – Gani Lawal scored 21 points, including a crucial shot with just over a minute remaining, and No. 20 Georgia Tech bounced back from a dismal loss with a 71-67 upset of the fifth-ranked Blue Devils. Lawal worked the boards hard, putting back two straight misses during one pivotal stretch, and Georgia Tech went ahead for good on yet another hustle play. Zachery Peacock grabbed an airball under the basket and flipped in a shot that put Georgia Tech ahead 62-60 with 1:52 remaining.
Feb. 6 in Durham – Kyle Singler had career highs of 30 points and eight 3-pointers to lead No. 10 Duke past No. 21 Georgia Tech 86-67. Jon Scheyer added 21 points for the Blue Devils, who were strong inside and outside – hitting nearly 67 percent of their 3s and dominating Georgia Tech’s foul-plagued front line.
March 14 in the ACC Tournament – Kyle Singler scored 20 points and Jon Scheyer hit a critical 3-pointer with 18 seconds left to help No. 4 Duke beat Georgia Tech 65-61 in the Atlantic Coast Conference tournament championship game.
In a tournament filled with upsets, it took a gritty effort from Duke’s high-scoring “Big Three” to hold off a determined comeback from the seventh-seeded Yellow Jackets, who were trying to become the first team in tournament history to win four games in four days.
Freshman Derrick Favors had 22 points and 11 rebounds to lead the Yellow Jackets, who were trying to become the lowest-seeded team to win the tournament. Georgia Tech fell behind 8-0 and trailed 52-41 after Scheyer’s 3-pointer with 6:19 to play. But the Yellow Jackets ran off nine straight points to get within 60-59 on Favors’ dunk with 47.9 seconds left.
The ACC’s Best Pick-Pocket
Iman Shumpert is averaging 2.7 steals per game this season, which leads the ACC and ranks 9th nationally. That’s almost an entire steal better than his 2009-10 average (1.9 per game), which ranked second in the ACC.
The 6-5 junior pilfered the ball seven times against Virginia Tech on Jan. 25, which was one off the Tech record and occurred as part of his triple-double against the Hokies. He has recorded four or more in a game seven times this year.
His season total of 65 matches the 8th-highest total for a season in Tech history, and he has reached fifth place on Tech’s career list with 189. He needs just four to catch Drew Barry for fourth place, but would probably need another season to pass the top three players on the list – Mark Price (240), Bruce Dalrymple (227) and Travis Best (217).
The standard for one season is Kenny Anderson, who holds the top two spots on that list with 89 in 1990-91 and 79 in 1989-90.
Shumpert, Rice Scoring, But They Need Help
Iman Shumpert has averaged 20.3 points over his last 10 games, beginning with a career-best 30-point effort in Georgia Tech’s 78-58 win over North Carolina on Jan. 16.
During that stretch, the 6-5 junior has scored 20 points or more five times, averaged 7.1 rebounds, 3.4 assists and 2.9 steals.
Glen Rice, Jr., has had a nice run of success recently as well, averaging 19 points over his last six games.
In Tech’s last six games, they have combined to provide 61 percent of the Jackets’ points and take 56.5 percent of Tech’s shots from the floor.