Jan. 6, 2012
ATLANTA – Georgia Tech begins its Atlantic Coast Conference schedule at 12 noon Saturday at Philips Arena with its first game of the season against a nationally-ranked team – Duke, ranked 5th in the Associated Press poll and 3rd in the coaches poll. This is also the ACC opener for the Blue Devils.
The game will be televised nationally on ESPNU, and the Tech radio broadcast can be heard in Atlanta on flagship station 790 the Zone (790 AM) and True Oldies 106.7 FM. The Tech broadcast can be heard nationally on Sirius/XM satellite radio (Sirius Ch. 112, XM Ch. 191).
Tech (7-7), in its first year under head coach Brian Gregory, is looking to end a three-game losing streak. The Yellow Jackets began the New Year with a 73-48 loss to Alabama Tuesday night at Philips Arena, following a 72-66 decision at Fordham on Dec. 29 and a 65-59 loss to Mercer Dec. 22 at the Arena at Gwinnett Center.
Tech, 4-3 at home this season, has lost both its games at Philips Arena this year, also falling to Northwestern, 76-60, in the Big Ten/ACC Challenge on Nov. 29. The Jackets are 4-5 all-time in the building which will host the ACC Tournament Mar, 8-11.
Duke (12-2), ranked in the top 10 of both polls all season long, comes to Atlanta on the heels of a 78-73 loss to Temple Wednesday night in Philadelphia. The Blue Devils are 0-2 on opponents’ home courts this season, having also lost to No. 2 Ohio State in Columbus in the Big Ten/ACC Challenge.
Following Saturday’s game, Tech plays its next two games on the road at NC State (Wednesday) and Maryland (Jan. 15).
Tech has played solid defense during the non-conference portion of its season, allowing just three teams to score as many as 70 points and two to shoot 50 percent from the floor. Both of Tech’s opponents at Philips Arena this year reached those figures. Northwestern defeated Tech, 76-60, shooting 55.4 percent from the floor, while Alabama won, 72-48, while hitting 53.7 percent of its field goal tries.
The Yellow Jackets rank third in the ACC in field goal percentage defense (37.8 pct.) and are fourth in scoring defense (59.9 ppg). Tech has held 10 of its 14 opponents under 40 percent from the field, and only six teams have score 60 points or more against the Yellow Jackets.
Offensively, Tech is averaging 63.8 points a game, 10th in the ACC, and hitting 45.3 percent of its field goal tries (8th). The Yellow Jackets have shot 50 percent or better from the floor six times.
Duke ranks second in the ACC in scoring (82.1 ppg) and third in scoring margin (+13.1 ppg), and is the only conference team shooting 50 percent from the floor (50.1) as a team. The Blue Devils also lead the conference in three-point shooting (42.9 pct., 8.2 3s per game).
Who to Watch
Two Yellow Jackets are averaging double figures in scoring, led by 6-5 junior Glen Rice, Jr., of Marietta, Ga., who is scoring 12.5 points per game (19th in the ACC) grabbing 6.8 rebounds per game (10th). Mfon Udofia, a 6-2 junior from Stone Mountain, Ga., averages 10.2 points per game.
6-11 sophomore center Daniel Miller has started 45 straight games for Tech, ranks 8th in the ACC in rebounding (7.4 pg) and 2nd in blocked shots (2.8 pg).
6-8 sophomore forward Kammeon Holsey is hitting 68.9 percent of his shots from the floor, but has not taken enough shots to be listed in the ACC rankings.
Tech and Duke History
Duke has won 27 of the last 30 games in the series. The Blue Devils won the only regular-season meeting between the two teams in 2010-11 (79-57 in Durham). This Duke’s first trip to Atlanta since Jan. 9, 2010, which is also the date of Tech’s last win over the Blue Devils (71-67).
Duke won 11 of the last 13 meetings at Alexander Memorial Coliseum and compiled a 21-13 record against Tech in games played on the Jackets’ former home court, as well as a 25-16 mark in games played in the city of Atlanta.
Duke leads the overall series 64-23, and is 51-19 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 19-50 against Duke teams coached by Mike Krzyzewski, 12-17 in games played in Atlanta. Paul Hewitt was 3-19 vs. Duke.
Tech has won just five of 36 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.
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).