Game Day: Duke (17-1) vs. Georgia Tech (16-3)

If the Blue Devils want a comfortable lead at the halfway point of the ACC race, then a victory in Atlanta is crucial on Saturday afternoon when Duke faces highly rated conference foe Georgia Tech. <i>TheDevilsDen.com</i> runs down the match up and important news and notes.

Game Facts:

The game will be televised by ESPN with Mike Patrick (play-by-play), Brad Daugherty (color) and Dave Ryan (sideline) calling the action. Tip-off is scheduled for 5:00 PM EST.

LINK: TDD BBS Game Thread

The Series:

Overall                            Duke 51-20
At Cameron Indoor Stadium          Duke 26-4
uAt Alexander Memorial Coliseum    Duke 16-11
In ACC Tournament                  Tied 3-3
Current Streak                     Duke W 14
Longest Duke Win Streak            14 (1997-present)
Longest Georgia Tech Win Streak    2 (several times)
Biggest Duke Win                   98-54 (2/21/01)
Biggest GT Win                     83-72 (3/10/90)
                                   75-64 (3/9/85)
Duke Under Coach K                 36-15

This will mark the 72nd meeting between Duke and Georgia Tech with the Blue Devils holding a 51-20 series lead. Duke has won 14 consecutive games vs. Georgia Tech, including the last seven at Alexander Memorial Coliseum.

Last Time:

J.J. Redick scored 19 points and No. 6 Duke secured its seventh straight season with at least 20 victories by beating host Georgia Tech, 77-58. Redick did most of his damage from beyond the three-point line, making 6-of-7 attempts. Dahntay Jones added 17 points and Shelden Williams recorded his fifth double-double, scoring 10 points and hauling in 10 rebounds to help Duke beat the Yellow Jackets for the 14th straight time.

Notable:

*- Including Thursday's victory over Florida State the Blue Devils are now 164-23 when ranked number one in the country.

*- Duke's 17-1 start matches the best record through 18 games in school history. Duke's 1929-30, 1991-92, 1997-98, 1998-99, 2000-01 and 2001-02 teams also started 17-1.

*- Duke will look for its 15th consecutive victory when it faces Georgia Tech on Jan. 31. The Blue Devils have won their last 14 games by an average of 22.3 points.

The Blue Devils have recorded win streaks of 10 or more games nine different times in the past seven seasons.

Of the 560 minutes played in that stretch, Duke has trailed for just 10:27, less than two percent of the total time. In seven of its last 14 games, Duke has not trailed at all.

*- J.J. Redick has put together four 20-point games in the past five contests. He is shooting .564 from the floor overall and .556 from three-point range and averaging 21.6 points during those five games.

*- Chris Duhon stands just five steals shy of becoming Duke's all-time leader. Duhon has 262 career thefts to his credit, and trails only Shane Battier (266) on the Blue Devil chart.

*- Duke has been very balanced offensively this season as six players — J.J. Redick (16.6), Luol Deng (13.3), Shelden Williams (11.7), Daniel Ewing (11.1), Chris Duhon (10.3) and Shavlik Randolph (8.1) — are averaging at least 8.1 points per game.

*- The Blue Devils have limited opponents to a .387 field goal percentage overall, a .312 three-point percentage and 58.6 points per game (modern day school record is 63.2 in 1959-60). In addition, Duke has averaged 7.3 blocked shots (school record is 6.3 in 1998-99) and 18.1 forced turnovers per game this season.

*- The Blue Devils have blocked 132 shots in 2003-04 for an average of 7.3 per contest. As a point of reference, the single-season school record for blocks is 6.3 in 1998-99.

Shelden Williams has blocked a team- and ACC-best 67 shots this season, while Shavlik Randolph (31) and Luol Deng (20) each have at least 20 rejections so far this year. Williams leads the league in blocked shots, Randolph ranks third and Deng is 10th among the ACC leaders.

*- Mike Krzyzewski currently ranks 17th among the all-time victory leaders at the Division I level with 680 career victories.

Some Common Opponents:

Virginia: Duke W (93-71), @Tech W (75-57)
NC State: @Duke W (76-57), Tech L (76-72)
Maryland: Duke W (68-60), @Tech W (81-71)
Wake Forest: @Duke W (84-72), Tech W (73-66)

Meet the Yellow Jackets:

Probable Starting Lineup: 
   Jarrett Jack (6-3, 198, G, So.) – 12.7 ppg, 6.3 apg, 2.3 spg
   Marvin Lewis (6-4, 205, G, Sr.) – 11.6 ppg, 1.7 apg
   B.J. Elder (6-4, 218, G, Jr.) – 15.8 ppg, 3.0 rpg
   Anthony McHenry (6-7, 218, F, Jr.) – 2.8 ppg, 3.4 rpg
   Luke Schenscher (7-1, 255, C, Jr.) – 8.5 ppg, 6.1 rpg
Key Reserves: 
   Isma'il Muhammad (6-6, 225, F, Jr.) – 11.2 ppg, 5.1 rpg
   Will Bynum (6-0, 185, G, Jr.) – 11.1 ppg, 3.0 apg
   Clarence Moore (6-5, 215, F, Sr.) – 6.1 ppg, 4.9 rpg
   Theodis Tarver (6-9, 245, F, So.) – 1.3 ppg, 2.5 rpg
   Robert Brooks (6.8, 210, F, Sr.) – 2.1 ppg, 1.9 rpg

Heading into the season many experts believed the Jackets had an outside shot to finish in sixth place in the ACC. However, an early season blow out of then number one UConn along with impressive wins at Wake Forest and over Maryland, no ACC team is looking past Paul Hewitt's club.

Georgia Tech enters the game with top ranked Duke coming off a hard fought victory over Clemson, which was classified as a ‘must win' game after a loss to North Carolina State in Raleigh in the previous outing. Currently Hewitt has led his team to a 16-3 record overall and a 4-2 conference mark.

Much like Duke's last opponent, Florida State, Georgia Tech's offense is based primarily on the strength of the perimeter game. When they are hitting from long range, the defense has to extend, allowing super sophomore point guard Jarret Jack to drive and create off the dribble. Perhaps the most dangerous Techster on the perimeter is junior wing B.J. Elder, who is coming off a career high 36 points against Clemson.

While Elder and Jack are certainly high major players, the backcourt has recently gotten much better with the arrival of Arizona transfer Will Bynum, who can score from the perimeter or soar to the basket. Joining that trio is senior sharp shooter Marvin Lewis, who's hitting 40% of his perimeter shots while scoring 11 points per game. Lewis is certainly the player Duke doesn't want to send to the line where he's hitting 86% of his attempts.

With a loaded backcourt, the Yellow Jackets are still searching for a dominant presence in the post. Last year they had Chris Bosh and Ed Nelson banging inside, this year the cuppard isn't nearly as full with the duo of 7-foot-1 Luke Schenscher and Clarence Moore, both of whom are able to score occasionally and routinely get to rebounds. Depth in the paint is provided by a pair of 6-foot-9 forwards in Robert Brooks and Theodis Tarver.

A preview of Georgia Tech wouldn't be complete without mention of Isma'il Muhammad, who's ability to slash to the basket will remind many ACC fans of some of the better dunkers in league history.

Note: Georgia Tech's last game was Tuesday against Clemson, while Duke played Thursday night at 9:00 PM before boarding a plane to Atlanta around lunch time Friday. Tech's depth coupled with the short turn around for Duke is certainly a cause for concern for head coach Mike Krzyzewski and staff.


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