1/1 Duke (25-1, 13-0) vs. Georgia Tech (10-14, 3-10)
Atlanta, Ga. – Alexander Memorial Coliseum
7:00 p.m., ESPN
Program Vitals Conference: ACC Nickname: Yellow Jackets Colors: Gold, Navy, & White Head Coach: Paul Hewitt (6th year) Career Record at Georgia Tech: 106-80
Projected Starters: 33 Lewis Clinch (6-3, 190, Fr.) – 7.8 ppg, 1.8 apg 23 Anthony Morrow (6-5, 205, So.) – 16.3 ppg, 4.4 rpg 5 Mario West (6-4, 208, Jr.) – 5.3 ppg, 2.7 rpg 44 Theodis Tarver (6-9, 245, Sr.) – 3.5 ppg, 3.1 rpg 4 Ra'Sean Dickey (6-9, 255, So.) - 12.8 ppg, 6.3 rpg Key Reserves: 32 Jeremis Smith (6-6, 232, So.) – 11.6 ppg, 8.3 rpg 35 Zam Fredrick (6-0, 209, So.) - 10.7 ppg, 3.9 apg 1 D'Andre Bell (6-5, 200, Fr.) - 4.0 ppg 41 Alade Aminu (6-9, 210, Fr.) - 2.2 ppg, 1.7 rpg
Rebuilding & Refocusing: While much has been made of North Carolina's personel losses of a year ago, it's the Yellow Jackets who have suffered the most in 2006. The Jackets lost their top six scorers from last year's team and have struggled to find anything close to a consistent attack this season. Despite the losses, Georgia Tech once again has a roster full of top shelf athletes, but that has not resulted in a beavy of victories in conference play. In fact the Rambling Wreck dropped a whopping eight straight games earlier this season before upsetting NC State two weekends ago.
Night & Day: Though the overall record for the Yellow Jackets is just 10-14, Georgia Tech is a different team when they take the court at Alexander Memorial. There, Paul Hewitt's club sports a respectable 9-4 overall and 3-3 ACC record. It's on the road where Tech cannot seem to catch a break, sporting a 0-9 overall record away from home.
The Series: Duke has won the last 19 of the last 20 games in the series, the lone Tech win coming last Mar. 3 in a 76-68 victory at Cameron Indoor Stadium, which snapped a 15-game losing streak in the series for the Yellow Jackets. The Blue Devils lead the overall series 56-21, and are 44-17 against Tech since it joined the ACC. Tech is 17-42 against Duke teams coached by Mike Krzyzewski, 10-15 in such games played in Atlanta. The Mar. 3, 2004 win was Tech's only win in 11 tries under Paul Hewitt.
No. 1 Woes For Jackets: Georgia Tech is facing a team ranked No. 1 in the national polls for the 41st time in its history, and has an 8-32 record in those games. The Yellow Jackets last met a No. 1 ranked team on Jan. 31, 2004 (82-74 home loss to Duke). Tech's last win against a team ranked No. 1 was a 77-61 victory over Connecticut in the 2003 Preseason NIT semifinals. Tech has played Duke 11 times previously when the Blue Devils were ranked No. 1, winning only once (80-79 at Alexander Memorial Coliseum on Jan. 10, 1993). Wednesday night's meeting will be the 12th time Duke has been No. 1 when facing Tech, matching Kentucky and North Carolina (12 each).
The Second Team Becomes The First: Following a 70-53 homecourt loss to Miami on Feb. 4, head coach Paul Hewitt inserted three different players in the starting lineup for the Florida State game, creating the Yellow Jackets' sixth different starting lineup this season. Sophomore guard Anthony Morrow and sophomore center Ra'Sean Dickey remained in the lineup, and were joined by junior guard Mario West, senior forward Theodis Tarver and freshman guard Lewis Clinch.
The revamped lineup has produced better aggressiveness and offensive punch, and the Jackets produced three consecutive 50-percent shooting efforts for the first time since early last season (Michigan, Georgia, Air Force). It was the first time Tech has accomplished that against three straight ACC foes since the last three regular-season games of the 1995-96 season (Clemson, NC State, Maryland). Over the last four games, Tech has made 50.6 percent of its field goal tries (113-of-223) and 47.8 percent of its three-point attempts (33-of-69). Against FSU, Tech made 11-of-18 three-point shots, a 61.1-percent rate that was the best the Jackets have achieved in a game under Paul Hewitt. (-GaTech Sports Info.)
- J.J. Redick is 31 points shy of breaking the ACC career scoring record of 2,587 points set by Wake Forest's Dickie Hemric. Redick became Duke's all-time points leader with 30 points in Sunday's win over Miami and now ranks second in ACC history with 2,557 career points. Redick's scoring total also ranks 35th in NCAA history.
He was named the ACC Player of the Week on Monday after averaging 31.5 ppg. and shooting 63.6 percent (21-of-33) from the field in a pair of Duke wins. Redick set the NCAA three-point record against Wake Forest and the Duke career scoring standard versus Miami last week while earning POTW accolades for the sixth time this season and the 11th time overall. Redick's 11 POTW honors are tied for the second most in league history. Antawn Jamison (North Carolina) earned the award 12 times. Redick's six awards this season is also second to Jamison, who was ACC POTW seven times in 1998.
- Duke is 25-1 for just the second time in school history (Duke's 1999 squad was 37-1 entering the national championship game). The Blue Devils are 13-0 in ACC play for the third time in school history. Duke has twice finished conference play undefeated (14-0 in 1963 & 16-0 in 1999).
- Duke is shooting an ACC-high 50.8 percent (736-of-1,450) from the field. The Blue Devils last shot over 50 percent for the year during the 1998-99 season. Four Duke starters (Sean Dockery, Josh McRoberts, J.J. Redick and Shelden Williams) and top reserve DeMarcus Nelson all are shooting over 50 percent from the field this season.
The Blue Devils are shooting an ACC-best 41.4 percent (208-of-502) from three-point range, while holding the opposition to an ACC-low 29.5 percent (98-of-332). On the year, J.J. Redick has more treys (104) than the Duke defense has allowed (98).
uke also leads the ACC in free throw shooting at 78.2 percent (510-of-652) and has made more free throws (510) than its opponents have attempted (426). Duke has accomplished that feat eight times (1972, 1978, 1990, 1992, 1993, 1994, 1999 & 2000). The Blue Devils are 15-0 this season when making more free throws than an opponent has attempted.
- Shelden Williams ranks fourth in Duke history with 51 career double-doubles, including an ACC-best 13 this year. Duke is 45-6 in those contests, including a 13-0 mark this season. Williams has registered double-doubles in 11 of the last 17 contests.
- Freshman Greg Paulus leads the ACC in assists per game (5.19). Only three freshmen - Jeff Jones (Virginia), Kenny Anderson (Georgia Tech) and Ed Cota (North Carolina) - have led the conference in assists per game.
- J.J. Redick and Shelden Williams are averaging a combined 47.2 points per game, the highest scoring average by teammates in Duke history (Art Heyman and Jeff Mullins had the previous best of 46.3 ppg. set in 1962).