Tag Archives: Coach Krzyzewski

Sluggish Blue Devils hang on to defeat St. John’s

DURHAM, N.C. – Coach K wasted little time in showing his displeasure in the media room after his Blue Devils had just finished defeating St. John’s 83-76.  Duke rolled out to a 45-29 half time lead but in the second half, the Johnnies lit up the Duke defense for 47 points and more disturbing was the fact the Blue Devils simply wern’t playing together or making easy plays.

“We’re treating this game as a loss. I t was a loss for me today, I didn’t like today.” said Krzyzewski.  He also said that his team had had a tough month and that they would take two days off before preparing for their road trip to play Virginia Tech in Blacksburg at 7:00 on Thursday evening.  Despite the lack luster second half, Mason Plumlee continued to be a bright spot for this years team.

Mason recorded his double-double of the season tallying 15 points to go with a dominating career high 17 rebounds.  But like Krzyzewski, Mason was not too happy in the post game in that his team did not perform well.  “We just have to learn to start putting teams away,” as he looked down and then up again saying, “Our defense was horrible in the second half.”

With just over 17 minutes left in the second half, Duke held a 21 point lead, but from that point forward were outscored by 14 points the rest of the way.  Duke failed to finish a lot of what should have been easy buckets and left a good 20 points or so on the floor.   Duke was also outscored in the paint and second chance points and in fact had just one put back on the offensive end in the half.

The Blue Devils also went ice cold from the three point stripe going just 1 of 7 after going 6 of 11 to open the game.  In short, it was just a disjointed no traditional Duke like performance and one that clearly was unacceptable to Krzyzewski.  With the win Duke improves to 18-3 overall, avenging last seasons upset loss to the Johnnies in New York.

Ryan Kelly led Duke in scoring with a 16 points and was one rebound shy of a double-double, ending the game with 9 boards.  Andre Dawkins chipped in 14 and Austin Rivers dropped 12 to round out the double-figure scores for Duke.  Dawkins nailed three three pointer in a 20-9 Duke run to close the first half while Rivers recorded his 12 double figure scoring game which is tops amongst all Blue Devils.

Duke knocked down 32 of 42 free throws, and Kelly had 10 of 12 of those and Duke did finish the game going 10 of 11 over the final three and a half minutes.  The score was tied just once and the lead changed but a single time and Duke won the game, just not in an impressive fashion.  “We did enough to win and that’s not us, that’s not Duke Basketball,”  said Krzyzewski.  Hear the rest of his comments via BDN Video below -

BDN Post Game Report – Duke rocks Wake Forest to remain undefeated in the ACC

Duke was in control of the basketball game against Wake Forest from the opening tip as they coasted to a 91-73 victory.  Duke now sits alone atop the ACC at 4-0 but they will now prepare for a 3-1, hot Florida State team which invades Cameron in less than 48 hours.

The Andre Dawkins Show

The first half of the game belonged to Andre Dawkins who knocked down 21 points on 7 of 9 three pointers.  Dawkins earned the praise of Krzyzewski in his post game speech which just concluded. Dawkins failed to score in the second half.  Check out our interview with Andre per BDN Video.  Dawkins knocked down five straight three point shots and Dawkins has now scored 20 plus points in two consecutive games and this was his 9th double figure scoring game for the season.

Ryan Kelly scored a double-double

Kelly went 8 of 11 from the field on his way to a team high 20 points to go with 10 rebounds.  His consistent play was a huge factor for Duke as they maintained a working lead the entire game.  Kelly has scored 20 points in two of his teams ACC wins and he scored in double figures for the 11th time this season.

Austin Rivers comes off the bench for the first time

Rivers started the game on the bench as Krzyzewski said he was checking new combinations, but maybe he should remain the sixth man if he puts up numbers like 20 points.  Despite starting on the bench with 32 minutes of playing time, he basically still was a starter.  His 3 of 4 from the three point stripe matched a career high.  Austin has now scored in double figures 14 times this season and he leads the Blue Devils in scoring.

Just too much talent for Duke

The Blue Devils held Wake to zero three pointers in the first half and just 3 all game long.  They also held the Wake bench scoreless at the half.  Duke ended the game with a 43 to 8 points advantage, thanks to the aforementioned Kelly and Rivers.  Duke held an 18-9 second chance point advantage as well and while they were outscored in the paint, that was due to their outside shots falling where they knocked down 11 three pointers.  The Blue Devils also dished out 17 assists tonight.

This and that

Duke extended it’s ACC home court streak to 45 games and 64 straight against unranked teams.  This was the first game since March of 2010 that Duke had three 20 point scorers in one game.  Duke is 51-9 when ranked #4 in the country.  Four Blue Devils scored in double figures for the 11th time this season.

Post game videos

Below are Austin Rivers, Andre Dawkins and Ryan Kelly post game comments per BDN Video.

What Did We Learn Over Summer Vacation?

Participation in the Friendship Games provided an early look at the 2011-12 edition of the Duke Blue Devils. In three games against the China Junior National Team and one game against the United Arab Emirates National Team, Coach Krzyzewski was able to get an early jump on melding the individual Blue Devils into a cohesive team.

The dog days of summer are usually spent watching the pennant races heat up and preparing for the upcoming football season, while plenty of time was still devoted to those meaningful activities, Duke Basketball fans were treated to competitive international basketball in August. For diehard college basketball fans, those games were a sweet appetizer for the upcoming season.

So, what did we learn during the four games? In no particular order, we learned the following:

Ryan Kelly is looking really good

Ryan Kelly led the Blue Devils in scoring with 60 points over the four games. He also collected 33 rebounds for an impressive 15 points and 8.2 rebounds per game stat line. But the story isn’t Kelly’s stat line, but rather his calm, collected attitude on the court. The story is how smooth and confident Kelly looked knocking down a jump shot, collecting a rebound or delivering a pass to an open teammate.

If Kelly can build off his play in the Friendship Games, and continue to improve his all around game, he could be a player who gives opponents match-up fits and develops into an All ACC performer in 2012.

Starting Rotation

Over the four games, the same five players started: Miles Plumlee, Ryan Kelly, Andre Dawkins, Austin Rivers and Seth Curry. While I am sure Coach Krzyzewski will still mix and match line-ups in the early season games, with some fluctuation in the starting line-up based upon practice intensity and previous game performance, the fact the same five guys started all four summer games is indicative that a solid pecking order has been established.

The perimeter is deep and talented

Seth Curry, Andre Dawkins and Austin Rivers combine to be a formidable three guard back court. Curry and Rivers can both handle the ball even though they are not true point guards, while Dawkins, who has always been a very dangerous shooter, appears ready to be a threat to attack the rim via back door cuts and by working the baseline.

Dawkins and Rivers each scored 57 points in the four games with Curry right behind them at 54 points. Dawkins sank a blistering 48.3 percent of his 3-point attempts, while Curry led the team with nine steals.

Rivers has the ability to create his own shot and drive to the rim; however, these international games demonstrated he still has a lot to learn. There will be further discussion on Rivers in a bit.

Turning to the bench players, Tyler Thornton is a pest and I mean that in the best possible way. His tenacious approach to playing defense will continue to earn him significant playing time.

Alex Murphy has length and the ability to run the court. While he struggled early on, he improved every game and was impressive in the United Arab Emirates game. Murphy should see time on the wing in relief of Dawkins and at power forward when Coach Krzyzewski decides to go with a small line-up.

Post game is in good hands

Led by senior Miles Plumlee, and including juniors Ryan Kelly and Mason Plumlee, this year’s Duke Blue Devils are as talented and experienced in the front court as they have been in a number of years.

The three upperclassmen combined for 134 points and 96 rebounds, which averages to 33.5 points and 24 rebounds per game, from the center and power forward positions, against legitimate competition. We are not talking summer pick-up games here. Last season, those three players combined for 18.6 points and 17 rebounds per game.

I realize the comparison is apples to oranges, four international games to an entire NCAA season, but I’m just throwing it out there as food for thought. It is data points fanatic fans can chew on.

To take the apples to oranges comparison one giant leap further, on the 2004 team, Luol Deng, Shelden Williams and Shavlik Randolph combined for 34.7 points and 19.9 rebounds per game.

While I am not trying to suggest this year’s front court will be as formidable as the 2004 front court, I am suggesting this front court has the potential to be very, very good and perhaps the best front court we’ve had since 2004. And that is saying something seeing as the 2006 front court of Shelden Williams and Josh McRoberts was not shabby.

To maneuver this section back into the here and now, before this year’s trio of front court players can reach their maximum potential, they must prove themselves in two areas: consistency of play and foul management. If those prerequisites are achieved, the sky is the limit.

Austin Rivers is ready to start as a freshman

Rivers was simultaneously impressive and inconsistent. He scored 57 points, but he led the team in turnovers with 15 and only connected on 5 of 21 3-point attempts.

The poor 3-point shooting can easily be explained away by the deeper arc on an international court. The turnovers are more a result of poor decision making and playing out of control. On multiple occasions Rivers drove too deep into the teeth of the opponent’s defense and was left without an option other than to throw the ball toward a teammate on the perimeter.

So, should Duke Fans Worldwide go into a panic and chew their finger nails until they bleed? No! Rivers is a freshman so those type plays should be expected. Like every other freshman, Rivers must adjust to the speed of the game and the increased talent level on the court.

Rivers’ decision making will improve and he will rapidly learn to play within himself and once that happens, which I expect will take place sooner rather than later, he will be a force to contend with on the hardwood.

During the Friendship Games, we learned Austin Rivers is ready to immediately start and be an impact player.

What do we know heading into 2011?

What do we know about this year’s team as 2011 quickly approaches? Well, for starters, we know Duke is deep with the ability to place a lot of top talent onto the court. Plus, we know Duke has all the different pieces required to be a champion commencing with senior leadership. Additionally, we know Kyrie Irving is the real deal. He has proven all the hype was warranted. Unfortunately, what we do not know is when Kyrie will be available and on the court for Duke due to his right big toe injury. We know the freshman to sophomore jump is alive and well in Durham. All one has to do is look at the improvements in the play of Mason Plumlee, Andre Dawkins and Ryan Kelly. Finally, we know the team still needs to develop and improve if they are to equal the accomplishments of last season’s team.

There’s no real point in discussing Kyrie’s injury because there is too much we do not know so let’s take a look at each of the “things we know” and break them down:

Duke has senior leadership.

The presence of senior leadership is not widespread in today’s college basketball landscape; however that does not make it any less valuable. In fact, it makes it more valuable as Duke has what few other teams have – two proven senior leaders in All American candidates Kyle Singler and Nolan Smith.

Coach Krzyzewski discussed Singler after the victory over Oregon in Portland: “I’m very proud of Kyle. Today was a special day for him. He is truly one of the special kids I’ve had the opportunity to coach at any level. He has a warrior’s spirit. He’s all about winning and playing hard and I love the way he performs. He’s never nervous. He’s the same all the time. He never has a play in a game or in practice when he’s not working hard. He’s what I call a no-maintenance guy.”

Nolan Smith is currently number eight on statistics guru Ken Pomeroy’s list of contenders for the 2011 Player-of-the-Year Award.

During the St. Louis post game press conference, Associate Head Coach Chris Collins stated, “For Nolan to get back, I mean he didn’t have a field goal against Bradley the other night, but he played a good floor game. For him to come back today and have the six rebounds, five assists but also get 22 points at the point guard position, I thought was really good.”

Last season’s run to the national championship demonstrated the utility of senior leadership as Scheyer, Thomas and Zoubek combined to be a steadying influence upon the Blue Devils during the stretch run. In 2009, North Carolina won the championship with senior Tyler Hansbrough as their key player. Kansas started two seniors and two juniors in 2008 when they won the national championship, and when the Florida Gators repeated as national champions in 2007, they started a senior and four juniors.

There seems to be a pattern here and the pattern is experience is King come March and April. The experienced leadership on Duke’s roster in 2011 will provide the Blue Devils a decided advantage once the post season arrives. Singler and Smith are two of the best players in the nation.

Duke is deep and talented.

The roster contains five McDonald’s All Americans: Kyle Singler, Nolan Smith, Mason Plumlee, Ryan Kelly and Kyrie Irving. However, other players on the roster earned accolades prior to arriving in Durham.

Freshman Tyler Thornton was the Washington D.C. Gatorade Player-of-the-Year while fellow freshman Josh Hairston was the Maryland Gatorade Player-of-the-Year. After the St. Louis game, Associate Head Coach Chris Collins commented on the play of Thornton and Hairston, “I mean we felt great when the guys came off the bench. I mean Josh Hairston and Tyler Thornton did a great job, especially in the second half. They hit us with a little run to start the half. We weren’t as happy with our energy coming out of halftime. We went to our bench and those guys played great.”

Prior to transferring to Duke, Seth Curry was the Big South Conference Freshman of the Year.

Andre Dawkins skipped his senior year of high school and enrolled at Duke early so he missed out on the opportunity to be named as a member of the various All American teams. However, he was a two-time first team NCSAA All-American.

Duke has all the requisite pieces required to be a champion.

It takes more than talented players to win a championship. It takes the right mix of players who complement each others game. A championship team needs perimeter players and inside players, jump shooters as well as players who can attack the rim, rebounding specialists and defensive specialists. Chemistry is vital to building a championship team.

Duke’s roster contains all of those individual pieces.

The freshman to sophomore jump is alive and well in Durham.

Andre Dawkins was inserted into the starting line-up for the Bradley game in response to Irving’s toe injury. Dawkins responded by scoring 28 points on 8-14 shooting on 3-pointers. After the game, Coach Krzyzewski stated, “It’s great; I hope it’s not a passing fancy. Andre has been, and I said it last week, Andre has been as consistent as anybody we’ve had this season including Kyle and Nolan and Kyrie. Andre has been solid, just really solid and was hitting with a limited amount of shots.”

Dawkins currently leads the ACC in 3-PT FG percentage at .536 and is averaging 12 points per game.

Mason Plumlee is averaging 8.3 points and 7.7 rebounds per game. Against Michigan State, in the ACC-Big Ten Challenge, Mason played 35 minutes, having five steals, to go along with a 10 points, 10 rebounds double-double. Coach Krzyzewski praised his performance, “Mason had to play 35 minutes with the foul trouble we had and they kept alternating bigs and Mason got a double-double and five steals. As obviously sensational as Kyrie was, quietly Mason was outstanding, he was outstanding.”

Mason’s high scoring game so far this season was against Marquette when the 6’10 big man exploded for 25 points on 12-16 shooting from the field. Additionally, he recorded 12 rebounds and five blocked shots. Mason leads the team in blocked shots.

Ryan Kelly scored a career high 13 points in the most recent game against Elon. Kelly is a versatile player with advanced passing skills and solid shooting ability. He has demonstrated rebounding and shot blocking skills as well. As his playing time increases, his game will continue to develop. Kelly is much better now than he was as a freshman, and he will most likely be much better in March compared to December.

Seth Curry is the fourth sophomore but he is two years removed from his freshman season due to sitting out last season after his transfer to Duke from Liberty. Curry has been a little inconsistent at times this season but he has demonstrated a solid shooting stroke and excellent wing defense skills. Curry has second most steals on the team behind Singler.

This team still needs to develop in several areas.

Duke is 11-0 and the unanimous number one ranked team in the country. The ACC schedule kicks off next week when the Miami Hurricanes visit Cameron Indoor Stadium, and with the conference schedule comes games against teams, and perhaps more importantly coaches, who are intimately familiar with the Blue Devils. Things are going to get tougher in January and February before the real test of March and hopefully April arrives. This Duke team is deep and talented with the senior leadership that provides an unlimited upside, so 2011 has the potential to be another great year, but everyone knows there is a lot of work to be accomplished over the next three and a half months.

Every team has to develop their unique identity but this year’s team has been thrown a curve ball with the injury to Irving. Therefore, a need exists for the team to rediscover who they are specifically in regard to playing style. Will the team continue to apply maximum pressure on the perimeter with an emphasis on creating turnovers? Or will they revert to last season’s style, which focused upon rebounding? On offense, will they push the ball at every opportunity? Or will they look to become a dominant half court offensive team?

There are a lot of questions and the answers will be forthcoming over the next month, all one has to do is watch. Coach Krzyzewski is a master at transforming a team.

Free throw shooting is another area where the team could improve. Duke is shooting .743 as a team; however, Mason Plumlee (.417), Miles Plumlee (.611) and Josh Hairston (.538) all have room to improve. In a close game, the ability of these players to convert from the free throw line could the decisive factor.

With 2011 literally just around the corner, it is time for Duke fans to sit back and enjoy the ride as Coach Krzyzewski and the Staff lead the Blue Devils in their pursuit of excellence. No one knows how the season will end, but it is apparent the 2011 Duke Blue Devils have all the pieces in place to make a serious run toward Houston and another national championship.

Previewing the Terrapins

#7 Duke (20-4, 8-2 ACC) host unranked Maryland (16-6, 6-2 ACC) on Saturday afternoon at 1 pm in a game which will determine first place in the ACC standings. This will be the 1,000th game at Duke for Coach Mike Krzyzewski. Duke defeated Maryland three times last season and has won the previous five meetings. Maryland last defeated Duke on February 28, 2007.

Maryland is led by senior guard Greivis Vasquez (6’6″ 190) who averages 18.1 points, 6.3 assists, and 4.5 rebounds per game. Vasquez is a crafty player who likes to push the tempo and is a very good passer in Coach Gary Williams’ flex offense. Vasquez plays 32.5 minutes per game.

Senior forward Landon Milbourne (6’7″ 207) is Maryland’s second leading scorer at 14.5 points per game. Milbourne also averages 5.4 rebounds and plays 30.3 minutes per game.

Senior guard Eric Hayes (6’4″ 184) is a deadly 3-point shooter making 46.1 percent (47 of 102) on the year. Hayes averages 11.1 points, 3.4 assists, and 2.5 rebounds per game. Hayes plays 30.4 minutes per game.

Sophomore Sean Mosley (6’4″ 210) contributes 11.5 points, 3 assists, and 5.6 rebounds per game in 28.1 minutes of playing time.

Freshman Jordan Williams (6’9″ 245) averages 8.4 points and 7.9 rebounds per game in 22.9 minutes of playing time. Williams is touted as having great hands.

Off the bench, Maryland has four players averaging double digit minutes: Cliff Tucker (15.2), Dino Gregory (19.9), Adrian Bowie (16.5), and James Padgett (11.2). Maryland has more depth inside this season but they are a smaller team than Duke.

Duke and Maryland have had eight common opponents on the season. In out of conference games, both teams have beaten UNC-Greensboro and lost to Wisconsin. In conference, both teams have beaten UNC, Florida State, and Boston College. Maryland has beaten N.C. State who defeated Duke, while Duke has beaten Clemson and Wake Forest who both defeated the Terrapins.

The Blue Devils will be without starter and defensive specialist Lance Thomas who suffered a severe bone bruise in his right knee when he collided with Larry Drew II during the Carolina game. Replacing Thomas’ minutes will require Coach Krzyzewski to be creative with the rotation. Coach Krzyzewski has stated he expects Dawkins to play increased minutes with Kyle Singler rotating from small forward to power forward.

Another line-up which will surely see time together will be Brian Zoubek and Mason Plumlee together with Scheyer, Smith, and Singler. This is Duke’s most effective non-Thomas line-up from a +/- perspective.

The keys to the game will be:

1. Outside shooting: Duke is shooting .394 on the season from behind the 3-point arc. However, in the 13 games played in Cameron Indoor Stadium, Duke is averaging .442. Maryland is eighth in the league in 3-point field goal percent defense. Duke needs to knockdown the long ball in this game.

2. Rebounding: Duke leads the ACC in rebounding margin at +6.6. Maryland is 11th at +1.2. Duke is second in the ACC in offensive rebounds averaging 14.6 per game. Duke is bigger and stronger and will need to be aggressive on the glass.

3. Assists and turnovers: Both Duke and Maryland take care of the basketball with a 1.3 assists to turnover ratio. Maryland is second in the ACC with 8.4 steals per game. Neither team can afford to give the other extra possessions in a game this analyst expects to be decided in the last couple of minutes.

With the celebration for Coach Krzyzewski’s birthday, his 1,000th game as head coach at Duke, and first place in the ACC on the line, the atmosphere will be electric inside Cameron Indoor Stadium. Both teams must be cautious of emotions to ensure the other team doesn’t jump out to an adrenalin fueled early lead. Once the teams settle in and commence execution of their game plans, this should be a very exciting basketball game.

Previewing the Yellow Jackets II

#10 Duke (17-4, 5-2) hosts #21 Georgia Tech (16-5, 4-3) on Thursday February 4, 2010 as the Blue Devils and Yellow Jackets face each other for the second time this season. Georgia Tech prevailed 71-67 in the first game, which was played at Alexander Memorial Coliseum, in Atlanta.

The Blue Devils will be looking to snap back strong after taking a pounding at the hands of the Georgetown Hoyas on Saturday afternoon. Duke has not lost two games in a row this season and has won previous games following a loss by an average of 14 points.

Three “keys to the game” were identified in the Blue Devil Nation preview prior to the first meeting. The same keys exist for this second meeting so let us revisit them one at a time taking a look at how they played out in Atlanta.

1. Defensive rebounding. Duke must keep Georgia Tech off the offensive glass and prevent second chance points.

Duke did an excellent job on the glass, during the first half, with 20 rebounds to the Yellow Jackets 12. Georgia Tech was limited to two offensive rebounds and two second chance points. Not surprisingly, Duke held a six point advantage, 35-29, at the half. In the second half, Georgia Tech dominated Duke on the boards 26-12, pulled in 11 offensive rebounds, and scored eight second chance points as they outscored the Blue Devils by ten points. The Yellow Jackets performance on the glass in the second half was the significant factor in securing the four point victory.

In the rematch at Cameron Indoor Stadium, Duke must do a better job of blocking out and beat Georgia Tech on the glass for a full 40 minutes. Staying out of foul trouble should be another objective for the Blue Devils as Lance Thomas fouled out of the first game with more than 10 minutes remaining.

2. Turnovers. With Georgia Tech’s suspect ball handling, look for Nolan Smith to apply pressure on the Yellow Jackets main ball handler. This is a game where Duke may look to trap the ball as it is brought across the half court line. Lance Thomas could be a key player if Duke opts to run a half court trap defense. The best way to neutralize Lawal and Favors down low is to prevent them from getting it down low.

Georgia Tech has suspect ball handling but in Atlanta they scored more points off turnovers (18) than Duke (15). While this key was not as significant to the Georgia Tech victory as their rebounding performance, it is important for Duke to do a better job in Durham if they expect to win the ball game.

3. Outside shooting. Georgia Tech’s strength is their inside play so look for Duke to try and open up the inside by knocking down the long ball. Duke is leading the ACC in 3 point field goal percentage at 42.6 percent and second in the league in 3 point field goals made with 8.6 per game.

Duke shot poorly in Atlanta going 6-28 on 3-point field goal attempts. In fact, Duke has shot poorly since ACC play began and they’ve fallen to third in the ACC in 3 point field goal percentage at 38.2 percent. Over the first seven ACC games, the Blue Devils are 34-119 or 28.6 percent on 3 point attempts.

The Blue Devils must rediscover their perimeter stroke in February and getting off to a great start against the Yellow Jackets tough defense would be timely. In Atlanta, Jon Scheyer scored 25 points; Mason Plumlee scored 10, Kyle Singler, and Nolan Smith contributed nine each, while Miles Plumlee added eight. This Thursday, Duke will need a similar strong performance from Scheyer and more scoring from Singler and Smith.

Additionally, Duke will need “points in the paint” so another 18 points and 11 rebounds performance from the Plumlee Brothers or similar numbers from seniors Lance Thomas and Brian Zoubek will be necessary to balance the offense.

Andre Dawkins is another offensive weapon Duke hopes to get back on track. Dawkins was providing 10 points a game off the bench in the early part of the season but has been in a shooting slump so far in 2010. Reviving Dawkins could not only assist Duke in winning the Georgia Tech game but could be a key to the remainder of the 2010 season.

Here is a look at Georgia Tech’s main players and their statistics:

Junior Gani Lawal (6′9″ 235) averages 14.5 points and 9.0 rebounds per game. He is 13th in the ACC is scoring and 3rd in rebounds. Lawal has the 5th best field goal percentage at 55.2 percent. He scored 21 points and grabbed 11 rebounds in the first game against Duke and proved to be the difference down the stretch.

Freshman Derrick Favors (6′10″ 245) averages 11.5 points and 8.6 rebounds per game. Favors is 5th in the ACC in rebounds. In the first game, he contributed seven points and eight rebounds.

Sophomore Iman Shumpert (6′5″ 205) is back after missing six games with a knee injury. He averages 10.3 points and 4.1 assists per game, but also turns the ball over 3.3 times per contest. In the first game, Shumpert recorded eight points, three assists, and seven turnovers.

Freshman Mfon Udofia (6′2″ 185) and Senior D’Andre Bell (6’6” 220) are Georgia Tech’s fourth and fifth starters. Udofia averages 9 points, 2.7 assists, and 2.3 turnovers per game. Udofia scored 13 points and shot 50 percent (3-6) on 3 point field goal attempts in the first game. Bell averages 6.5 points, 2.6 rebounds, 1.8 assists, and 1.3 turnovers per game.

Senior Zachery Peacock (6′8″ 235) averages 9.6 points and 4.3 rebounds off the bench for the Yellow Jackets. Peacock has the ability to step out to the perimeter and knock down jump shots. He is making 44.8 percent of his 3-point attempts on the season. Peacock contributed 11 points and four rebounds in the first game.

This is an important game for both teams. For Duke, it is imperative the Blue Devils secure a win to cement their position as the top team in the ACC. A second loss to the Yellow Jackets could result in a team with shaken confidence during the middle of the ACC season, which is not a good situation. A win over the Yellow Jackets would keep the Blue Devils on top of the ACC standings and allow the team to put the Georgetown loss behind them and focus on moving on toward tough road games at Boston College and North Carolina.

For Georgia Tech, a loss to the Blue Devils would drop their conference record to 4-4 and place them solidly amongst the muddy middle of the ACC standings. A second win over the Blue Devils would keep the Yellow Jackets competitive for a slot in the upper tier of the ACC standings and a Thursday bye in the ACC Tournament come March.