Georgia Tech-Duke Preview
After capping an emotional week with an impressive road victory over the ACC's first-place team, Duke hopes its resiliency will keep paying off.
Back at Cameron Indoor Stadium for the first time in two weeks, the fourth-ranked Blue Devils look to continue their success over a Georgia Tech team seeking a second straight road win over a ranked opponent Wednesday night.
Three days after coach Mike Krzyzewski won his 1,000th game, Duke fell 77-73 at then-No. 8 Notre Dame on Wednesday. A day later, Krzyzewski announced the dismissal of key reserve Rasheed Sulaimon.
Needing something to lift their collective spirit and facing a third straight road contest, the Blue Devils (18-3, 5-3) overcame an 11-point deficit in the second half to hand then-No. 2 Virginia its first loss, 69-63 on Saturday.
"I'm proud of our guys," Krzyzewski said. "It's been a hell of a week for us. For our guys to have the wherewithal and toughness to win (Saturday) says a lot about them and our team."
Tyus Jones had 17 points and fellow freshman Justise Winslow added 15 with 11 rebounds as Duke shot 50.9 percent - the highest by a Virginia opponent in 2014-15 - and used a 16-5 second-half run to prevail.
"Coach kept confidence in us, and as a player that is very helpful," said guard Quinn Cook, who scored 15 and went 6 of 10 from the floor. Cook hit 10 of 18 from 3-point range during the three consecutive road games to end January.
Krzyzewski's players believe that fortitude displayed against the Cavaliers will serve them well the rest of the season.
"We have to keep moving forward, we always believe we can win," said Winslow, who has 28 points in two games after being held scoreless by St. John's during Krzyzewski's milestone victory Jan. 25.
Winning hasn't been a problem against Georgia Tech (10-11, 1-8), which looks to avoid an eighth consecutive defeat to Duke overall and at Cameron. Winners in 31 of the last 34 in the series, the Blue Devils won the last four meetings at Cameron by an average of 19.8 points.
Duke dominated last season's two matchups by a combined 39 points.
Though Georgia Tech entered this week last in the ACC, it shot a season-high 56.8 percent to win 70-50 at then-No. 23 Miami last Wednesday.
"We can compete with anybody in the country, in our opinion," said leading scorer Marcus Georges-Hunt, who had 24 points on 10-of-12 shooting in that contest.
Georgia Tech put up a valiant fight three days later but fell 81-80 on a 3-pointer at the buzzer in overtime versus North Carolina State. The Yellow Jackets, who trailed by nine at halftime, outrebounded the Wolfpack 49-31 but shot 39.7 percent compared to 48.4 for the visitors.
"We've got to figure out a way to keep bouncing back," coach Brian Gregory said. "The guys have been great. I've believe in them and they believe in what we're doing so we keep plugging away."
Excluding a 52-28 loss to Virginia on Jan. 22, Georgia Tech's other conference losses have all been by seven points or fewer.
Georges-Hunt, who scored 23 against N.C. State, has averaged 22.0 points and shot 60.0 percent in the last three games since averaging 10.2 and shooting 27.3 percent in the previous five.
He's averaged 9.7 points in three games versus Duke.
Georgia Tech last won back-to-back road games against Top 25 teams in 2003-2004. The final of those two victories was its most recent at Duke, 76-68 on March 3, 2004.