Coming off of their first loss of the season at the hands of the North Carolina State Wolfpack this past Saturday, the No. 3 Duke Blue Devils return to the court on Thursday night as they will host the Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets.
Duke (15-1, 2-1) will look to get back to their winning ways, still without senior forward Ryan Kelly who is sidelined indefinitely with a right foot injury. Kelly’s absence during the North Carolina State was one of the main contributing factors for the Blue Devils’ first loss of the season. His length and versatility on both ends of the floor were clearly missed, especially on the defensive end, as Duke had it’s worst defensive game of the season by allowing the Wolfpack to score 1.17 points per possession. In Kelly’s absence, one of the few bright spots on Saturday was the play of junior forward Josh Hairston and freshman forward Amile Jefferson. Both players combined for 18 points and nine rebounds in 36 minutes of action.
Seth Curry led Duke in defeat with a team-high 22 points; however, he missed the final three minutes of the game after suffering a left ankle sprain. Curry, who has also been playing with a right shin injury all season, is not expected to miss any time and will get the start on Thursday.
Currently on a three-game losing streak, Georgia Tech (10-5, 0-3) remains the lone team in the ACC without a conference victory. Their last time out, they suffered an overtime loss to Virginia Tech, 80-75, in which they held an 11-point lead midway through the second half.
Freshman Marcus Georges-Hunt leads the Yellow Jackets in scoring with 10.9 points per game. Fellow freshman Robert Carter Jr. is second on the team in scoring with just over 10 points per game and is the team leader in rebounding with 6.5 rebounds per game.
Thursday’s game will tip at approximately 9:05 PM ET on ESPN. It will also be broadcast live on the Blue Devil IMG Sports Network (Sirius/XM – 91).
By The Numbers
• Duke is 15-1 on the year after suffering its first loss of the season, 84-76, on the road at No. 20
N.C. State. Duke is 15-1 for the 11th time in the last 19 seasons under Mike Krzyzewski.
• The Blue Devils are ranked No. 3 in both the AP Poll and the USA Today Coaches Poll. Duke has been ranked in the AP Top 10 for 104 consecutive weeks.
• Duke is 9-0 at home this season with home ACC wins over Wake Forest and Clemson. Duke is outscoring opponents by 22.8 points per game in Cameron Indoor Stadium this season while averaging 80.6 points per game. Duke is 793-153 (.838) in Cameron, including a 435-57 (.884) mark under Coach K.
• Duke and Kansas are the only two teams in the country to be ranked in the top five in the AP and Coaches polls, the NCAA RPI and SOS rankings.
• Duke is 14-1 since the 2009-10 season following a loss.
• Duke has been ranked in the top 10 of the poll 104 consecutive weeks. The last time Duke was not ranked in the top 10 was Nov. 19, 2007.
• Duke is playing its 193rd straight game as a top-10 team in the AP poll. Duke is 161-31 in that span.
• Under Coach K, Duke is 400-162 (.712) against teams currently in the ACC.
• Duke landed in the No. 1 spot in the first edition of the NCAA’s Ratings Percentage Index (RPI). Duke is one of only two teams in the country to be ranked in the top five in the AP Poll (No. 3), Coaches Poll (No. 3), NCAA RPI (No. 1) and Strength of Schedule index (No. 2). Duke is the only team in the top three on all four lists.
• Duke is 14-1 since the 2009-10 season following a loss.
• Duke has won 109 games since the start of the 2009-10 season, ranked as the fourth-most in the NCAA over that span behind only Kansas, Kentucky and Ohio State.
Duke-Georgia Tech Series
• Duke leads the all-time series 65-23, including a 31-5 at Cameron Indoor Stadium.
• Duke is 50-18 against Georgia Tech under Coach K.
• Duke has won the last four meetings in the series and 28 of the last 31 contests overall.
• Duke has won five straight games against Georgia Tech in Cameron Indoor Stadium. Duke’s last home-court loss to Georgia Tech came on March 3, 2004.
• Seth Curry averages 12.0 points per game in his career versus Georgia Tech.
Duke vs. the Atlantic Coast Conference
• Duke is 899-490 all-time in the regular season against teams currently in the ACC (includes games when those teams were not members of the ACC).
• Under Coach K, Duke is 337-141 against the ACC in the regular season and 53-18 in the ACC Tournament. Krzyzewski ranks second in ACC history with 390 career league wins.
• Duke has dominated the ACC regular season since 1997, logging a 206-53 record during that span which is 34 more wins than the next closest school.
Duke Player Statistics
• Duke has the most productive starting lineup in the country. Duke’s starters average an NCAA- best 68.6 points per game.
• The group has combined to account for 86.8 percent of Duke’s total scoring this season, which is the second-highest percentage in the nation.
• The Blue Devils are averaging just 9.0 made free throws per game and have not made more than 11 free throws in a game in ACC play. In non-conference play, Duke made 17.8 free throws per contest with 20 or more made free throws in seven contests.
• Quinn Cook ranks second in the ACC in assists at 6.2 apg. Bobby Hurley (1990-93), Dick Groat (1952), Jason Williams (2000-01), Chris Duhon (2003-04) and Quin Snyder (1989) are the only other Blue Devils to average over 6.0 assists per game in a season.
• Mason Plumlee has led the Blue Devils in rebounding in 14 straight games and in 15 of Duke’s 16 games this season. He leads the ACC in both double-doubles (10) and double-figure rebounding games (11).
• Plumlee has recorded three games with 20+ points and 15+ rebounds this season, tied for the second-most in a season under Coach K.
• With Ryan Kelly sidelined with a right foot injury, Josh Hairston and Amile Jefferson combined for 18 points on 9-of-14 shooting to go along with nine rebounds and two blocks from the forward spot in Saturday’s loss to N.C. State.
• Seth Curry along with his older brother, Stephen, have combined to score 4,370 career points. The Currys are eight points from moving past Chuck and Wesley Person (Auburn) and into third place among the top brother scoring tandems in NCAA history. Curry has scored 1,735 career points, including 1,028 points as a member of the Duke program.
By Chad Lykins
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