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  1. #1

    Duke MBB @ GT (1/28, 3:00 PM EST, ACCN) Pre-game and In-game Thread

    Duke looks to shake off its road woes against Georgia Tech on Saturday afternoon. The Ramblin' Wreck are off to a 1-9 start in ACC play with a curious win over Miami being the lone bright spot. Unlike the last team that Duke played that was 1-X in ACC play, this record appears to be earned. Now two seasons removed from an improbably ACC Tournament victory, Josh Pastner has struggled to sustain success in Atlanta. The Yellow Jackets have one of the worst high-major offenses in the nation and the defense leaves little to write home about. On the bright side, this is a young team. I guess that's good news for GT fans if you want to look forward to the 2024-25 season.

    The headliners on this team are a trio of sophomore wings. The leading scorer is 6'4" G Miles Kelly. The Georgia native is the only reliable shooting threat on the team. That is not saying much as GT ranks 297th in the nation in 3P% and takes very few. They aren't much better inside the arc, scoring just 47.4% of their 2-point attempts, good for 281st in the nation. Backing up Kelly are a pair of 6'6" wings, Dallan 'Deebo' Coleman and Jalon Moore. Coleman was a highly rated recruit coming out of high school and provides a little more offensive offensive threat away from the rim than Moore, who is a better rebounder and athlete. Moore will most likely be matched up on Kyle Filipowski in this one when GT plays man defense. The sophomores are backed up by 6'7" SR Javon Franklin, a former Auburn and South Alabama product that can run and jump with the best of them and looks to score around the rim exclusively. He leads the team in dunks with 20 on the season.

    Most of the rest of the GT roster consists of guards. The starting PG is 6'1" JR Deivon Smith, a true pass-first type of guard. If I were only hitting 44.4% of my FT attempts and shooting 23.7% from 3, I would look to pass the ball as well. The reserve PG is 6'3" SR Kyle Sturdivant. Like Smith, he has struggled with his shooting this year but can be relied upon to get the ball moving. Former Gardner-Webb standout Lance Terry, a 6'2" G, is more of a scoring-oriented type with the caveat that hardly anyone on the team shoots the ball well.

    Up front, the big man is 6'11" SR Rodney Howard. He's a big man at more than 240 lbs and does a little bit of this and that without standing out much. He averages close to 5 pts/5 rebs in 20 minutes per game. Howard is just about the only player with size, so it will be interesting to see if they play him more against Duke's big front line. It could be that Ryan Young is in the game whenever Howard is and then we see more of Dereck Lively II the rest of the time. Or perhaps Coach Scheyer will elect to have Filipowski and Mitchell be the frontcourt for stretches.

    On defense, Pastner likes to mix things up and throws out a lot of junk schemes - A 2-3 or 1-3-1 zone, man, forcing sidelines, etc. - for a few possessions to keep the opposition out of synch. That worked well when he had high-level ACC players like Jose Alvarado, Moses Wright, and Michael Devoe. Now? Not so much. The roster lacks the kind of talent the team needs to consistently compete in a mediocre ACC. One area where this team really struggles is on the boards, so expect Duke to gobble up a lot of GT misses. Duke needs positive vibes on the road before a crucial week at home against Wake Forest and UNC. Given the lump in the throat after Monday night's loss, I will be interested in seeing how Duke responds.

  2. #2
    With the caveat that all ACC road games are, yíknow, ACC road gamesÖ

    This is a game we should win and need to win, both because itís an outmanned opponent and because of its placement on the schedule.
       

  3. #3
    Quote Originally Posted by DavidBenAkiva View Post
    Duke looks to shake off its road woes against Georgia Tech on Saturday afternoon. The Ramblin' Wreck are off to a 1-9 start in ACC play with a curious win over Miami being the lone bright spot. Unlike the last team that Duke played that was 1-X in ACC play, this record appears to be earned. Now two seasons removed from an improbably ACC Tournament victory, Josh Pastner has struggled to sustain success in Atlanta. The Yellow Jackets have one of the worst high-major offenses in the nation and the defense leaves little to write home about. On the bright side, this is a young team. I guess that's good news for GT fans if you want to look forward to the 2024-25 season.

    The headliners on this team are a trio of sophomore wings. The leading scorer is 6'4" G Miles Kelly. The Georgia native is the only reliable shooting threat on the team. That is not saying much as GT ranks 297th in the nation in 3P% and takes very few. They aren't much better inside the arc, scoring just 47.4% of their 2-point attempts, good for 281st in the nation. Backing up Kelly are a pair of 6'6" wings, Dallan 'Deebo' Coleman and Jalon Moore. Coleman was a highly rated recruit coming out of high school and provides a little more offensive offensive threat away from the rim than Moore, who is a better rebounder and athlete. Moore will most likely be matched up on Kyle Filipowski in this one when GT plays man defense. The sophomores are backed up by 6'7" SR Javon Franklin, a former Auburn and South Alabama product that can run and jump with the best of them and looks to score around the rim exclusively. He leads the team in dunks with 20 on the season.

    Most of the rest of the GT roster consists of guards. The starting PG is 6'1" JR Deivon Smith, a true pass-first type of guard. If I were only hitting 44.4% of my FT attempts and shooting 23.7% from 3, I would look to pass the ball as well. The reserve PG is 6'3" SR Kyle Sturdivant. Like Smith, he has struggled with his shooting this year but can be relied upon to get the ball moving. Former Gardner-Webb standout Lance Terry, a 6'2" G, is more of a scoring-oriented type with the caveat that hardly anyone on the team shoots the ball well.

    Up front, the big man is 6'11" SR Rodney Howard. He's a big man at more than 240 lbs and does a little bit of this and that without standing out much. He averages close to 5 pts/5 rebs in 20 minutes per game. Howard is just about the only player with size, so it will be interesting to see if they play him more against Duke's big front line. It could be that Ryan Young is in the game whenever Howard is and then we see more of Dereck Lively II the rest of the time. Or perhaps Coach Scheyer will elect to have Filipowski and Mitchell be the frontcourt for stretches.

    On defense, Pastner likes to mix things up and throws out a lot of junk schemes - A 2-3 or 1-3-1 zone, man, forcing sidelines, etc. - for a few possessions to keep the opposition out of synch. That worked well when he had high-level ACC players like Jose Alvarado, Moses Wright, and Michael Devoe. Now? Not so much. The roster lacks the kind of talent the team needs to consistently compete in a mediocre ACC. One area where this team really struggles is on the boards, so expect Duke to gobble up a lot of GT misses. Duke needs positive vibes on the road before a crucial week at home against Wake Forest and UNC. Given the lump in the throat after Monday night's loss, I will be interested in seeing how Duke responds.
    Yea, that Miami game was really an anomaly. I watched most of it...GT didnt play particularly well, they did knock down more 3's than normal. It was really a result of Miami just being abysmal on the offensive end, as they couldnt throw it in the ocean from a boat. Like 35% from the floor and something like 10% from 3?

  4. #4
    Quote Originally Posted by bshrader View Post
    Yea, that Miami game was really an anomaly. I watched most of it...GT didnt play particularly well, they did knock down more 3's than normal. It was really a result of Miami just being abysmal on the offensive end, as they couldnt throw it in the ocean from a boat. Like 35% from the floor and something like 10% from 3?
    That Miami game was a true outlier for the Hurricanes. They shot 5-32 from 3 and even missed 8 FTs. GT scored 1.07 pts/possession, so it's not like they were on fire, either. GT only had 3 steals in the game. Just a horrid shooting night for them. Let's hope Duke doesn't have a similar fate.

  5. #5
    Quote Originally Posted by DavidBenAkiva View Post
    That Miami game was a true outlier for the Hurricanes. They shot 5-32 from 3 and even missed 8 FTs. GT scored 1.07 pts/possession, so it's not like they were on fire, either. GT only had 3 steals in the game. Just a horrid shooting night for them. Let's hope Duke doesn't have a similar fate.
    Ahh, so their 3-pt shooting wasn't as bad as I gave them credit for.

  6. #6
    Quote Originally Posted by Matches View Post
    With the caveat that all ACC road games are, yíknow, ACC road gamesÖ

    This is a game we should win and need to win, both because itís an outmanned opponent and because of its placement on the schedule.
    GT is horrific this year. 163 overall on Kenpom. The O is 215 and the D is 130. I expect Duke to be a 9.5ish point favorite based off my gut instinct. I would expect a pretty convincing Duke win. If Duke drops this one, hoo boy. I donít even want to go there!

  7. #7
    Quote Originally Posted by CameronDuke View Post
    GT is horrific this year. 163 overall on Kenpom. The O is 215 and the D is 130. I expect Duke to be a 9.5ish point favorite based off my gut instinct. I would expect a pretty convincing Duke win. If Duke drops this one, hoo boy. I donít even want to go there!
    And we definitely know we don't want me to go there!

  8. #8
    Interesting stat on Lively, and I apologize if its been mentioned already, but I ran across it in another Duke group I'm a member of...

    Lively is 5th in the nation in "Hakeem Percentage" (I am assuming it's named after Olajuwon), which is Steal % + Block %.

    He carries a 14.4% stat on this.

    So there ya go.

  9. #9
    Quote Originally Posted by bshrader View Post
    Interesting stat on Lively, and I apologize if its been mentioned already, but I ran across it in another Duke group I'm a member of...

    Lively is 5th in the nation in "Hakeem Percentage" (I am assuming it's named after Olajuwon), which is Steal % + Block %.

    He carries a 14.4% stat on this.

    So there ya go.
    I've not seen that referred to as the Hakeem Percentage, but I love it. I've seen drafnics talk about "stocks" (steals + blocks) as one of the key indicators they look at to project defensive upside.

    Looking at the Hakeem Percentage of some recent Duke big men:

    Jahlil Okafor, 2015: 6.0%.
    Marshall Plumlee, 2016: 6.2%
    Amile Jefferson, 2017: 7.2%
    Wendell Carter, Jr, 2018: 9.3%
    Marques Bolden, 2019: 10.1%
    Vernon Carey, Jr., 2020: 7.4%
    Mark Williams, 2021: 11.8%
    Mark Williams, 2022: 12.6%
    Dereck Lively II: 14.6%

    Source: Sports Reference

    Zion Williamson was at 9.7%, which is pretty absurd for a forward. Then again, most of what Zion does is absurd. Unfortunately, we don't have the percentages for Shane Battier. He had Zion-esque steal and block number per 40 minutes throughout his career.

  10. #10
    scottdude8's Avatar
    scottdude8 is online now Moderator, Contributor, Zoubek disciple, and resident Wolverine
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    As mentioned in a few other threads, if we can get through this game unscathed we're likely to avoid a "bad" loss on our resume, since the only remaining Q3/4 games will be at home against the very bottom of the ACC.

    With that in mind, and considering Whitehead likely won't play (no inside info, just based on what the injury looked like on Monday), I don't care how we win, just that we do. If it's ugly, I don't care. If it's close, I don't care. If we shoot 10% from 3, I don't care. Just get this win, build our confidence on the road, and then start getting ready for UNC.
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  11. #11
    Quote Originally Posted by scottdude8 View Post
    As mentioned in a few other threads, if we can get through this game unscathed we're likely to avoid a "bad" loss on our resume, since the only remaining Q3/4 games will be at home against the very bottom of the ACC.

    With that in mind, and considering Whitehead likely won't play (no inside info, just based on what the injury looked like on Monday), I don't care how we win, just that we do. If it's ugly, I don't care. If it's close, I don't care. If we shoot 10% from 3, I don't care. Just get this win, build our confidence on the road, and then start getting ready for UNC.
    Dont forget the game with Wake before then! Just cant look ahead with this team!

    In all seriousness though, agreed that getting the win is the most important aspect, regardless of how it's done.

  12. #12
    Quote Originally Posted by CameronDuke View Post
    GT is horrific this year. 163 overall on Kenpom. The O is 215 and the D is 130. I expect Duke to be a 9.5ish point favorite based off my gut instinct. I would expect a pretty convincing Duke win. If Duke drops this one, hoo boy. I donít even want to go there!
    I donít want to go there and I hope Duke doesnít want to go there. We should win BUT, it is a road game and I fully expect Ga Tech to play their absolute best game of the season. Doesnít everybody play their best game against Duke? Like it was mentioned up thread, I also donít care how we have to do it, just get the WIN!
       

  13. #13
    For the sake of noting it in the pre-game thread:

    Brendan Marks
    @BrendanRMarks

    Jon Scheyer says that Dariq Whitehead will not play Saturday vs. Georgia Tech, but did NOT suffer a season-ending injury vs. Virginia Tech.

    "I think he got a lot of relief once we did the testing."

    Adds that Whitehead had no structural damage.
    12:49 PM ∑ Jan 26, 2023

  14. #14
    Quote Originally Posted by scottdude8 View Post
    As mentioned in a few other threads, if we can get through this game unscathed we're likely to avoid a "bad" loss on our resume, since the only remaining Q3/4 games will be at home against the very bottom of the ACC.

    With that in mind, and considering Whitehead likely won't play (no inside info, just based on what the injury looked like on Monday), I don't care how we win, just that we do. If it's ugly, I don't care. If it's close, I don't care. If we shoot 10% from 3, I don't care. Just get this win, build our confidence on the road, and then start getting ready for UNC.
    I'll slightly disagree. I want to see a win and a good performance. I'd like to see signs of the top 20ish team that Duke looked like through the middle of December. To be sure, this wouldn't be the first Duke team to hit the doldrums in January before really turning things on. A nice convincing win could be the first step. A repeat of the game @ BC would not make me feel good about this team's progress.

  15. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dr. Maturin View Post
    I'll slightly disagree. I want to see a win and a good performance. I'd like to see signs of the top 20ish team that Duke looked like through the middle of December. To be sure, this wouldn't be the first Duke team to hit the doldrums in January before really turning things on. A nice convincing win could be the first step. A repeat of the game @ BC would not make me feel good about this team's progress.
    I am sure that Scott would prefer a nice, convincing win this weekend. He's just saying he'll also be happy with any sort of win.

    As Matches said, this is a game we should, and really really want to, win. Losing wouldn't be season-crushing, but it would bring the bubble firmly into discussion. Winning would continue to keep us above the bubble fray so to speak. On top of that, it would be nice to show signs of being a top-25 team again, as it has been a while since we've played like that for more than a game here or there (basically, since the FSU game which finished a stretch of 5 out of 6 games with excellent play). Since then we've had the Miami game and then a bunch of results that look like a bubble team or worse.

    But really the key at this point is winning the games we're supposed to win, and trying to pick of a game here or there that we're supposed to lose. If the team can do that, they'll be in fine shape come selection day. If they can do better than that, well, better.

    But step one is winning the games we're supposed to win. And that includes this weekend, where we are 5-pt favorites according to Torvik.

  16. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by CDu View Post
    But step one is winning the games we're supposed to win. And that includes this weekend, where we are 5-pt favorites according to Torvik.
    The algorithms are overrating Duke by 7 points outside Cameron this year on average. I'll be happy with BC part 2 on the scoreboard. (Yes, I channel Dana Carvey's McLaughlin parody from 1990 on occasion.)

    McCamish (nee Alexander Memorial Coliseum) needs to be at least 50-50 Duke on Saturday.

  17. #17
    Quote Originally Posted by scottdude8 View Post
    As mentioned in a few other threads, if we can get through this game unscathed we're likely to avoid a "bad" loss on our resume, since the only remaining Q3/4 games will be at home against the very bottom of the ACC.

    With that in mind, and considering Whitehead likely won't play (no inside info, just based on what the injury looked like on Monday), I don't care how we win, just that we do. If it's ugly, I don't care. If it's close, I don't care. If we shoot 10% from 3, I don't care. Just get this win, build our confidence on the road, and then start getting ready for UNC.
    After this game I'd prefer Duke start getting ready for a Wake team that already boat raced Duke this season. We'll have plenty of time to obsess about UNC.

  18. #18
    Whiteheadís absence means available minutes. Iím hoping for fewer minutes from Filipowski, more minutes from Grandison, and a 2-3-minute first-half appearance by Schutt.

    Donít wear out Filipowski. Give him sufficient rest so heís fresh at the end, in case itís close.

    Grandison strikes me as one who plays with purpose. Because he lacks an excellent handle for a perimeter guy, heís not a threat to score big. But heís always moving, gets a few assists, makes an occasional 3, plays solid defense, seems to be a talker (not trash, the good team kind).

    Itís hard for me to believe Schutt couldnít guard the least skillful GT guard for a 2-3-minute stretch, so that Scheyer could design a set or 2 on O to get him free to shoot. Iíd prefer to see Schutt for a few minutes than Blakes, whose excellent D wouldnít seem a special need in this game. If one of the GT guards gets hot, by all means sic Blakes on him. Otherwise, give Schutt a chance in this game.

    Generally hope Scheyer has them focused on getting the ball inside and to the rim. A few 3s, yes, but inside often, O-boards. Filipowski is quite effective on following his own close-in shot.

    Also, Iíd sure like to see every Duke player who shoots a 3 follow, rather than admire, his shot. Every time. I expect to be disappointed in this matter, and to fulminate. Every time.

  19. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by gumbomoop View Post
    Whiteheadís absence means available minutes. Iím hoping for fewer minutes from Filipowski, more minutes from Grandison, and a 2-3-minute first-half appearance by Schutt.

    Donít wear out Filipowski. Give him sufficient rest so heís fresh at the end, in case itís close.

    Grandison strikes me as one who plays with purpose. Because he lacks an excellent handle for a perimeter guy, heís not a threat to score big. But heís always moving, gets a few assists, makes an occasional 3, plays solid defense, seems to be a talker (not trash, the good team kind).

    Itís hard for me to believe Schutt couldnít guard the least skillful GT guard for a 2-3-minute stretch, so that Scheyer could design a set or 2 on O to get him free to shoot. Iíd prefer to see Schutt for a few minutes than Blakes, whose excellent D wouldnít seem a special need in this game. If one of the GT guards gets hot, by all means sic Blakes on him. Otherwise, give Schutt a chance in this game.

    Generally hope Scheyer has them focused on getting the ball inside and to the rim. A few 3s, yes, but inside often, O-boards. Filipowski is quite effective on following his own close-in shot.

    Also, Iíd sure like to see every Duke player who shoots a 3 follow, rather than admire, his shot. Every time. I expect to be disappointed in this matter, and to fulminate. Every time.
    Yeh, get Shutt ready for him to be the Fred Lind game against the Cheats. I'm with you on Grandison. He seems to be the logical choice to take Whiteheads minutes. As for Blakes, I hope he plays without the mask. It's not frightening anyone, but it may be affecting his shooting. He seems to have cooled off lately, but that began before the mask. I hope Lively plays more and gives Young some rest as well. Hopefully this will be game that Reeves and crew can take up some minutes for Flip. And please guys, don't take the win for granted.

    GoDuke!

  20. #20
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    I'm also of the belief that Grandison needs to be the one to get the bulk of the minutes available in Whitehead's absence. I do think he will shoot better if given more playing time - it has to be so hard to go through warmups, sit on the bench for 30 minutes, then come in and immediately hit a three. Let him get into the flow and see what he can do. The comparison to Matt Jones has been made, he does play a similar role but I think he can provide even more. I know others are pining for Schutt but I don't see him or Reeves being the answer, I would rather get more out of Grandison and Lively. And hopefully with the long break since the Monday game we'll get a better game out of Roach.

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