GEORGIA TECH YELLOW JACKETS (10-5)
at DUKE BLUE DEVILS (15-1)
Cameron Indoor Stadium – Durham, NC
Tip-off: Thursday, 9:00 p.m. ET
Line: Duke -17, Total: 128.5
No. 3 Duke will look to bounce back from its first loss of the season as they host Georgia Tech at Cameron Indoor Stadium on Thursday night.
Despite the loss, Duke still has one of the best offenses in the country (79.1 PPG, 15th in Division I). Even after hitting just 6-of-20 three-pointers against NC State on Saturday, the Blue Devils are still hitting 41.8% of their 3-pointers this season, good for 7th-best in the nation. The Yellow Jackets have lost three straight SU and four in a row ATS, but are tough on the defensive end, holding opponents to 57.1 PPG on 37.1% FG and 29.7% from deep.
Will Duke blow out conference foe Georgia Tech on Thursday night? For the answer, connect to College Basketball Best Bets for all the Expert picks throughout the entire 2012-13 season. The StatFox experts have a collective 33-24 ATS (58%) mark in the past eight days, boosting them to 53% ATS (233-208-8) in college basketball Best Bets for the season, led by StatFox Gary, who sits at 59% ATS (54-38) for the season, while StatFox Dave is at 54.2% ATS (84-71-3) on the year. StatFox Scott is 51% ATS for the season, after going 59% ATS (10-7) since Jan. 7, and StatFox Brian is 67% ATS (6-3) in the past five days.
Swingman Marcus Georges-Hunt (team-high 10.9 PPG, 4.4 RPG) has been a pleasant surprise for the Yellow Jackets in his freshman season. He has struggled as an outside shooter, hitting just 28.6% of his 3-pointers, but has been one of the few reliable scorers for Georgia Tech, averaging 10.5 PPG this month despite making just 1-of-11 threes. Fellow freshman F Robert Carter (10.1 PPG, 6.5 RPG) has been similarly strong in his first campaign, despite similar shooting struggles (27.6% threes). He has at least a dozen points in six of his past eight games, averaging 12.4 PPG during this stretch. PG Mfon Udofia (10.0 PPG, 3.2 APG) is a rare veteran presence on this young squad and has scored double-digits in four consecutive games (12.0 PPG), while committing just four turnovers in 130 minutes during this stretch. Duke also needs to watch out for 6-foot-11 C Daniel Miller (7.3 PPG, 6.5 RPG), who is weighty and could give the Duke frontcourt some problems. He's pulled down 7+ rebounds in six straight games, including back-to-back, double-digit-rebound efforts.
National Player of the Year candidate PF Mason Plumlee (17.5 PPG, 11.4 RPG) paces the Duke offense. He has struggled a bit lately with 11.5 PPG in his past four contests, but is coming off a strong game against NC State (15 pts, 11 reb) and should thrive against this weaker frontcourt. SG Seth Curry (16.4 PPG) rolled his ankle in that loss to the Wolfpack, but should be just fine to play on Thursday night. And that’s key, because he is making 2.4 threes per game (42.4% 3-pt FG), and has three games of at least 22 points over his past five contests. Sophomore PG Quinn Cook (11.8 PPG, 6.2 APG) is coming into his own more every day and has recovered from an 0-for-11 night versus Wake Forest on Jan. 5 with 22.0 PPG on 56% FG in his past two games. In ACC play, Cook has 26 assists and just six turnovers in three games. The player who needs to step up offensively with F Ryan Kelly (13.4 PPG, 5.4 RPG) injured is freshman SG Rasheed Sulaimon (10.8 PPG). He began the year hot, but is just 7-of-32 (21.9%) from the field in the month of January and has just one double-digit performance in his past five contests.