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HomeSportsBasketballNo. 7 Duke takes 'next play' mentality to Georgia Tech

No. 7 Duke takes ‘next play’ mentality to Georgia Tech


No. 7 Duke heads from Arkansas in Atlanta to open Atlantic Coast Conference play against host Georgia Tech on Saturday.

After trailing by one point at halftime, the Blue Devils (5-2) fell behind Arkansas by as many as 14 in an 80-75 setback on Wednesday.

Duke head coach Jon Scheyer’s group faced a raucous crowd in a record-setting attendance of 20,344 fans at Bud Walton Arena in Fayetteville, Ark.

“I don’t care if you’re experienced or not, I don’t think you see many environments like this,” Scheyer said. “It’s a different kind of thing. For our freshman, I thought they needed to experience this. Our veterans have seen environments like this, we need them to provide poise and toughness.”

One “veteran” is sophomore Kyle Filipowski, who collected 26 points and 10 rebounds. Jeremy Roach, a rare Duke four-year senior, added 22 points on 7-for-13 shooting from the field.

The Blue Devils now have to prepare for Georgia Tech, a program they have dominated over recent seasons. Since 2010, Duke has lost just one game to the Yellow Jackets, including an 86-43 drubbing in Atlanta last season.

Scheyer is building a “next play, next game” mentality with his young club.

“You have to have a short memory,” Scheyer said. “(Georgia Tech) is at home resting today, they weren’t on the road. For us, we’re going to have a day and a half to prepare, and then it’s an early game on Saturday.”

Filipowski, the ACC preseason player of the year, added to his high-scoring season on Wednesday and leads the team with 19.9 points per game. He is also the team’s top rebounder at 8.3 per game. Roach is second in scoring at 13.0 points per contest, and Tyrese Proctor is averaging 11.7.

Georgia Tech (3-2) is riding high following the first premier victory of the Damon Stoudamire era, a 67-59 win over No. 21 Mississippi State at home on Tuesday.

After a loss to UMass Lowell on Nov. 14 and a 35-point defeat at Cincinnati on Nov. 22, the first-year head coach received a much-needed performance from Georgia Tech junior Miles Kelly on Tuesday.

Kelly led the team with 22 points and 12 rebounds against the Bulldogs en route to the first double-double of his college career.

“To me, Miles is an all-league, All-American type player,” Stoudamire said. “He has to be good for us every night. I was proud of him today. With 12 rebounds, I think he is a bit tougher than most think.”

Kelly started 27 of 33 games last season for then-coach Josh Pastner, and averaged 14.4 points per game. Through five contests this season, Kelly leads the Yellow Jackets at 19.4 points per contest and is contributing 6.6 rebounds.

Dallan “Deebo” Coleman and Kowacie Reeves Jr. are tied for second on the team at 10.8 points per game.

The last Georgia Tech win over Duke was on March 2, 2021, and was its first since Jan. 9, 2010, a game in which now Blue Devil coach Scheyer scored 25 points for Duke.

–Field Level Media

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