The Key Three: Duke basketball vs. Georgia Tech

The No. 16 Blue Devils will play their ACC home opener Tuesday night against Georgia Tech. It will be the team's first game since dropping a 79-77 decision to Notre Dame and subsequently falling out of the AP top 10 for the first time in 122 weeks. Here are the three keys to Duke rebounding from its tough loss with a win over the Yellow Jackets:

Get out to a quick start

Duke can't dwell on the past. The loss to Notre Dame surely left a bitter taste in the mouths of the players, and the best remedy for such an ailment is the sweet taste of an early lead. Quinn Cook will be relied upon to set the tone early both on offense by distributing to the open man, and on defense by stopping the Yellow Jacket guards from getting into the paint and creating the way Eric Atkins did so effectively for the Fighting Irish. A fast start for Duke will give the team confidence and energize both the players and the newly-returned Cameron Crazies for the entirety of the game.

Find Jabari Parker

The last game was all about getting Rodney Hood back involved after the redshirt sophomore struggled through his previous couple of contests. Hood responded in a big way, scoring 27 points against Notre Dame. Now, it's Parker who needs to rekindle the magic he's spun on the court this season. Coming off the worst game of his young career, the freshman must not lose his confidence and continue to play the aggressive brand of basketball that had him averaging 21.4 points per game before his seven-point dud against the Fighting Irish to open ACC play. A big game from the diaper dandy would go a long way in reassuring both the fans and the team itself that it can be a major player this March.

Crash the glass

Rebounding was a major issue for the Blue Devils against Notre Dame, getting outrebounded 39-30. Tuesday Duke takes on a Yellow Jackets team that is 29th in the nation with 40.1 boards per game. Led by 6-foot-8 sophomore Robert Carter, Jr. and 6-foot-11 senior Daniel Miller, Georgia Tech is a dangerous rebounding squad. Duke needs more production from big men Josh Hairston and Marshall Plumlee on the glass if it is going to take away easy opportunities from the Yellow Jackets and perhaps create some opportunities for itself. In a combined 13 minutes against Notre Dame the duo was held without a rebound—something that just cannot happen against Georgia Tech, or any future ACC opponent.


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