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Key three: Duke men's basketball must start off strong against Georgia Tech

<p>Vernon Carey Jr. will look to dominate down low against the Yellow Jackets.</p>

Vernon Carey Jr. will look to dominate down low against the Yellow Jackets.

The Blue Devils conclude a short road trip in Atlanta Wednesday, and the Blue Zone gives you three keys to a Duke victory over Georgia Tech:

Don't get stung by the Yellow Jackets 

The yellow jacket is a very pesky insect, and when it stings once, it incessantly continues. North Carolina figured out firsthand that the Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets do not stop once they get rolling out of the gates either, and despite the Tar Heels being a shell of the team they were expected to be, there is no taking away from Georgia Tech's impressive victory. Duke has shown a tendency to start out slow in the first ten minutes of games, leaving the team vulnerable to early deficits. 

If the Blue Devils do not want to suffer the same fate as their rivals, they will need to place an emphasis on getting to the rim from the tip and making sure that the Yellow Jackets never get an opportunity to sting.

Hit from the charity stripe

Georgia Tech sent North Carolina's Garrison Brooks to the free throw line 18 times in Saturday's contest. Brooks is big, physical and likes to score in the paint, much like Vernon Carey Jr. It is likely that Carey will get the same treatment from Georgia Tech, especially considering the tear that the freshman has been on. Carey has been streaky from the free throw line this season at 62 percent and will need to take advantage of the free points that the Yellow Jackets present him with. 

Force Georgia Tech to shoot from deep

The Yellow Jackets have really struggled from beyond the arc this year, shooting a cold 28.6 percent from the land of plenty. Georgia Tech was able to find success against the Tar Heels by dominating in the paint, and Duke is going to need to use its bigger rim protectors and the efforts of Tre Jones and Jordan Goldwire to deny the ball in the paint. Fortunately for the Blue Devils, their tough perimeter defense will allow them to sag in the paint and still force contested threes.