Inside The Chart: Georgia Tech vs. Duke

[Georgia Tech Athletics] Inside The Chart: Georgia Tech vs. Duke

By Andy Demetra | Voice of the Yellow Jackets

Josh Pastner will experience a “This is your coaching life” moment this weekend.

For the first time in his career, he’ll coach against someone he once hosted on a recruiting visit.

“I chased him around for two years,” Pastner recalled of his time as an assistant at Arizona in the mid-2000’s pursuing a silky, 6-5 junior guard from Northbrook, Ill., named Jon Scheyer.

Pastner’s recruiting chops were well-known at that point, but he knew he’d face stiff competition from Scheyer’s other finalists, Duke and Illinois.  Blue Devils head coach Mike Krzyzewski was a fellow Chicagoan who had plumbed that pipeline successfully throughout his career, and his assistant Chris Collins graduated from the same high school as Scheyer.  Scheyer’s high school coach was the brother of then-Illinois head coach Bruce Weber.

Yet optimism still ran high when Pastner and Arizona lined up Scheyer for an unofficial visit in April of 2005.  Scheyer and his family planned on arriving in Tucson on a Monday.

Then that Saturday, Arizona was stunned by Illinois in the NCAA Elite Eight, a result made more galling by the Wildcats blowing a 15-point lead in the final 4:04.  Instead of a festive atmosphere celebrating Arizona’s fifth Final Four appearance in school history, the mood in Tucson for Scheyer’s visit was downright funereal.

“It was awful,” Pastner said, smiling wistfully at the memory.

He couldn’t score the recruiting victory, but Pastner will aim for a more pertinent win this weekend.  After 42 years and 1,129 wins as Duke head coach, Krzyzewski retired last spring, handing the reins to his former shooting guard from Northbrook, Ill., 35-year-old Jon Scheyer.

If you can’t sign ‘em, beat ‘em.  Enjoy the rest of the top notes from my chart as Georgia Tech (8-11, 1-9 ACC) aims for a second straight home win over the Blue Devils (3 p.m. ET, Georgia Tech Sports Network from Legends Sports):

Could Deivon become the first player to lead Tech in rebounds and assists since Iman Shumpert? (photo by Danny Karnik)


Scheyer’s first team is led by a freshman who wears #30 in his honor.

A leading candidate for ACC Rookie of the Year, seven-foot stretch-forward Kyle Filipowski comes into McCamish Pavilion on a tear, averaging 23.0 points and 13.2 rebounds over his last four games.  Look for Duke to run cross screens to get him free, where he can back down defenders from the long post.  He’s a viable pick-and-pop threat, both at the top of the key or off an empty-side corner, and a shrewd passer out of double teams.  The Blue Devils will also run some ball screen continuity action with Filipowski and 6-10, 235-pound Ryan Young, a more traditional, cinderblock big whom Tech recruited hard out of the transfer portal from Northwestern.  Point guard Jeremy Roach (2nd team, 11.6 ppg), who recently returned from a toe injury, is Duke’s best shot creator off the dribble but has struggled in his career against Tech:

Jeremy Roach

Career: 3 ppgGT (3 games): 3.0 ppg (2-11 FG, 1-8 3pt.)

Injuries have played their part, but Duke ranks an uncharacteristic 13th in the ACC in field goal percentage (43.2%).  It’s tracking as their worst shooting percentage in a season since 1959-60.  They were dealt a further blow this week when 6-7 guard Dariq Whitehead, a 44-percent three-point shooter in conference play, suffered a lower leg injury against Virginia Tech.

So how do the Blue Devils compensate for that unevenness offensively?  By putting unrelenting pressure on the glass:  they also rank third nationally in offensive rebounding percentage (38.4%).

Can Tech return to its active, engaged ways in its zone, and force tentative, out-of-system shots from the Blue Devils?  If they switch to man-to-man, can they avoid foul trouble and not allow gaps to a Duke team that ranks in the 17th percentile in pick-and-roll efficiency according to Synergy?  Guards Tyrese Proctor (26.2%) and Jacob Grandison (33.3%) may not have numbers that suggest it, but they could be sneaky snipers against the Yellow Jackets’ zone.

Worth noting: Tech has faced two teams this year that rank in the top 50 nationally in offensive rebounding percentage.  The Yellow Jackets beat them both, holding Georgia and Miami each to a 33 percent OR%.  Guard rebounding and “winning the foot fight” played a key role in both games.


Pastner isn’t the only Tech coach with a recruiting connection to a #30 for the Blue Devils.  Filipowski’s twin brother Matt plays for Harvard, where his lead recruiter was Tech assistant coach Brian Eskildsen.  Harvard was actually Kyle’s second offer as a sophomore, though it became clear his skills and ambition would outgrow the Ivy League.  Before the start of Filipowski’s junior season, Eskildsen – who coached under former Duke assistant Tommy Amaker – told Scheyer that the Duke staff should keep an eye on him.

The Filipowskis also played their AAU ball for the New York Rens, better known as the program that produced a feisty, undersized point guard named Jose Alvarado.


Deivon Smith has put his 44.5-inch vertical to good use, and not just to soar up for spring-loaded, SportsCenter Top 10 dunks.

The junior from Loganville, Ga., who was a “DNP-CD” against Duke last year, recorded 11 points and 10 rebounds against Clemson, his third double-double in his last five games.

Since first charting assists as a statistic 56 years ago, only one Georgia Tech player has led the team in rebounds and assists in the same season.

Smith could become the second – with eerily similar numbers:

Led GT in rebounds + assistsPlayerYearRPGAPGIman Shumpert2010-115.93.5Deivon Smith2022-235.93.6 Which kind of bag will describe Deebo Coleman’s day on Saturday? (photo by Danny Karnik)


All players strive to be “in their bag.”

Some days it’s a Gucci.  Other days it’s a grocery.

No one has felt that back-and-forth more acutely than sophomore Deebo Coleman, who has endured some wild swings in his three-point shooting lately.

Opponent – 3pt.Notre Dame – 0-6Pittsburgh – 3-8N.C. State – 0-4Syracuse – 5-8Clemson – 1-7

He and the Jackets will need to get comfortable shooting over Duke’s length – the Blue Devils rank second in the ACC behind Tech in three-point defense (30.7%).  Duke prefers to stay home on defenders rather than shoot gaps or be overly frisky, as evidenced by their low steal rate in conference play (#14 ACC).  Mark Mitchell, a 6-8, 220-pound wing, is Duke’s most versatile man-to-man defender.  Miles Kelly could also be due after shooting just 4 of 23 from three-point range over his last three games.


Duke is only 1-4 in true road games, with its lone win a one-point escape at Boston College.

The last time Georgia Tech beat Duke in back-to-back home games?  1995 and 1996.

Can a raucous and resilient McCamish Pavilion crowd give Tech the lift it needs, and help deliver a hard-fought, long-sought ACC win?


Now that we’re prepared, we hope you are as well.  Join us for pregame starting at 2:30 p.m. ET on the Georgia Tech Sports Network from Legends Sports.  See you at McCamish.



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Georgia Tech’s men’s basketball team has completed six seasons under head coach Josh Pastner, winning the Atlantic Coast Conference championship in 2021 and making its first NCAA Tournament appearance in 11 years. Tech has been a member of the Atlantic Coast Conference since 1979, won four ACC Championships (1985, 1990, 1993, 2021), played in the NCAA Tournament 17 times and played in two Final Fours (1990, 2004). Connect with Georgia Tech Men’s Basketball on social media by liking their Facebook Page, or following on Twitter (@GTMBB) and Instagram. For more information on Tech basketball, visit