For the first time during Jabari Parker's stellar freshman season, Duke must see if its star can move on from a forgettable performance and help his team do the same.
Looking to bounce back after dropping their ACC opener, Parker and the No. 16 Blue Devils try to continue their dominance over visiting Georgia Tech on Tuesday night.
Averaging 21.4 points and 8.0 rebounds heading into his first conference game, Parker missed his first four shots and finished 2 of 10 from the field Saturday, scoring a season-low seven points to go with four rebounds and two turnovers in a 79-77 loss at Notre Dame.
Parker also was not on the floor at the end of the game for the Blue Devils (11-3, 0-1), who dropped nine spots in the Top 25 after their five-game winning streak ended in their first true road contest.
"He is a human being," said coach Mike Krzyzewski, who endured an emotional week while traveling to Chicago for his brother's funeral. "He didn't play well. That is part of being a freshman. Hopefully he will recover quickly from that."
Krzyzewski could need Parker to get back on track simply to help the collective confidence of his team.
"The bottom line is that we just need to play better," said Krzyzewski, whose squad shot 41.4 percent and blew a 10-point second half lead but still had a chance in the end.
Rodney Hood scored a game-high 27 points but had a pass stolen by Notre Dame's Demetrius Jackson in the final 10 seconds.
"Starting 0-1 in conference play in this kind of conference is tough, but we can't dwell on it," said guard Quinn Cook, who had 22 points and shot 7 of 14.
Instead, the Blue Devils will focus on trying to extend their home winning streak to 25. Duke shot 48.9 percent and held opponents to 64.1 points per contest last season while winning all nine ACC home games by an average of 16.9 points.
It's won five straight and 29 of 32 overall against Georgia Tech (9-5, 0-1), including six in a row at home by an average of 16.0 points. The Blue Devils overcame a 40.0 percent shooting performance by holding the Yellow Jackets to 37.9 while scoring 28 points off 21 turnovers in a 73-57 home win Jan. 17.
Georgia Tech has dropped two of three following a 77-61 loss at Maryland on Saturday. It shot 38.3 percent while playing its first game since sophomore forward Robert Carter Jr., averaging 10.3 points and 9.3 rebounds, suffered a meniscus tear in his left knee during a 58-55 win at Charlotte on Dec. 29.
"It's a big adjustment," senior guard Trae Golden said. "He's a big part of our team. We just have to prepare."
Golden averages a team-leading 12.9 points, but shot 4 of 12 and missed all five 3-point attempts to finish with 10 against the Terrapins.
Yellow Jackets sophomore guard Chris Bolden had 20 points in last season's loss to Duke, but he's averaging 4.2 this season.
Playing its first ranked opponent of 2013-14, Georgia Tech snapped an 11-game slide against Top 25 teams with a 71-69 victory at then-No. 6 Miami on March 6.
The Associated Press News Service
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