Gottlieb on GT's upset of Duke

Some thoughts from Georgia Tech's upset of Duke:

Few teams have the inside talent of Georgia Tech. That tandem of Gani Lawal and Derrick Favors proved to be too tough for Duke. For Tech, this win was huge. Plenty of people jumped off the bandwagon after the Yellow Jackets lost to Georgia in Athens. Newsflash: Georgia Tech ALWAYS loses to Georgia in Athens. Even Lethal Weapon Three (the 1990 Final Four team) lost there.

Bobby Cremins never won in Athens, so it was not as bad a loss as some would make you believe. The big key for Georgia Tech was that it used Lawal extensively late in the game. At times the Tech guards have been selfish in clutch situations. In this case, Lawal was the focal point of the offense, which is the right thing to do -- Iman Shumpert is kind of just "another guy" and Derrick Favors rarely sees the ball at the block.

Tech got some huge free throws from freshman Mfon Udofia and "only" turned it over 15 times. It's a good start for the Yellow Jackets as we continue to search for a consistent challenger to Duke for the conference title.

Speaking of the Blue Devils, Jon Scheyer continues to seemingly do everything right while Kyle Singler struggles. Tech used longer, bigger defenders on Scheyer and that slowed him some, but he still went for 25. Meanwhile, Singler seems to be a little uncomfortable on the perimeter still as his passing is just OK and he does not have the first step to create space for himself. The result is a lot of contested jumpers off stepback moves and the 2-for-13 shooting speaks for itself.

In terms of professional prospects Scheyer is probably not an NBA player, but his Jewish faith allows him to get an Israeli passport and he would be one of the most coveted players EVER for a team like Maccabi Tel Aviv. Singler on the other hand -- and I love his overall offensive repertoire -- is kind of a tweener, but he has 20 more games to show improved guard play. Nolan Smith tweaked his ankle today. The Devils are not deep in the backcourt, so an injury would be problematic. By the way, Duke has now lost five of its last seven conference road games and are 0-2 overall on the road this season.

The Blue Devils are still very solid, but they do not have any legit inside scoring with Singler on the wing and they cannot have one of their big three have a bad game offensively if they want to win on the road.