Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

Duke-Tech Rivalry Brewing?

Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

Duke-Tech Rivalry Brewing?

Article excerpt

ATLANTA -- For a series that has been laughably one-sided, this Georgia Tech-Duke rivalry has taken on a bit of a nasty edge.

In last year's Duke win in Atlanta, Blue Devils coach Mike Krzyzewski was critical of the game's physical nature, particularly the dueling elbows traded by Jackets forward Michael Isenhour and Duke center Carlos Boozer.

The rough stuff spilled into the stands at Cameron Indoor Stadium in this year's first matchup. Walking to her seat behind the Jackets' bench early in the game, Myung Akins, the mother of Tech point guard Tony Akins, was involved in an altercation with a Duke female undergraduate.

On the court, Duke resorted more to psychological tactics than physical. Only days removed from their loss at Florida State, Duke players were looking for anything that might help motivate them.

They found it when they came out for warm-ups and noticed that some of the Jackets had spilled over to the Duke side of midcourt during their stretching exercises. After the game, a couple Duke players talked about being "disrespected," a popular phrase in today's vernacular.

"We had a lot of emotion and were looking for something to get us motivated. We saw them stretching on our side of the court, which was a sign of disrespect," Boozer said. "That's very uncommon at Cameron. It doesn't happen at all. We have our side, they have their side. They violated our space.

"We saw that as a big sign of disrespect and we just came out and took it to them."

Sufficiently inspired, Duke jumped to a big early lead and cruised to a 104-79 victory. Tech coach Paul Hewitt has pulled off several surprises during his first two seasons, but he has yet to crack the Blue Devils. Duke is 3-0 against Tech since Hewitt took over for Bobby Cremins, winning by an average score of 100-70.

"Let's get right to it: I don't know how much emotion [Tech's shown]," Hewitt said. "They've blown us out three straight times. It's not like they've been barnburners. …

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