Updated 4:52 p.m.
ATLANTA – The most public of the consequences from Duke’s dreary effort against Temple on Wednesday night fell on junior forward Ryan Kelly.
While the entire Blue Devils team shared in the loss, Kelly was one of two players to be benched for Duke’s ACC opener against Georgia Tech, replaced in the starting lineup by Miles Plumlee. The other lineup change – Quinn Cook for Tyler Thornton at point guard – had as much to do with Cook’s ascension as anything Thornton did or did not do.
So while it might be convenient to say Kelly used his sudden status as a reserve as the impetus for his career-high 21 points in fifth-ranked Duke’s 81-74 victory over the Yellow Jackets on Saturday, Kelly said his motivation came from within.