ATLANTA -- Duke senior Greg Koubek hasn't taken hi demotion this season personally.
He knows that his coach, Mike Krzyzewski, has to use his best players at the right time. All Koubek can hope is that he'll be sharp and ready when the seventh-ranked Blue Devils need him.
"There's a lot of talent on this team," said Koubek, a 6-foot-6 senior forward. "I just have to keep going out there and knowing my role."
Last night, Koubek, who scored just three points in Duke's 77-75 win over No. 23 Georgia Tech, did what is commonly known as "the little things that don't show up in the box score."
But when he dived in front of the Duke bench as time was running out to keep a rebound in play, it was as if he had scored the game-winning basket himself.
Actually, his teammate, sophomore forward Thomas Hill, did that on a lay-in just before the buzzer, but even Hill had to acknowledge that his heroics wouldn't have been possible without Koubek's sprawl.
"That was the game-winner right there," said Hill, who scored 20 points off the bench.
"Maybe the biggest play of the game was Greg Koubek extending his body on the floor to get that loose ball," said Krzyzewski.
"I don't remember too much about games after we've played them, but I'll always remember Greg getting that loose ball."
On the last sequence, Hill, who made a putback shot after a block by Tech's Ivano Newbill, was fouled by Newbill on the successful follow with 27 seconds left.
Hill missed the free throw, but Christian Laettner tipped the rebound out toward Koubek, who dived to get the ball out to Bobby Hurley. Without calling time, Hurley tossed to Hill, who was open inside.
"You can't think about it. You have to react, because if you think about it, the play is over," said Koubek.
"Once they got the rebound on the missed shot, we were at their mercy," said Tech coach Bobby Cremins, whose Yellow Jackets fell to 12-6, 4-3 in the Atlantic Coast Conference. "I was hoping for overtime at that point."
The Blue Devils (17-4, 6-2 ACC) stayed in the game despite foul trouble by their big men -- Laettner and Crawford Palmer -- and another miraculous performance by Tech's Kenny Anderson, who had 32 points and a school-record eight steals.
"Kenny was special tonight," said Krzyzewski. "Some people get on me for using the word special, but when they talk about Kenny Anderson, it's very appropriate."
But, in snapping the Yellow Jackets' eight-game home winning streak and disappointing an Alexander Memorial Coliseum record crowd of 10,113, the Blue Devils, and particularly Koubek, were a little special too.