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Preview of Texas Road Trip
 
Duke Blows Out Houston Baptist, 104-35
Team Box
Duke Blows Out Houston Baptist, 104-35
By Rob Clough
November 14, 2009

  NUTSHELL     BOX     STATS  

The Nutshell


After a slow start, Duke crushed Houston Baptist 104-35. The Devils actually trailed 8-6 after coughing up the ball three times in the early going and missing easy shots. After that, the team relaxed and used their superior size and quickness to force 33 turnovers and hold the Huskies to 20% shooting. Here are a few thoughts on some key statistics:

1. 1-12 from three. Duke missed their first eleven treys, which only goes to show that as comfortable as you can get shooting at your own rims, an opponent's gym can confound you. This was a good lesson in trying to adjust to this difficulty. However, as long as Duke takes these shots inside-out, as opposed to jacking up threes, then the players should continue to take them. Duke needs balance and must force opponents to respect their range. That said, players shouldn't take threes out of the flow of the offense, just because they're available.

2. 23 turnovers. This was a more significant problem for Duke. Part of this can be chalked up to first-game jitters, but it was troubling to see Joy Cheek with 3 turnovers. Chelsea Hopkins continued to struggle with 1 assist against a team=high 6 turnovers, a continuation of a trend we've seen in the early season. On the plus side, Shay Selby shook off a rough first game with no turnovers, 2 assists and 2-3 shooting from the floor. Keturah Jackson also debuted and played extremely well, with 8 points, 2 assists and just 1 turnover.

3. Starting lineup. Even with KJ's return, I think the starting lineup is fine the way it is. There's some nice chemistry and good balance; they combined for 14 assists and 14 steals as an example. I like KJ as a reserve, sliding in at wing but also handling the ball. At this point, Bridgette Mitchell has proven that she belongs as a starter (18 points, 3 rebounds, 5 steals), as has Karima Christmas (10 points, 5 rebounds, 5 assists, 3 steals).

4. 62 rebounds. Every player had multiple rebounds, excepting Kathleen Scheer. Five players had 5 or more rebounds, with the center tandem of Krystal Thomas & Allison Vernerey combining for 21. Duke was bigger than HBU and should have outrebounded them, but +37 is impressive no matter how you slice it.

5. The freshmen. Duke's freshman class of Vernerey and Alexis Rogers didn't get a lot of hype coming in, but they've been nothing but solid thus far. Vernerey had a comparatively off game compared to what she's done so far, with 7 points, 9 rebounds, 2 blocks and 2 turnovers. She also fouled out, introducing her to the world of college basketball officiating. Vernerey is relentlessly aggressive going after loose balls and attacking the basket, and she'll have to learn when to dial back just a tad. Rogers simply makes plays, efficiently and with a minimum of fuss She debuted with 14 points, 7 rebounds, an assist, a block, 2 steals and 2 turnovers. Both are making a strong case to be part of Duke's extended rotation.



Preview of Texas Road Trip
 
Duke Blows Out Houston Baptist, 104-35
Team Box

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