Over the past few weeks DWHoops has counted down the ACC with three questions about each team. Today we conclude the series with our pick to win the ACC Regular Season, the Duke Blue Devils.
DWHoops 2011 ACC Prediction: #1
1. Are there enough creators to unclog the offense?
Duke had athletes galore at
nearly every position last year. What they didn't have was a lot of players who
could create their own offense or attack the basket. Jasmine Thomas, Karima
Christmas and Shay Selby were about it, and Selby sat much of the time. As a
result, a team with any quickness or a smart defensive scheme would often force
Duke into ugly shots or out-of-control drives. Adding frosh Chelsea Gray at
point guard could open things up for everyone, especially Thomas. Adding frosh
Richa Jackson could be that one-on-one shot-maker that Duke has lacked under
2. Who's playing power forward?
No one on the roster fits the bill at PF.
Posts Allison Vernerey and Krystal Thomas are both true back-to-the-basket
centers. If Haley Peters is strong enough to stand the rigors of elite
competition, her toughness could earn her a starting spot. Otherwise, you
might just see McCallie used the undersized but highly physical & athletic
Karima Christmas at this position, and start someone else at the wing.
3. Can Allison Vernerey progress significantly as a sophomore?
footwork, toughness, quickness and left-handed hook were fun to watch last
year. Opponents quickly figured out that Vernerey is a mediocre dribbler, a
poor shooter and unable to do much going right. Frankly, she needs to work
with someone to completely remake her form from the field and the foul line,
especially considering how often she gets fouled. One worries that suffering
an injury this summer might have prevented that sort of progression.