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Devils In Detail - Seniors
By Rob Clough
October 13, 2010

A Look at Duke's Senior Class


Editor's Note: Devils in Detail is a periodic DWHoops feature that looks closely at Duke's roster. Our special preseason edition continues with a look at Duke's senior class.


Karima Christmas

Key Stats: 9.6 ppg, 5.3 rpg, 2.1 spg
Karima Christmas
Karima Christmas scores from distance in Greensboro where she was named to the All-ACC Tournament First Team.

The Overview: Karima had a very good season that was slowed slightly by an injury to her hand that left her lacking confidence at times in her shot. There were also games where foul trouble also slowed her down, which served to reduce her overall aggressiveness. On the other hand, when Karima was engaged and attacking the rim, Duke became a very difficult team to stop. Her strength and agility made her the one Duke player who had success against Baylor's Brittney Griner, posting a double-double. She also averaged 13 ppg in the ACC tournament and got to the line 12 times against a brutally physical Georgia Tech team. In general, Karima was on a scoring tear down the stretch in the ACC's regular season and postseason, with only one game in single figures until the NCAA game with LSU. She still had a number of big plays in that game. Simply put, her combination of muscle, aggressiveness, explosiveness and agility allowed her to shift between guard, wing and power forward, and play any of these positions quite well.

Next Steps: Hopefully Karima's hand is completely healed up after the summer break. This season her on-ball defense could use a little work, especially in terms of moving her feet laterally against quick opponents. She will be in a position to take a lot of open threes, and she needs to hit them. Other than that, Karima should be ready to emerge as a consistent double-digit scorer next season.


Jasmine Thomas

Key Stats: 16 ppg, 4 rpg, 3.1 apg, 2.5 spg, 36% 3FG
Jasmine Thomas
Jasmine Thomas was a deserving ACC Tournament MVP, carrying Duke to their sixth ACC title. She also won the Kay Yow award as ACC Scholar-Athlete of the Year.

The Overview: Jasmine had one of the ten greatest seasons of any Duke player ever in 2010. She still has flaws as a player, but her sheer guts and mental toughness made her a fearsome matchup for most opponents. She scored in double figures in all but four games, and scored 20 or more points on ten different occasions. She also hit the boards, ran the offense and played tough defense. She was the deserving MVP of the ACC tournament, scoring 18 in the title game against NC State. She tore up the NCAA tournament until she shot 4-18 against Baylor. She lit up San Diego State for 29 points and LSU for 15. Jasmine improved in nearly every area as a junior. She improved her shooting (especially from long range), she cut down on turnovers, she ran the team efficiently and became a steadier defender. When her pull-up jumper was dropping, she became an unguardable player--and one who looked for her shots. There was nothing quite like a Jasmine scoring flurry to get the crowd going.

Next Steps: Considering that Chelsea Gray will likely take over a lot of the heavy lifting in terms of running the team, Jasmine will really need to concentrate on becoming a smoother outside shooter. Her form is a bit odd and can result in a lot of consecutive misses. While generally a player who possesses a great deal of mental toughness, there were times when Jasmine speeded up too much, playing out of control. That happened at the end against Baylor, among other games. Jasmine will need to take Gray immediately under her wing and get her to understand where she likes to get the ball. Jasmine will be hunting her shot even more than usual next year, and she has to become a more efficient scorer to give her team its best shot at winning big.


Krystal Thomas

Krystal Thomas
Krystal Thomas has earned a reputation as a feared shot blocker.

Key Stats: 7.3 ppg, 6.6 rpg, 2 bpg

What She's Accomplished: In her first season as a starter, Krystal proved herself to be an exceptional defender and very good rebounder. It wasn't just that she blocked a lot of shots (though she did), it was the way she moved her feet to always force herself between her opponent and the basket. Possessing excellent balance and body control, Krystal's wiry strength made her very difficult to move out from under the basket. It was telling that Duke fell apart against Baylor when she fouled out. Krystal's offense is another matter. She lost her starting job several times when she failed to present herself as a viable scoring threat. Her teammates didn't always do a good job of looking for her inside, but she didn't always forcefully demand the ball and then know what to do with it when she got it. Krystal can hit a jump-hook with either hand, but rarely seemed to get in good position to do so. She extended her range out to about 15' but looked awkward taking that shot. While she no longer has the pure explosiveness that she possessed before she got hurt her freshman year, there's no reason why she couldn't back in her opponents to get off a shot or get fouled. The problem is that the belief she has in herself as a defender just hasn't translated over to the offensive end of things.

Next Steps: Krystal should work on her hands, agility drills and flexibility drills. She sometimes seems a bit stiff in her posture and would do well to improve her fluidity of motion. Putting in extra time at the foul line and taking jumpers from the field would also improve her overall versatility as an offensive player, as would working on ballhandling drills. Krystal still has a chance to become a great player at Duke, not just a very good one. The starting job will be hers to lose, and continued hard work could ensure that she keeps it.



Be sure to look for the DWHoops Gold Photos of these players and their teammates, coming later in the month...




3 ACC Questions: #6 NC State
 
3 ACC Questions: #8 Miami

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