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Armistice Day 2010
Duke Knocks Off BYU, 69-54
The Nutshell
Previewing BYU
By Rob Clough
November 12, 2010

Duke Starts Season with High Hopes and Quality Opponent

Brigham Young University -- Saturday November 13, 7:00 PM, Cameron Indoor Stadium

2010 Snapshot: 23-10, 11-5 Mountain West Conference, WNIT 4th round

Current Records: 0-0

Significant Losses: The only important player that the Cougars lost is Keilani Moeaki, a glue player who averaged 4 ppg and 2 rpg.

Who's Coming Back: BYU returns their top six scorers and a couple of other players who will receive significant minutes. The Cougars were a balanced squad, with those six players ranging between 7 and 11 ppg. Their backcourt is tiny (5-4 and 5-5) but packs a punch as Haley Hall averaged 9 ppg, 3.5 rpg, 2 spg and 4 apg and shot 36% from three. Jazmine Foreman averaged 10 ppg, 3 rpg, 3 apg and hit 40.5% from three. 6-3 Kristen Riley will step into the pivot after averaging 8 ppg & 6 rpg (and shot 31% from three, for good measure). Mindy Bonham is the returning leading scorer at wing, putting up 11.1 ppg, 3 rpg, 3 apg and 35% from three. Coriann Fraughton is at the other forward spot after averaging 10 ppg and 5 rpg. Four of the five starters are seniors, as only Riley is a junior. Off the bench, Alexis Kaufusi provided some punch at forward with 7 ppg and 4.5 rpg. Guards Dani Peterson (3 ppg) and Kim Parker (3 ppg) will also contribute.

The Skinny: Duke picked a very interesting opponent as their season opener. The Cougars went deep into the WNIT last year after narrowly missing the NCAA tournament. The relatively young Devils will be facing a team filled with veterans who are hungry for an NCAA bid and and play against reasonably tough competition on a regular basis. In the Mountain West, Duke fans will remember playing San Diego State in the Sweet Sixteen last year. What immediately stands out about this team is their outstanding shooting at every position. They shoot 36% from three as a team and a full third of their field goal attempts are from long range. Given Duke's struggles against a tiny Carson-Newman team from long range, and one can see a clear area of concern.

Fortunately, the coaches will have nearly a full week to work on this flaw. BYU's shooters tend to work best in catch and shoot situations, so Duke will need to be cautious about overextending the defense. When they do blitz an extra player to trap or double-team in the halfcourt, the Devils have to have another defender rotate up to the open shooter quickly, or else BYU will get lots of open looks. What the Cougars don't do much of is attack the basket and have each player generate her own offense. BYU is a team that runs a patterned offense with a slow tempo and so Duke must find ways to speed up the game and disrupt their offense without being overly reckless in doing so. The Cougars only turned it over 17 times a game last year, so this will require communication above all else.

The Cougars have the depth to match Duke, including having the option of bringing 6-7 frosh Jennifer Hamson into the game. She scored 16 points in BYU's exhibition win against Ft Lewis College and could be an important weapon to counteract Duke's height advantage at nearly every position. Offensively, Duke needs to attack the basket as much as possible. The Cougars fouled a lot last year and totaled 11 disqualifications. Getting their scorers in foul trouble could be Duke's best defense against them. BYU will no doubt try to zone Duke, and the Devils must resist the temptation to jack up threes. Instead, they need to find the seams in the defense and exploit it by collapsing the zone slightly and then relocating the ball to an open shooter. Duke has plenty of shooters to burn a zone; it will just be a matter of taking the right shots at the right time. In any event, this will be an excellent early test for Duke in presenting them with a team who might be a 7 or 8 seed in the NCAA tournament.

  • Duke allowing open threes.

Armistice Day 2010
Duke Knocks Off BYU, 69-54
The Nutshell

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