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Devils Top A&M (Jimmy V), 61-58
Player by Player
 
Duke Curbs Great Danes, 83-48
The Nutshell
Previewing Albany at Duke
By Rob Clough
December 8, 2010

First Meeting Between Devils and Great Danes


Albany -- Thursday, December 9, 7:00 PM, Cameron Indoor Stadium

2010 Snapshot: 11-19, 4-12 America East

Last Meeting: This is the first meeting between Duke and Albany.

Current Records: Duke 9-0, Albany 6-2

Current Rankings: Duke #5, Albany unranked

Significant Losses: The only significant loss is leading scorer Charity Iromuanya, who averaged 11 ppg, 5 rpg, 2 apg, 2 spg and 35% from three.

Who's Coming Back: Wing Ebone Henry was the other Great Dane who averaged double figures, putting up 11 ppg to go with 5 rpg, 2 spg and 26% 3FG. She's upped that average to 15 ppg this season. Point guard Felicia Johnson put up 9 ppg, 3 rpg, 3 apg and 25% from three last year. Forward Julie Forster averaged 9 ppg, 9 rpg (including 4 offensive boards a game) and 1 bpg. 6-2 post Keyanna Williams put up 4 ppg and 5 rpg. Guards Melia Basavand and Casssandra Callaway got minutes off the bench, averaging 4 ppg and 3 ppg, respectively.

The Skinny: The Great Danes force 20 turnovers a game, which has helped them hold opponents to 53 ppg. Albany isn't a fast-tempo team, but they do have three capable scorers. They struggled with a young roster last year, slowly improving as the year went on. After losing 11 out of 12, they finished the season 4-4. The best team they faced was Nebraska, who beat them by over 40 points, but they also had to go up against tough league opponents Hartford and Vermont.

Albany is playing much better to start this season, with Forster and Johnson becoming consistent double-digit scorers and players like Williams & Callaway stepping up in certain games. Junior Adrienne Jones has become a steady presence at guard after not playing last season, while junior forward Kate Cronin is also helping off the bench. Albany gave Syracuse a tough half, leading for much of it before a late Orange run gave them a 6 point halftime lead. The Great Danes were blown out in the second half for only their second loss of the season, however.

Simply put, Duke is bigger, stronger, deeper and more talented at every position. This theoretically should be the easiest win on Duke's whole schedule. That said, it has minor trap game potential since it's wedged between big games against Texas A&M and Oklahoma State. This is a game where Duke's focus and maturity will be tested, especially after such a physical and emotional win vs A&M. The temptation will be to want to run recklessly and generate stats by going one-on-one. Duke has to fight this temptation by valuing each possession and making the extra pass for the best available shot for 40 minutes. Even when Duke isn't looking to press to generate easy points, they will need to respect Albany's ability to score. The Great Danes have been playing with much more confidence this season, as Henry & Forster have been dominating the boards and Johnson has been a defensive menace. As long as Duke respects Albany and plays with energy and effeciency, this one will be over quickly, giving the young players a chance at extended minutes.

   
  • Turnovers against Albany's press.

 






Devils Top A&M (Jimmy V), 61-58
Player by Player
 
Duke Curbs Great Danes, 83-48
The Nutshell

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