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Devils X Out Xavier, 46-45
Player Stats
 
Seniors and Shay Trump Temple, 71-64
The Nutshell
Previewing Temple at Duke
By Rob Clough
December 28, 2010

Devils Face Second Straight Atlantic 10 Foe


Temple -- Thursday, December 30, 7:00 PM, Cameron Indoor Stadium

2010 Snapshot: 25-9, 11-3 Atlantic Ten, NCAA Second Round

Last Meeting: December 31, 2009 -- Duke 70, Temple 62

Current Records: Duke 12-0, Temple 7-5

Current Rankings: Duke #3, Temple unranked
DWHoops File Photo by Orin Day
Temple Head Coach Tonya Cardoza, a Virginia alum and former UConn assistant, counsels BJ Williams during a break in the action on January 5, 2009.  Duke won that meeting 87-52.
Temple Head Coach Tonya Cardoza, a Virginia alum and former UConn assistant, counsels BJ Williams during a break in the action on January 5, 2009. Duke won that meeting 87-52.

Significant Losses: The Owls lost three big contributors, headlined by point guard LaKeisha Eaddy (9 ppg, 3 rpg, 4 apg, 2 spg, 26% 3FG). While not a great offensive player, she was the team's rock last season. Also departing is physical center Jasmine Stone, who averaged 7 ppg, 9 rpg and 1 bpg. Guard Kristin Watkins-Day averaged 3 ppg and 2 rpg.

Who's Coming Back: Temple returns their two leading scorers in wing Kristen McCarthy (15 ppg, 6 rpg, 1.5 apg, 35% 3FG) and guard Qwedia Wallace (11 ppg, 3 rpg, 35% 3FG). Also returning is starting forward Marli Bennett (6 ppg, 5 rpg), one of six Owls who blocked at least 10 shots last season. Three players who started at least three games also return: guard BJ Williams (6 ppg, 2 rpg, 2 apg, 33% 3FG), 6-4 center Victoria Macaulay (3 ppg, 3 rpg) and wing Natasha Thames (4 ppg, 5 rpg).

The Skinny: Temple basketball isn't pretty, but it gets wins. They used their punishing, physical brand of basketball to reach the second round of the NCAA tournament. The Devils survived a bruising battle with the Owls in Philly last season, winning thanks to offensive rebounding and hustle plays. The Owls used a shifting series of defenses to take away Duke's post game. They attacked the basket and quickly got Joy Cheek into foul trouble. Only a superstar effort by Karima Christmas helped prevent the upset.

This year's edition of the Owls has stumbled a bit out of the gate, due in part to playing 7 true road games. That includes a road loss to #13 UCLA. They also gave #7 Ohio State a tough game in their home opener. The Owls turned it around with 5 straight wins (including a 1-point victory on the road against Auburn and decisive wins against Villanova and Hartford) before surprisingly falling on the road against Eastern Michigan.

Temple is a deep and balanced team, giving ten players at least ten minutes of playing time in each game. McCarthy and Wallace are both averaging 13 ppg and are shooting about 32% from three. Wright State transfer guard has stepped in nicely for Eaddy, averaging 12 ppg, 5 rpg, 2 spg and 38% from three. JuCo transfer Satoria Bell is chipping in with 6 ppg, which Thames is matching (along with 6 rpg). Bennett, Macaulay and Williams are all averaging about 5 ppg. The Owls miss the presence of Stone and it shows in the way that opponents are matching them rebound for rebound. This is obviously the first key for Duke: attack the Owls on the boards. If they use a zone to limit penetration or post scoring, go after weakside offensive rebounds for stickbacks. If they're playing man-to-man, go right at them instead of jacking up a shot.

Duke this season has seemed to be in a hurry on offense for reasons that are hard to understand. When the initial feeds into the post are denied, Duke has tended to either force it into the post (leading to a turnover), or jacked up a shot. This has played right into the hands of opposing defenses, instead of making them work. The result has been a series of grinding games where Duke's defense has been pushed to the limit to make plays, and opposing defenses are allowed to rest against a Duke offense that's lacked continuity. Some of this is due to trying to integrate several new players, but the veterans certainly haven't been immune to this either.

Temple will be a good test in this regard for team cohesiveness, as they will not allow anything to be easy. They will try to get the defense to foul them by driving hard, they will go after steals and loose balls, and they will be physical until they foul out (Thames has been disqualified 4 times so far this year). Duke will try to force turnovers and limit their own miscues, as per usual, but a good way of evaluating their performance will be looking at points in the paint, points by the posts, and free throws attempted. Foul shooting and offensive rebounding is what bailed Duke out last year, and if that's combined with big games by Krystal Thomas & Allison Vernerey, then the Devils will begin the next phase of the season in good shape.

   
  • Temple at the foul line.

 




Devils X Out Xavier, 46-45
Player Stats
 
Seniors and Shay Trump Temple, 71-64
The Nutshell

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