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Devils Edge Out Kentucky, 54-48
Player by Player
 
Duke Takes Down Maryland, 71-64
The Nutshell
Previewing Maryland at Duke
By Rob Clough
January 5, 2011

Terps Kick Off 2011 ACC Campaign as DWHoops Salutes Team Tyler Foundation


Maryland -- Thursday, January 6, 7:00 PM, Cameron Indoor Stadium, RSN

2010 Snapshot: 21-13, 5-9 ACC, WNIT Third Round

Last Meeting:3/5/2010 (ACC Tournament): Devils Survive Maryland Scare, 66-64

Current Records: Duke 14-0, Maryland 13-1

Current Rankings: Duke #3, Maryland #14 (AP)
DWHoops File Photo by Orin Day
Krystal Thomas rejects Lynetta Kizer in the 2010 ACC Quarterfinals.
Krystal Thomas rejects Lynetta Kizer in the 2010 ACC Quarterfinals.

Special Note: Last year Tyler Thomas, the two year old son of Mark Thomas and Maryland Head Coach Brenda Frese, was diagnosed with leukemia. We're glad to report that Tyler is doing well. In recognition of Tyler and to further the cause of leukemia awareness, the "Team Tyler Foundation" was created by former Maryland players. In support of their efforts DWHoops has commissioned orange silicone wristband / bracelets with a "TEAM TYLER" imprint. We will be distributing these in the "student" lobby of Cameron between 6:30 and 6:45 PM and sharing Tyler's story. We invite you to stop by to pick up a free wristband (while supplies last) to further this worthy cause.

Significant Losses: The young Terps return almost everyone from last year's lineup, but will sorely miss guard Lori Bjork. She averaged 11 ppg & 2 rpg, shooting 41% from three. Bjork gave the Terps a consistent perimeter threat, one that was crucial given their otherwise erratic shooting. Wing Jackie Nared decided to transfer after a promising redshirt freshman season, putting up 4.5 ppg and 4 rpg.

Who's Coming Back: The Terps have no seniors, but they do have four experienced juniors who have ACC experience. They are led by powerful center Lynetta Kizer, who averaged 13 ppg & 8 rpg last season. Guards Kim Rodgers & Anjale Barrett are redshirt juniors. Barrett is a point guard who averaged 7 ppg, 3 rpg, 3 apg and shot 37% from three. Rodgers is a streaky shooter who scored 7.5 ppg, grabbed 3 rpg and shot 35% from three; she punished Duke in their encounters last season. Thin center Yemi Oyefuwa mostly became an afterthought in Maryland's rotation when the frosh stepped up last year, posting 1 ppg and 3 rpg averages. The Terps will return four sophomores, led by French star forward Diandra Tchatchouang. She averaged 11.5 ppg, 5 rpg, 1.2 bpg and shot 31% from three as a frosh. Unheralded post Tianna Hawkins averaged an impressive 9 ppg & 7.5 rpg as she shot 57% from the floor. Point guard Dara Taylor took her lumps as a frosh but still put up 5.5 ppg, 3 rpg and 5 apg. Center Essence Townsend struggled as a frosh, averaging just 1 ppg and 2.5 rpg.

The Skinny: The Terps were painfully young last season after losing Marissa Coleman and Kristi Toliver. As a result, they were maddeningly inconsistent. Unsurprisingly, many of their best efforts came against Duke. In each game, Duke took a double-digit lead in the second half only to go through painful scoring droughts that saw Bjork hit key shots to get the Terps back in the game. Duke survived in College Park thanks to a lucky shot by Bridgette Mitchell and clutch foul shooting. They shut down the Terps after Maryland took a small second half lead. The Devils survived a near meltdown in the first round of the ACC tournament, dodging an upset when a last second half-court heave bounced away harmlessly.

The Terps have no seniors, but they do have four experienced juniors who have ACC experience. They are led by powerful center Lynetta Kizer, who averaged 13 ppg & 8 rpg last season. Guards Kim Rodgers & Anjale Barrett are redshirt juniors. Barrett is a point guard who averaged 7 ppg, 3 rpg, 3 apg and shot 37% from three. Rodgers is a streaky shooter who scored 7.5 ppg, grabbed 3 rpg and shot 35% from three; she punished Duke in their encounters last season. Thin center Yemi Oyefuwa mostly became an afterthought in Maryland's rotation when the frosh stepped up last year, posting 1 ppg and 3 rpg averages. The Terps will return four sophomores, led by French star forward Diandra Tchatchouang. She averaged 11.5 ppg, 5 rpg, 1.2 bpg and shot 31% from three as a frosh. Unheralded post Tianna Hawkins averaged an impressive 9 ppg & 7.5 rpg as she shot 57% from the floor. Point guard Dara Taylor took her lumps as a frosh but still put up 5.5 ppg, 3 rpg and 5 apg. Center Essence Townsend struggled as a frosh, averaging just 1 ppg and 2.5 rpg.

The Terps will be in position to challenge for the league title over the next couple of years thanks to the talent they've pulled in the past couple of seasons. Brenda Frese has a way of getting young teams to pull together and maximize their strengths while minimizing their weaknesses. Indeed, she's used their 2006 team as a touchstone for this one: a young squad with talent and togetherness that overcame its flaws to win close games. The main difference is that this team lacks a skilled veteran like Shay Doron to guide its younger players.

Maryland has several strengths. It's a deep team, with much more skilled depth than last year's patchwork club. It's a ten-deep club with multiple ballhandlers and posts. Maryland is great at getting to the foul line, averaging 21 attempts a game. They are forcing 19 turnovers a game. Most importantly, they are an astounding +16 on the boards per game. That helps offset the fact that they're a mediocre shooting club (27% from three, 65% from the foul line), and turn the ball over 19 times a game. Coach McCallie had been concerned about Duke's rebounding of late; we will see if the Kentucky game was a trend or a fluke. If Duke can hold their own on the boards against Maryland then they are in very good shape.

Maryland's front line is tremendous. Kizer is doing her thing, averaging 13 & 8 this season. Her backup, frosh Alicia DeVaughn, is putting up 7 and 7. They're more than a match for the center tandem of Krystal Thomas & Allison Vernerey, and those two must step up if Duke's going to win this game. At forward, Hawkins & Tchatchouang were tough matchups for Duke last year but didn't shoot that well. Hawkins is much more consistent this season (9 ppg, 5.5 rpg) while Tchatchouang is averaging 11 & 6, though her long-range shooting isn't impressive (20% from three). Frosh Alyssa Thomas, called "Bron-Bron" by the men's team thanks to her versatility and sheer physical strength, has lived up to the hype and then some, putting up 13 ppg and 6 rpg.

Maryland's backcourt is not quite as impressive as its frontcourt. Barrett is averaging just 6 ppg and 3 apg and is the team's best long-range shooter at 45%. Rodgers has been shipped back to the bench, averaging 5 ppg. Frosh wing Lauren Mincy (4 ppg) and PG Natasha Cloud (3 ppg, 3 apg) have had their moments but are currently just role players. Last year's starting PG Dara Taylor is now the team's tenth woman, though she is averaging 3 ppg and 3 apg.

Duke's game plan against Maryland is the usual: apply ball pressure, force turnovers, get easy baskets in transition and crash the boards. Maryland is a much more efficient post scoring team than last year but isn't quite as dangerous from three, which would suggest utilizing the matchup zone extensively and throwing in presses and traps before the Terps settle into the halfcourt. Staying out of foul trouble will be imperative for Duke's bigs, because the Terps will feast on offensive rebounds if Duke doesn't have someone to block them out. That's the peril of going zone, of course, so I expect Duke to mix it up as much as possible while keeping Maryland's bigs away from the basket.

Maryland has played a fairly soft schedule to date. They lost an early game to Georgetown thanks to putrid shooting and 29 turnovers. They stayed in it thanks to 28 foul shots and going +19 on the boards. More recently, they knocked off a ranked St. John's club despite getting outrebounded, thanks to good shooting and balanced scoring. In a pretty, up-and-down kind of game, Maryland has the advantage. While fans might not like it, Duke needs to make things ugly against the Terps, getting physical and taking advantage of their youth to go on key scoring runs. Cameron will probably help tip round one in Duke's favor, but it's certainly not a given. Maryland will fight to the end, even if they face a deficit. If any of their shooters get hot and Duke doesn't react to them quickly, then we could have a barn-burner. Otherwise, the experience of Duke's seniors will likely tell in the long run.

   
  • The Terps outrebounding Duke.

 




Devils Edge Out Kentucky, 54-48
Player by Player
 
Duke Takes Down Maryland, 71-64
The Nutshell

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