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Tar Heels Hold Off Duke, 62-60
Player by Player
 
Devils Pound Wake Forest, 82-39
The Nutshell
Previewing Duke at Wake Forest
By Rob Clough
February 9, 2011

Devils Look to Regain Winning Ways Against Deacs


Wake Forest -- Friday, Feburary 11th, 8:30 PM, Lawrence Joel Coliseum - Fox Sports Regional

2010 Snapshot: 18-14, 7-7 ACC WNIT First Round

Last Meeting: 1/10/10: Devils Withstand Wake, 65-51

Current Records: Duke 21-2 (7-1 ACC), Wake 12-13 (3-6, ACC)

Current Rankings: Duke #5, Wake Forest unranked
DWHoops File Photos by Orin Day
Wake Forest Head Coach Mike Petersen celebrates an overtime win over Miami in the 2010 ACC Tournament.
Wake Forest Head Coach Mike Petersen celebrates an overtime win over Miami in the 2010 ACC Tournament.

Significant Losses: The Deacs lost four seniors, none of whom were big statistical contributors. The biggest loss is former team leader Courteney Morris, a guard who averaged 4 ppg and 4 rpg. The other departing regular is Tiffany Roulhac, a guard who put up 2 ppg and 1.5 apg. Departing deep reserves include forwards Jessica Bryant (12 games) and Jessie Cain (5 games).

Who's Coming Back: The Deacs have a blend of talent and experience, led by Brittany Waters (14 ppg, 5.5 rpg). This leaper is complemented nicely by a physical guard in junior Secily Ray (11 ppg, 8 rpg). Senior guard Camille Collier (5 ppg) became an off-the-bench shooter while speedy junior Brooke Thomas (5 ppg, 3 rpg, 4 apg) handles point. Soph Sandra Garcia was a pleasant surprise at center, averaging 10 ppg and 7 rpg. Soph guard Latavia Boykin was another standout in her first season, putting up 5 ppg and 2 rpg. Wing sophs Asia Williams (4 ppg, 4 rpg), Mykala Walker (3 ppg, 2 rpg) and Patrice Johnson (13 games) will all look to expand their roles as sophs. Senior guard Kem Wilson (4 games) rounds out the roster.

The Skinny: Wake's been a huge disappointment this season, given their experience, depth and talented young frosh class. Their upperclassmen have regressed and chemistry issues have seemed palpable at times. There are times when it feels like the older players don't want to be there anymore. That said, there is certainly talent and athleticism on this team. They have trouble scoring (and especially shooting), but they can give good opponents some real opposition when they are clicking.

The first problem the team faced was that Collier went out for the year early in the season, leaving the offense in the hands of quick but erratic guard Thomas. The second problem is that senior Waters and junior Ray, expected to be the offensive lynchpins of the team, have simply not played as well as needed. For the season, Waters is averaging 11 ppg and 5 rpg, but just 7 ppg and 5 rpg in ACC games, where she's shooting an awful 25% from the field. Ray is averaging 7 ppg but only 5 ppg in ACC play. Garcia has been inconsistent, alternating a dominant scoring game with a no-show; that said, she's averaging a solid 11 pgg in ACC play to go with 5 rpg. Ray and Waters have been outplayed by younger guards Boykin (10 ppg, 2 rpg) and Chelsea Douglas (9 ppg, 2 rpg, 2 apg).

Wake's total numbers aren't great (66-62 in terms of point differential and +2 on the boards), but their conference numbers are atrocious (-8 in terms of points, -5 on the boards and -5 in field goal percentage). Wake's only conference wins have come against winless Virginia Tech and a recent upset win over Boston College. Using that game as a model, how could Wake upset Duke? First, Wake absolutely has to take care of the ball, and Duke has to disrupt their offense. Forcing 20 or more turnovers will give Duke an easy win. Wake needs to force turnovers against Duke, and they have the depth and quickness to do so if Duke isn't active and engaged in breaking that press. The presses that Miami and Georgia Tech threw against Duke wound up helping the Devils get lots of easy looks, so the Deacs will have to be careful with that tactic.

Next, Wake can't shoot poorly and hope to match Duke. The Deacs will also have to get to the line and convert. On defense, they need to turn Duke into a jump=shooting team (which is Duke's tendency). A poor shooting performance early in the game could keep the game close, which would only serve to amp up Wake's confidence. Wake's only averaging a few hundred fans a game, so home court won't be a factor--but at the very least, opposing fans won't be an issue, either. For Duke, this is a game where the team really needs to iron out its chemistry problems. Jasmine Thomas was furious after the UNC loss, losing her temper after months (and years, really) of carrying the team on her back. Duke needs to dominate at both ends not just because of superior size, strength and quickness, but because of superior execution and effort. If Duke looks at this as a gimme, I guarantee that they will struggle. If the Devils place trust and effort at the forefront of their preparation, then they'll be fine. The Devils need to exert their will on the game by being smart, not by trying to smash a square peg into a round hole.



   
  • Jacked-up jumpshots.

 




Tar Heels Hold Off Duke, 62-60
Player by Player
 
Devils Pound Wake Forest, 82-39
The Nutshell

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