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Duke Outlasts Temple, 65-54
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Previewing Virginia at Duke
Devils In Detail - January 2012
By Rob Clough
January 1, 2012

A Closer Look at Duke's Roster


Editor's Note: Devils in Detail is a periodic DWHoops feature that looks closely at Duke's roster. This January 2012 edition looks back at the non-conference season so far and forward to the ACC slate.

Shay Selby

Key Stats: 6 ppg, 2 rpg, 3 apg, 2 spg, 36% 3FG (five games)

What She's Done So Far:: Shay played well enough to earn a starting nod alongside fellow lead guards Chelsea Gray & Chloe Wells. Her ball pressure was especially impressive when she led one of Duke's traps. She was Duke's corner three specialist, enabling the team to space the floor a bit better. Then she got suspended after the team's trip to the Bahamas, and Duke certainly missed her experience and ability to handle the ball. She showed an early knack for getting to the foul line, where she converted 83% of her attempts.

What She Still Needs To Do:: Shay obviously needs to prove herself to her teammates and get back into optimal game shape. She sat out her first game back from suspension but will be needed sooner rather than later. The ACC springs into action in January, and Duke could use her when they play Virginia in Cameron. Selby needs to prove that she can be counted on as a team leader for a squad that desperately needs one. She needs to shoot when open but make good decisions with the ball in general. Shay has always been a little wild with the ball, and while I appreciate her daring and willingness to create, she needs to be a little more conservative at this point in her career. That's especially true with a risk-taker like Chelsea Gray playing next to her.

2012 Shay Selby photo gallery




Shay Selby Shay Selby.


Kathleen Scheer

Key Stats: 4 ppg, 2 rpg

What She's Done So Far: She's been the team's utility player, coming in at forward or guard and hustling like crazy. Scheer is the kind of no-ego plugger that every team needs when an injection of intensity and effort is necessary. 14 of her 22 rebounds have come at the offensive end, a testament to the way she scraps for the ball. She doesn't worry much about shots or minutes; instead, she tries to make the most of her 10 minutes per game. Leener is also a good locker room presence, frequently firing up her teammates when a pep talk is needed.

What She Still Needs To Do: Given the suspension of Shay Selby (only recently returned to the team), her leadership is even more important. As talented as this team is, there are times when the younger players lose confidence and get down on themselves. There's no Jasmine Thomas or Krystal Thomas around to set these young players right, so it's up to Scheer to continue to fill this role. As far as what she does on the floor, she just needs to relax a bit more on offense. If Leener could splash in a few more threes, that would open up other aspects of her game.

2012 Kathleen Scheer photo gallery




Kathleen Scheer Kathleen Scheer.

Allison Vernerey

Key Stats: 7 ppg, 3 rpg, 67 FG%

What She's Done So Far: Alli's been a bit up and down this season. In essence, she's still more or less the same player she was when she got to Duke. She's a little stronger but still fairly slender. She's still shaky handling the ball and shooting free throws. Alli still prefers to set up on the left block and shoot over her right shoulder. Physical teams can push her away from the basket. All of that said, there have been some subtle improvements this year. Her free throw shooting has improved to 52% and has hit 8 of her last 12 foul shots over the last 4 games. That's after starting the year 5-13. Of late, she's received more minutes on the floor with Elizabeth Williams, allowing Williams to slide over to PF and giving Duke a very different look on offense. Both players were able to pile up assists thanks to finding the other in the low post. Alli is also demonstrating more of a willingness to use her right hand and has shown she can finish with it more proficiently than before. All told, she's been a big boost off the bench over the past few weeks after struggling earlier in the season.

What She Still Needs To Do: Getting her FT% above 65% is her first imperative. Her new approach is unorthodox but effective. She's lining up at the stripe and placing one foot behind the other by the length of a foot. That has seemed to settle her wobbly form as she sort of shot-puts the ball toward the backboard. She needs to stay aggressive, make good decisions with the ball when double-teamed and continue to use either hand. Her mobility is her greatest asset as a player, and she needs to take advantage of her speed and length on defense--especially when Duke's playing zone.

2012 Allison Vernerey photo gallery




Allison Vernerey Allison Vernerey.

Chelsea Gray

Key Stats: 10.5 ppg, 6 rpg, 6 apg, 3 spg, 43% 3FG

What She's Done So Far: Gray continues to be the most talented player on the team, and it's not even close. She just recently recorded the program's fourth triple-double. Her emergence in the second half against BYU and Purdue helped turn the tide in both contests. Her assist to turnover ratio is nearly 3:1, and she's currently leading the ACC in assists. Simply put, she's a weapon who has the best-looking three point shot and can do anything while attacking the bakset.

What She Still Needs To Do: The fact that Chelsea is fourth in field goal attempts points to a problem: she's not aggressive enough in hunting her own shot. In Duke's two losses, she deferred far too much to other players in the second half, a far cry from her role as The Closer last year. Of course, Chelsea found it easy to frequently defer to Jasmine Thomas last season. This year, there's no one to defer to. Given her size, strength, shooting ability and ballhandling skills, she should always think of herself as option #1 on the floor--whether or not the ball is in her hands. I'm not saying she needs to become a selfish gunner, but a player who is that efficient needs to shoot more. Every now and then, Chelsea's concentration seems to dip a bit; she might cough up the ball with little pressure or throw a bad pass for no real reason. Mastering the work of being the team's best scorer and best playmaker is a difficult task, but even more difficult will be the task of seizing the team's vacant leadership mantle. That will mean not only focusing on bringing more disciple to her own game, but also making everyone else better. She doesn't have to build up one to the detriment of the other.

2012 Chelsea Gray photo gallery




Chelsea Gray Chelsea Gray.

Richa Jackson

Key Stats: 7 ppg, 4 rpg, 2 spg

What She's Done So Far: Richa has recently claimed the starting wing job after proving to be an aggressive, scorer, rebounder and defender. She's got an interesting set of tools on offense: pull-up jumper from 15', turnaround jumper on either block, head-fake to draw fouls on the jumper. She also loves attacking the basket (nearly 3 FT attempts per game) and can finish in transition. Half of her rebounds come on the offensive end, where her attack mentality really comes in handy. She's applying an increasingly intense degree of defensive pressure.

What She Still Needs To Do: Richa simply needs to refine her skills. She shoots under 50% from the foul line, which is terrible for a player whose form is so solid. Considering how often she winds up there, she has to slow down, build a routine and stick to it. Jackson has yet to hit a three this year (0-2), and it will be important for her to extend her range. Defensively, she needs to gamble for steals a little less often and concentrate on simply harassing her opponent. With her size and strength, that should be all that's necessary for most foes. There are also times when her first thought is to go one-on-one in inappropriate situations; that will lessen as she becomes more comfortable with her teammates and her new role. Jackson didn't play much last year with the first unit, is still trying to get completely healthy now and in general needs a little more time to adjust. She is coming along promisingly, and could emerge as a big-time scorer for Duke.

2012 Richa Jackson photo gallery




Richa Jackson Richa Jackson.

Tricia Liston

Key Stats: 11 ppg, 3 rpg, 42% 3FG

What She's Done So Far: Tricia is certainly leaner and stronger this year and is running the floor much more aggressively than last year. With playing time open at wing, she's making it her mission to attack the basket off the dribble rather than rely on her jumpshot. Her improved speed and agility have made this possible, though she could still stand to add some more upper body strength. Her shot remains as deadly as ever, even if the team doesn't do much to try to spring her open. Her defense and rebounding are both solid.

What She Still Needs To Do: Most of Liston's big scoring games have come against lesser foes. I'd like to see her put up some serious numbers against a good team. She's probably not strong or quick enough to penetrate against good teams, though her size gives her a bit of an advantage against most opponents. Tricia could also stand to speed up her release, given that she won't be open for long against elite foes.

2012 Tricia Liston photo gallery




Tricia Liston Tricia Liston.

Haley Peters

Key Stats: 10 ppg, 6 rpg, 36% 3FG

What She's Done So Far: Haley is her typical solid self and has improved her balance on her jump shot. Her mid-range game has been a key aspect of Duke's attack, especially when teams double-team Elizabeth Williams for long stretches of time. The key is that Peters is far more active this year in hunting her own shot than as a frosh, developing a quiet confidence that makes her a reassuring presence on the floor. She has all sorts of spots where she likes to shoot: either baseline from about five feet; in the paint from 12-15 feet, from either wing out to three point range. Peters is a dogged rebounder who just gets after the ball rather than rely on speed or strength. In all sorts of respects, Haley makes a great pressure valve.

What She Still Needs To Do: Haley is more of a big guard than a forward, despite being 6-3. I've never seen her look comfortable posting up; she'd rather use a turnaround jumper and fade away than go inside to draw contact. That's all well and good, but if she's going to move all over the floor she'll need to continue to improve her passing and ballhandling (she turns the ball over 3 times a game).. She's yet another player who needs to improve her upper body strength, which would improve all aspects of her game. Peters needs to stay aggressive and look for her shot when it's there, reading the game situations carefully. If someone else is being double-teamed, she will almost certainly have an open look.

2012 Haley Peters photo gallery




Haley Peters Haley Peters.

Chloe Wells

Key Stats: 10 ppg, 2 rpg, 4 apg, 4 spg, 41% 3FG

What She's Done So Far: Chloe is perhaps the team's most improved player, going from a fourth option at guard to a key starter. Thus her recent suspension for an "academic matter" is cause for significant concern. Her shooting is much improved, and not just from the three point line: she's added a pull-up 17' jumper that's been deadly. Her assist to turnover ratio is nearly 3:1, and she's proved adept at firing up the team in transition as well as patiently running the team in a halfcourt situations. Her greatest virtue this season is her tremendous ball pressure, which has led to many a runout and fast break. She's done well working in tandem with Chelsea Gray, with each player taking turns handling the ball.

What She Still Needs To Do: Chloe has not had an impact against elite opponents like Kentucky or Notre Dame, and I don't think it's a coincidence that Duke lost those games. Her lack of strength was a liability in those contests, as was a lack of creativity in terms of attacking the basket. Those teams knew what to do with her and how to keep her in check, and Chloe didn't have an answer. Even more distressingly, Chloe was not strong with the ball, recording 6 of her 14 turnovers on the season in just those two games. These are growing pains for another soph who got limited minutes and is now expected to be a team leader; ultimately, those struggles will make her a better player. In the meantime we are left with the uncertainty of her academic suspension. If she returns and can concentrate on improving her defense and taking care of the ball, then Duke will be in solid shape.

2012 Chloe Wells photo gallery




Chloe Wells Chloe Wells.

Jenna Frush

Key Stats: 1 ppg

What She's Done So Far: Jenna just scored her first career points, draining a three in Cameron. Her work ethic is obvious, as she never relents on defense and is always moving. She's the player that others high five when they're being introduced as starters before the game, which is a telling sign of how much energy she brings to her teammates.

What She Still Needs To Do: Jenna must simply continue to improve. She needs to get stronger, quicker and more flexible, all of which will happen as she continues to plug away. She needs to seize her moments of playing time and serve as an example and inspiration for her teammates.

2012 Jenna Frush photo gallery




Jenna Frush Jenna Frush.

Amber Henson

Key Stats: 2 ppg, 2 rpg

What She's Done So Far: Amber has shown us glimpses of her tremendous ability. She can put the ball on the deck and drive to the basket. She can spot up at the wing or the top of the key and hit jump shots. She can pass and post up. Amber can also really run.

What She Still Needs To Do: The trouble is that her game is so rusty right now because of injury that she becomes self-conscious during games and misses easy shots. It's also clear that she's not close to being 100% physically; she's supposed to be a great leaper, but I haven't seen her get much lift in most games. Coach McCallie singled her out as a player they want to work into the lineup more, but it will be up to how she plays in practice that will determine her minutes.

2012 Amber Henson photo gallery




Amber Henson Amber Henson.

Ka'lia Johnson

Key Stats: 1.5 ppg, 2 rpg

What She's Done So Far: Ka'lia adds energy and intensity every time she's on the floor. She's quick, strong and has a knack for getting to the basket. She's also a decent passer. It's hard for her crack the rotation given Duke's depth at guard.

What She Still Needs To Do: Johnson needs to continue to adjust to the speed of the game. Coach McCallie said that it's only recently that she's practicing as hard as she wants her to. That's a lesson in being intense and focused all the time, not just during the game, something every frosh mut learn. Ka'Lia doesn't really have a true position yet, though she is ostensibly a point guard. She must continue to work on her shot (it's not at all fluid), ballhandling and defense. Johnson picked up real minutes during Shay Selby's suspension, and should continue to spend this additional time on the floor with Chloe Wells out.

2012 Ka'lia Johnson photo gallery




Ka'lia Johnson Ka'lia Johnson.

Elizabeth Williams

Key Stats: 14 ppg, 9 rpg, 3 bpg

What She's Done So Far: Liz is the best Duke frosh since Monique Currie, and there's no question that she has the potential to be one of the three or four greatest players in the history of the program. She's shown a devastating left-handed hook shot that's close to unguardable as her signature weapon. However, her greatest asset is her aggressiveness. She doesn't give up on the boards and uses the incredible springs in her legs to outwork opponents to the ball and get multiple possessions. When she's not scoring, she's getting fouled. Of course, Liz is also an excellent shot blocker, one of the top two in the ACC at the moment. Williams is also a workhorse, playing big minutes while still maintaining her intensity. About the only player in the country who might be able to defend her one-on-one is Brittney Griner. Liz is great at getting baskets in clutch situations and often plays better against the best competition. Williams can run the floor adeptly and loves to finish fast breaks, but she's also proven herself to be an adept passer from the high post.

What She Still Needs To Do: Liz sometimes forces or rushes shots for some reason. She doesn't always pass well out of double-teams. Physical opponents who bring double-teams can neutralize her, and she still needs to add some upper-body strength to get better looks at the basket and prevent some of her shots from being blocked. Liz is a poor foul shooter (54%) and not because it's her form; once again, she rushes some of her shots at the stripe as well. Williams simply needs to relax when she gets a shot at the basket and perhaps use the backboard a little more often. There's no question that she has unlimited potential.

2012 Elizabeth Williams photo gallery




Elizabeth Williams Elizabeth Williams.

Devils in Detail will return.



Duke Outlasts Temple, 65-54
Player Stats
 
Previewing Virginia at Duke

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