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Accurate Devils Down Jackets, 79-62
Player Stats
 
Devils Knock Off Terps, 80-72
The Nutshell
Previewing Maryland at Duke
By Rob Clough
January 21, 2012

ACC Leaders Clash in Cameron


Maryland -- Sunday, January 22nd 2012 @ 3:30pm (Cameron Indoor Stadium) -ESPNU

2011 Maryland Snapshot: 24-8, 9-5 ACC, NCAA Second Round

Last Meeting: Terps Paste Duke, 69-47.

Current Records: Duke 15-2, 6-0 ACC. Maryland 18-1, 5-1 ACC

Current Rankings: Duke #5, Maryland #8/#7 (AP/ESPN)

Significant Losses: Initially, it was assumed the Terps would return their entire lineup this season, but they took some attrition hits. Soph guard Dara Taylor transferred after her playing time was cut last year after averaging 2 ppg. Frosh guard Natasha Cloud left to be closer to her family after contributing 2.5 ppg and 2 apg. Little-used junior center Yemi Oyefuwa was released from the team. The biggest loss, however, is soph forward Diandra Tchatchouang, the team's third-leading scorer at 9 ppg. She also put up 5 rpg and was one of the team's few long-range threats. She went back to France to play pro ball after she rehabs a knee injury.

Returning Players: The Terps are fielding a team with a blend of senior leadership and talented youth. After averaging 14 ppg last year, forward Alyssa Thomas is leading the league in scoring at 17 ppg and is grabbing 7 rpg. She's also hit clutch shots to beat Georgia Tech and UNC and averages 3 apg Powerful senior center Lynetta Kizer is coming off the bench after sitting out part of the season on suspension. She's still averaging 11 ppg and 5 rpg, making her the prime candidate to win ACC sixth woman of the year award. Senior point guard Anjale Barrett is having a career year with 8 ppg and 6 apg; she's also shooting 40% from three. Fellow senior guard Kim Rodgers is now a deep reserve, averaging just 3 ppg. Junior forward Tianna Hawkins has been a steady presence in the post this year, averaging career best 11 ppg and 10 rpg. She grabbed 24 rebounds in 27 minutes against Wake Forest. Soph guard Lauren Mincy is precisely the perimeter scorer this team needed to balance out the posts and Thomas; she's contributing 14 ppg and shooting 40% from three. Alicia DeVaughn is putting up 7 ppg and 7 rpg as a starter, while frosh guard Brene "Bones" Moseley has been a pleasant surprise in averaging 8 ppg and 3 apg.
Maryland coach Brenda Frese has a potential ACC Player of the Year in Alyssa Thomas (left).
Maryland coach Brenda Frese has a potential ACC Player of the Year in Alyssa Thomas (left).

The Skinny: This is the biggest game of the year to date for Duke. A win here puts Duke in complete command of the ACC race at close to the halfway mark and would put Maryland a full two games behind. Given the toughness of Maryland's league schedule, they can't afford to fall behind by that much. A loss by Duke would make this a tight three-team race. The Terps have won in Cameron just once over the last decade, which adds a bit more pressure. External circumstances aside, Maryland presents a lot of problems for Duke. With Amber Henson out, Maryland's front line depth is a huge factor. Being able to throw long athletes/shotblockers/rebounders like DeVaughn and Hawkins at Duke is challenging enough, but bringing in former All-ACC player Kizer off the bench is a tremendous advantage. This is especially true since Haley Peters had such a rough outing against Georgia Tech, being benched for the second half. If Haley doesn't play with ferocity and toughness, Duke will be put in a tight corner. If Maryland opts to double-team Williams, she will have to make quick, smart decisions to find an open teammate. Maryland is big and long enough to bother Williams without double-teaming, however, and I suspect they will play man-to-man, one-on-one against her and Duke.

Maryland is one of the top rebounding teams in the country, and it's imperative for Duke to at least stay close in that regard. Players like Williams, Kathleen Scheer and Richa Jackson will need to get extra possessions for Duke by hitting the offensive boards. Conversely, the Devils will have to send more players to the defensive boards in order to prevent the Terps from getting a lot of extra shots. The tradeoff there is that Duke might not be able to run as much as they would like. The Terps do not force turnovers, but with a steady Barrett at the helm, they're not turning the ball over very much either. Maryland presents a couple of significant matchup problems. Duke doesn't have anyone who can stop Thomas one-on-one; Jackson has the potential to do so but is still very green as a defensive player. Tricia Liston will likely have problems dealing with Mincy's speed and ability to move her shoulders out in front of her opponent to gain an advantage off the dribble. Duke may have to try using Shay Selby to stay in front of her, which would eliminate Liston's offense. For Duke to win, three things have to happen. As I mentioned earlier, the team has to be close to Maryland in terms of rebounding. Second, Duke will likely need to go to a sticky zone to slow down Maryland's penetrators and force them to take jump shots.(I realize that playing zone hurts rebounding, but an energized Williams could prevent that.) Duke should consider using Williams and Vernerey together, with Vernerey at the top of the zone; this is a configuration that's worked well this year. Last, Chelsea Gray needs to dominate her matchup with Barrett. Gray is considerably more talented and will need to show it. Of course, if Maryland hits a bunch of threes and Duke turns the ball over a bunch, then the Devils have no chance to win.



   
  • The Terps hitting their threes

 


Editor's Note - to read more about Maryland and the other ACC teams, please check out our 2012 ACC Preview at Amazon.com.



Accurate Devils Down Jackets, 79-62
Player Stats
 
Devils Knock Off Terps, 80-72
The Nutshell

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