Duke Women's Basketball 2012 NCAA Tournament Capsule

Duke Blue Devils
ACC (24-5, 15-1)

Freshman Elizabeth Williams has quickly turned into the superstar for Duke. The 6-3 freshman center can do it all. She is a smart player who can stay out of foul trouble and has the quickness and speed to get up and down the floor. Williams led the Blue Devils with 14.3 points, 8.3 rebounds and 3.8 blocks per game and that is very impressive for a freshman playing at this level.

Big Wins: 12/1 Purdue (64-53), 1/22 Maryland (80-72), 2/24 Miami FL (74-64)
Bad Losses: 12/8 at Kentucky (65-72), 1/30 Connecticut (45-61), 2/19 at Maryland (61-63)
Coach: Joanne P. McCallie (5 seasons at Duke)

Why They Can Surprise:
Williams’ size opens up a lot of options for the rest of the team and the Blue Devils have a plethora of players who can score 20 points on any given night. Richia Jackson is often overshadowed by Williams, but she is a fine scorer and a quality secondary scorer in the paint. Just about the entire backcourt can score. Tricia Liston does most of her damage from beyond the arc, but she can get to the basket as well. Point guard Chelsea Gray does more than pass the ball, she ranks second on the team with 12.0 points per game. Add wing Haley Peters to the mix and the opposition has to worry about five players who average at least nine points per game and it is hard to tell which player, or players, will step up on any given day.

Why They Can Disappoint:
An injury to Chloe Wells has left a hole in the outside shooting. Liston is a great long range shooter, but this team does not have a secondary shooter or a guard who can come in off of the bench and provide an offensive spark. The lack of depth is just one problem. The other issue that may be more relevant come March is the youth and inexperience of this squad. The starting five usually consists of four sophomores and Williams, a freshman. There are some upperclassmen on the bench, but most of the production will have to come from the youngsters. They are definitely great players, but the bright lights of March are vastly different than the regular season and Duke’s early exit from the ACC Tournament may be an indication of what is to come.

Probable Starters:
Shay Selby, Senior, Guard
Chelsea Gray, Sophomore, Guard, 12.0 ppg, 6.0 apg, 2.7 spg
Haley Peters, Sophomore, Guard, 10.6 ppg, 5.4 rpg
Richa Jackson, Sophomore, Forward, 9.4 ppg, 4.6 rpg
Elizabeth Williams, Freshman, Center, 14.3 ppg, 8.3 rpg, 3.8 bpg

Key Roleplayers:
Ka’lia Johnson, Freshman, Guard, 1.1 ppg, 1.4 rpg
Tricia Liston, Sophomore, Guard, 11.1 ppg, 3.9 rpg
Kathleen Scheer, Senior, Guard, 3.0 ppg, 2.7 rpg
Allison Vernerey, Junior, Center, 5.5 ppg, 3.2 rpg

By the Numbers:
Scoring Offense: 74.5 (17th in nation, 3rd in conference)
Scoring Defense: 54.1 (31, 2)
Field-Goal Percentage: 46.9 (6, 2)
Field-Goal Defense: 35.6 (38, 2)
Three-Point Field Goals Per Game: 4.4 (201, 6)  
Three-Point Field-Goal Percentage: 37.0 (8, 1)
Free-Throw Percentage: 67.5 (209, 6)
Rebound Margin: 7.7 (18, 2)
Assists Per Game: 16.5 (16, 3)
Turnovers Per Game: 17.2 (162, 6)

Recent Postseason Appearances:
Duke    2011     NCAA        Round of 64 win over Tennessee-Martin
Duke    2011     NCAA        Round of 32 win over Marist
Duke    2011     NCAA        Regional Semifinal win over DePaul
Duke    2011     NCAA        Regional Final loss to Connecticut
Duke    2010     NCAA        Round of 64 win over Hampton
Duke    2010     NCAA        Round of 32 win over LSU
Duke    2010     NCAA        Regional Semifinal win over San Diego State
Duke    2009     NCAA        Round of 64 win over Austin Peay
Duke    2009     NCAA        Round of 32 loss to Michigan State
Duke    2008     NCAA        Round of 64 win over Murray State
Duke    2008     NCAA        Round of 32 win over Arizona State
Duke    2008     NCAA        Regional Semifinal loss to Texas A&M
Duke    2007     NCAA        Regional Semifinal loss to Rutgers
Duke    2010     NCAA        Regional Final loss to Baylor
Duke    2007     NCAA        Round of 64 win over Holy Cross
Duke    2007     NCAA        Round of 32 win over Temple

*all team stats through 3/1

See All Women’s Basketball Postseason Capsules