#5 Duke Women's Basketball 2013-2014 Preview

Duke Blue Devils

Overall Rank: #5
Conference Rank: #1 ACC
#5 Duke Women's Basketball 2013-2014 Preview
Duke Team Page


The Duke Blue Devils return all five starters coming off another Elite Eight run in the NCAA Tournament where they fell short against new ACC rival Notre Dame. The Blue Devils are arguably one of the most balanced teams in all of women’ college basketball and cause plenty of matchup headaches for opposing teams on a nightly basis. This team is fully loaded to make a run at the national championship.

2012-13 Record:  33-3, 17-1
2012-13 Postseason: NCAA
Coach:  Joanne P. McCallie, 7th season at Duke, 22nd overall
Coach Record:  174-35 at Duke, 490-183 overall

Duke is very efficient both offensively and defensively. They outscored opponents by over 20 points per game last season. They also are very lethal shooting from the perimeter as they made over 40 percent of their shots from behind the three-point line last season. Senior Tricia Liston leads the way. She set a school record of 80 three-point shots made last season and was third in the nation in three-point shooting at 46.5 percent. Senior Chelsea Gray also returns after being lost to injury late last season. Gray is one of the top point guards in the country and makes the Blue Devils offense flow very consistently. Duke also defends very well down in the post led by Elizabeth Williams, who is one of the top returning post players in the nation. Williams scored over 15 points per game, averaged just over seven rebounds and blocked nearly three shots per game as well.  In addition, Alexis Jones will bring another top flight ball handler in the backcourt as she was very strong in taking over for Gray when she was injured. Also, Hayley Peters is an absolute workhorse on the boards and has a great inside/out game that presents matchup problems on a nightly basis as well.

There are not many weaknesses at all with this Blue Devil team.  The only thing that did cause major issues last year was their lack of depth, especially controlling the glass, as was evidenced when they lost to Miami, UConn and Notre Dame. This issue should be addressed this year with more freshman players that are ready to contribute right away.  One of those freshmen includes forward Oderah Chidom, a very athletic 6-4 forward out of Oakland, California who was part of the U17 World Championship team for Team USA that won the gold medal in the 2012 World Championships. The other key for Duke is to avoid showing any complacency as they will be the clear favorite again in the ACC.  But there are teams just below them like Maryland, North Carolina, and Notre Dame ready to strike if the Blue Devils fail.

Final Projection:
The Blue Devils will play a very loaded non-conference schedule as usual this season. The season opener is the road in the Bay Area against Cal, who was a Final Four participant last season. Other key matchups include trips to Oklahoma and Kentucky, along with hosting the Jimmy V Classic against UConn on December 17 in Durham. The ability of Duke to build a base of signature wins outside of the ACC will go a long way to enable the Blue Devils to get a number one seed come tourney time. The thing that has gotten in their way these past few season is being a number two seed and having to go through teams like Notre Dame in the Elite Eight instead of avoiding them until the Final Four. If this experienced group can stay healthy and continue to have good balance from the perimeter and inside, then Duke should be in position to get themselves back into the Final Four.

Projected Postseason Tournament: NCAA

Projected Starting Five:
Chelsea Gray, Senior, Guard, 12.6 points per game
Tricia Liston, Senior, Guard, 13.5 points per game
Alexis Jones, Sophomore, Guard, 9.5 points per game
Hayley Peters, Senior, Forward/Guard, 12.2 points per game
Elizabeth Williams, Senior, Center/Forward, 15.2 points per game

By the Numbers:
Scoring Offense: 74.5 (11, 3)
Scoring Defense: 53.9 (29, 1)
Field-Goal Percentage: 45.4 (7, 2)
Field-Goal Defense:  34.1 (9, 1)
Three-Point Field Goals Per Game:  5.4 (121, 3)
Three-Point Field-Goal Percentage: 40.5 (1, 1)
 Free-Throw Percentage: 74.1 (44, 2)
Rebound Margin: 7.4 (19, 2)
Assists Per Game: 15.9 (23, 2)
Turnovers Per Game: 16.6 (148, 3)

Madness 2014 WNBA Draft Rankings:
#4 Chelsea Gray
#20 Haley Peters
#25 Tricia Liston

Madness 2013 Women’s Basketball Recruit Rankings:
#5 Rebecca Greenwell
#10 Oderah Chidom
#15 Kendall Cooper
#21 Kianna Holland


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