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ACC Women's Preview #9 - Duke

2000 Roundup: 28-6, 12-4 ACC

Head Coach: Gail Goestenkors

Who's Leaving:
Rice, Lauren/ F, 6-1 (9.6 ppg, 6.9 rpg, 3.1 apg, 1.7 spg, 36% 3FG)
Browne, Peppi/ F, 5-11 (13.7 ppg, 6.8 rpg, 3.1 spg, 2.5 apg)

Who's Coming Back: (* = projected starter)

*Schweitzer, Georgia/ G-F, 6-0, Sr.(15.6 ppg, 3.6 rpg, 3.3 apg, 40% 3FG,1.3 spg)
*Parent, Rochelle/ F, 6-0, Sr. (5.7 ppg, 6.8 rpg, 1.3 spg)
*Gingrich, Krista/ G, 5-9, Jr. (7.9 ppg, 3 apg, 1.2 spg, 34% 3FG)
Mosch, Sheana/ G, 5-10, So. (9 ppg, 3.3 rpg, 1.5 spg, 1.9 apg)
West, Missy/ G, 5-10, Sr. (7.2 ppg, 1.5 rpg, 39% 3FG)
Matyasovsky, Michele/ F, 6-1, So. (7.3 ppg, 3.1 rpg)
Brown, LaNedra/ F, 6-1, So. (2.3 ppg, 1.4 rpg)
Hayes, Janee/ F, 6-0, Jr. (2.7 ppg, 2 rpg)
Gvozdenovic, Olga/ F-C, 6-2, So. (2.0 ppg, 1.4 rpg)
Gebisa, Lello/ C, 6-7, So. (2.2 ppg, 1.1 rpg)

Who's New:

*Beard, Alana/ G-F, 5-11
*Tillis, Iciss/ F, 6-4
Craig, Rometra/ G, 5-10
White, Crystal/ C, 6-5
Krapohl, Vicki/ G, 5-5

Strengths: Depth, shooting, quickness

Weaknesses: Strength, experience

Scouting Report: I've already talked about Duke in great detail here at
Duke Basketball Report (see the women's basketball archives), but I'm going
to go ahead and provide an abbreviated preview anyway. After losing six
seniors from the national runner-up 1999 team, Duke defied all expectations
by posting a second place finish in the ACC, winning the league tournament,
and advancing to the NCAA tournament's Sweet Sixteen. Duke managed to

accomplish this without a real post game, losing their best player halfway
through the ACC season, and relying on several frosh for significant

Duke overachieved because of excellent team defense, precision shooting,
and the all-around excellence of Georgia Schweitzer, the 2000 ACC Player of
the Year. Schweitzer and Browne stepped up early in the year to steady a
young team needing leadership. Schweitzer did it with a number of scoring
outbursts against top teams and her passing ability (she was top 10 with assists in the
league, one of seven different categories where she ranked in the top 10).
Browne led with her intensity, rebounding and amazing defense. Browne
put it all together in January and started to become a prolific scorer as
well, but a season-ending injury made Duke look to their younger players
for more help.

In particular, frosh Mosch and Matyasovsky played big roles late in the
year. Both players were picking up the scoring slack and had greatly improved
defensively. But the true defensive stars were career role players Rice
and Parent. Rice made her mark by clearing out other players for defensive
rebounds, but also added on a sweet perimeter shot and deft passing skills.
Parent transformed herself into a true defensive warrior when Browne went out,
becoming adept at taking charges, improving her rebounding numbers, being
assigned to the other team's top scorer and getting her hands on more steals.
She truly deserved her place on the ACC all-Defense team.

Despite the fact that Duke was undersized, they very rarely had trouble
defending other post players. This was because of Browne and Parent, whose
defensive footwork and leaping ability made it difficult for other teams
to set up down low. When Duke did struggle defensively, it was usually
against teams with strong and versatile perimeter games. Offensively, Coach
Goestenkors altered her conservative 1999 philosophy to a 5-out motion game,
where every player had to have both post and perimeter skills. This worked
to perfection, as center Rice would move out for long jumpers and guard
Schweitzer would post up. Six different players hit over 10 three pointers
in 2000, with only one shooting less than 30%. Quite frequently, there
would be 4 or 5 legitimate three point threats on the floor. This allowed
Duke to attack the basket with slashers like Browne and Mosch. As a result,
Duke made 32 more free throws than their opponents attempted, and they
converted an ACC-best 75%.

This was one of many categories that Duke led. Others include scoring,
scoring defense, scoring margin (an amazing +18.1), field goal percentage,
field goal percentage defense, three point field goal percentage, three
pointers per game, and most amazingly of all, rebound margin. Without any
regulars over 6-1, Duke's quickness to the ball made them tough to handle.
About the only areas where Duke was weak were shotblocking (not a huge
surprise) and steals, where they were only average. Losing the ballhawking
abilities of Browne definitely hurt the Devils there, even with Parent's
increased output.

Duke was a precision team. When knocked off balance, they often had
problems recovering. If another team got hot from the perimeter, Duke
sometimes panicked on offense instead of letting the game come to them.
Duke was only 3-6 when they were outshot. It didn't help that Schweitzer's
numbers diminished as the season went on due to injuries, so Duke often
lacked a true go-to player. When Duke's jumpers weren't falling, it made
it tough for their slashing game to be effective, and they didn't have a
true low-post threat to make up for that problem either.

The Devils lost their first two games after they lost Browne, including
a home loss upset to Maryland. After a week off, the Devils retooled and
won their next 5 games, then won the ACC tourney after a loss to UNC. Duke's
resilience after an injury so late in the season made this a very fun team
to watch. Victories over NC State in Cameron (after being down by nearly
20 early) and a classic against UNC in the ACC tourney ranked as some of
Duke's finest wins ever. But the season ending loss to LSU showed that
Duke needed more depth, better perimeter defense, improved inside play and
more options overall.

Coach G found these options with a truly remarkable frosh class. I predict
at least two frosh will start and three will get considerable playing time
right away. Duke has the deepest team in the league and probably the most
talented, from 1-12. What they lack is experience and strength. Rice was
not all that quick, but her strong legs and low center of gravity made her
tough to move in the post. Duke lacks anyone with that kind of strength
in 2001, though they do add more height and shot-blocking potential.

The backcourt is quite clearly the deepest in the league. It starts with
Schweitzer, who is a great passer (leading the team in assists) and solid
defender as well as a great shooter. Gingrich has had an up-and-down career
but she's the most capable pure point on the team, with creative passing
ability and excellent court vision. She's also a solid shooter and someone
who isn't afraid to take clutch shots. She must cut down on her turnovers
and stiffen her defense, but she's a legitimate starter. Close behind is
Mosch, who started a number of games and became a regular when Browne went
down for the year. Her improvement was noticeable as the year went on,
especially on defense. After some early difficulty breaking through screens,
she turned into something of a ballhawk. Not a great three point shooter,
she seemed much more comfortable slashing and hitting the mid-range jumper.
She is complemented by West, who resurrected her career after dealing with
all sorts of injuries. Her performance in the ACC tournament and NCAA's
convinced her that she wanted another year, and her scoring ability and
marksmanship, coupled with her leadership and intensity, will make her a
valuable bench player. Then there are the frosh hotshots, including highly
touted Craig, coming off some ankle problems in her senior year. She is
a fantastic athlete whose immediate niche at Duke would seem to be defense.
With Browne gone and Parent concentrating on the post, Duke is in great need
of a perimeter stopper, and Craig may well fit that bill. Krapohl is a
scrappy point guard with a sweet shot who will probably be relegated to
the bench, but should be a great practice player. I expect her to take over
the team in a year or two.

The frontcourt has more questions, but there is intriguing talent. Parent
is a constant who may be asked to score a little more this year, but there's
no question that she'll be a great rebounder and defender. She must cut
down on her fouling, which made her ineffective early in the season. Beard
is the likely starter at wing, a high school All-American who was dominant
at the post-season all-star games and was the leading scorer for the US
18 and under squad this summer, a group that won the gold medal. Every Duke
coached has raved about her talent and intensity. I expect her to be a fine
defender and slasher right away, but she must learn to defer to others on
offense. Tillis is an ultra-versatile forward with excellent rebounding
skills, a good-looking shot, and aggressive shot-blocking instincts. Despite
her thin frame, I expect her to either start or get starter's minutes. She
should excel in the motion game, popping out to the perimeter for jumpers
or hitting the boards. She is too aggressive at times and I expect foul
trouble may hamper her early in her career. Right behind her is Matyasovsky,
another versatile forward with a smooth jumper. She will need to improve
her post skills a bit and get stronger (like all the Duke paint players),
but she played with remarkable maturity down the stretch; she just needs to
be consistent. Hayes is a physical player who's played big minutes here
and there, but may struggle to get playing time in this lineup. Brown was
a big surprise in the latter part of the season who made some big contributions
in games against Clemson and State. She's a great athlete with a sturdy
frame who is sometimes a bit out of control. If Duke has defensive problems
in the paint, she may well be a player that Coach G turns to for important

Gvozdenovic is the season's biggest mystery. A highly-touted high school
player, a torn ACL put her way behind the other players in terms of development.
When she did play, she showed some nice post moves and a good jumper but had
foul problems. She often looked frustrated at herself and the officials
and it affected her play. She wasn't used much towards the end of the year,
but with Duke's need for quality frontcourt players, she will definitely
have a shot at playing time. The same goes for 6-5 shotblocker White, another
fine leaper who's a bit on the thin side. Duke's tremendous depth will
probably mean that 6-7 beanpole Gebisa will see little significant time, but
the fact that the other 14 players all have a real shot at playing shows just
how mind-boggling Duke's depth really is.

Depth can be a two-edged blade: how will Coach G manage all of the egos
and hurt feelings that accompany losing playing time? Last year's team
succeeded because there was so much unity; can that feeling be sustained?
Goestenkors is lucky that she has some excellent senior leaders who may be
able to arbitrate any conflicts. In particular, West will be an important
figure because she's had to deal with sitting on the bench and learned to
turn that into a positive. More than dealing with egos, though, chemistry
means putting together lineups that work well together. With so many players,
this will be a bit of a trial-and-error situation. Duke may well struggle
early on as players try to learn their roles. Having Schweitzer and Parent
around will cure many ills, and even though the frosh class has drawn a lot
of attention, it will be those seniors who will have the biggest impact.

Look for Duke to go at least 10-deep, run a lot, and use a press/trap
defense at times. The deep roster will allow them to use a lot of defensive
pressure and their great athletes will make them very effective in a running
game. In the halfcourt, they will use the usual 5-out motion, attacking
on precision cuts and screening to get open threes. Duke must be ready for
other teams to attack them with strong post games and athletic wings. The
potential is there for greatness, if the team gels quickly, stays healthy
and has a commitment to team defense.

Schedule Analysis: The out of conference schedule is very top-heavy, with
four potential top 25 opponents and a number of far weaker foes. Duke begins
the season at New Mexico's tournament, playing depleted-yet-still-tough UCLA
and either dangerous New Mexico or likely top 10 squad LSU. LSU beat Duke
in the NCAA's and brings back their best player, Marie Ferdinand. The Devils
also will go on the road to play Boston College and will host yet another
top team, Iowa State. Duke plays in a couple of tournaments in 2001: their
own Duke Classic (with a rather weak lineup including Duquesne, Radford and
Toledo) and the Fun In The Sun Shootout (where the best squad is Arkansas
State). Duke rounds out their schedule with UNC-Charlotte, William & Mary
and a road trip against George Mason. The four great teams Duke will play
give them an above-average schedule, but one not quite as challenging as
State's or Virginia's.

Predicted finish: 1st