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Rob's Big-Time Review, Part II

In this section, Rob begins an impressively exhaustive analysis of each player on the team.

II. Player-By-Player Evaluation: Seniors & Juniors

Krista Gingrich
5-9 G Sr
5.8 ppg 2.6 apg 46% 3FG 89% FT
Notable 2002 Achievements:

2nd Team All-ACC Tournament

Team Academic Award

Season Recap: Krista has been witness to some impressive history in her
tenure at Duke, but prior to this season she wasn't making very much of
it. She was as decorated a high school player who had ever come to Duke
and a consensus top 15 recruit. Krista was the heir apparent to Hilary Howard's
point guard slot and started her career with impressive performances against
UConn, Stanford and Virginia Tech. Somewhere along the line, she fell out
of the rotation in 1999. Part of it was that older were players stepping up,
but a lot of it was due to her own inconsistency. Still, she averaged around
15 minutes a game and shot 40% from three. If it wasn't the most
impressive debut in the world, there were still some positive signs. With
six seniors graduating, she would have a shot at starting in 2000, and
she indeed did get 23 starts, including late in the year when Duke made
their ACC championship run. She proved herself to be a capable three point
shooter (though her numbers tailed off to 34% when given 40 more attempts)
but improved her assist average, scoring average (to 7.9 ppg) and nearly
tripled her steal total. She proved to be crucial in the groundbreaking ACC
title win against UNC, getting the assist for what turned out to be the go-ahead
basket. There was no reason to assume that she wouldn't continue to start
and improve.

Then came the disastrous 2001 season. She suffered some preseason leg
injuries that wiped out her preseason preparation. Then when she was
starting to work her way into a lineup that needed her experience, she
suffered another injury that kept her out for a month and a half. After
that, it was clear that it wasn't just her body that was betraying her,
it was her confidence as well. She looked shaky and jittery when she went
into games and her three point shooting for the year was an awful 18%.
Krista had more turnovers than assists and her minutes per game shrank from
24 to 6. Compared to stoic warriors like Georgia Schweitzer and Rochelle
Parent, who played through every injury, there were even some questions about
Krista's desire and toughness at the end of the year.

The good news for Krista is that she had a summer to prepare and get
healthy, as well as a stint in Australia to prove herself. Once again,
her injuries caught up with her, forcing her to sit out the first two
games on the Australia trip. Notably, both of those games were losses.
But she forced herself to play in Duke's last 2 games, and while she only
was out there for 12 minutes a game and didn't really do anything particularly
notable, she set a good example and Duke won. Just doing that was a sign
for both her coaches and teammates that she was going to make her senior year
as memorable as possible.

The other factors in her favor were genuine needs on the Duke team for
outside shooting, playmaking, experience and leadership. Krista had
gone through just about everything during her time at Duke: being a
benchwarmer, being a significant starter, overcoming injuries, playing on
teams with great chemistry, playing on teams with less-than-great chemistry,
and most of all: going to the Final Four. Even with her injuries, Krista
had proved herself to be a model teammate in other ways. She was always
positive and supportive and became an outstanding scholar. But with no
true, experienced point guards on the team and problems with outside shooting
at the start of the year, Krista now had every chance to seize playing time.

Her play early in the year was erratic, to say the least. She didn't do
much against top teams like Texas Tech, South Carolina or Louisana Tech.
She did play well against Elon and Davidson, earning a starting nod for
that game and the next two in a row, but an 0-3 effort from the field
and 2 turnovers against Charlotte sent her back to the bench. Krista's
senior year was starting to resemble Missy West's from a year before: a
player trying hard to make a difference but just coming up empty. Then
came the White and Craig transfers. Suddenly, Coach G had no choice but
to give everyone more minutes. Furthermore, this was a real opportunity
to rally the team at a time when everyone was down. If Krista was ever to
make a statement, now was the time.

And what a statement it was: 17 points, 5 boards, 2 assists and 4
three pointers in a laugher of a game. It was a way of showing the league
that every player left on Duke's squad could beat you. Now, it wasn't
Krista's job to be a big scorer. All she needed to do to fulfill her role
was to take care of the ball, hit the open three, and keep everyone calm.
This she did to a "T", and in her next four games she committed just 1
turnover (compared to 14 in her first 7 games) and dished out 8 assists.
She was also 7-11 from three after starting the year 4-17. She was still
bothered by her leg injuries and even sat out a home blowout against Liberty
to save herself for the Tennessee game. She only played 9 minutes in that
game and 4 minutes against Georgia Tech three nights later, but the new
year seemed to bring improved health for her.

More than that, the team in general was starting to coalesce and understand
individual roles. Krista was already doing a good job hitting open shots
and distributing the ball, as well as being an encouraging figure and
calming presence. Certainly, just by freeing Beard from the responsibilities
of running the team and allowing her to thrive as a finisher made Duke
better. But the team needed still more from Krista: it needed a senior's
willingness to make gutsy plays when the time came. Krista was usually
content to run the team and play defense when she was out there, but she was
now suddenly making one or two big plays at critical moments. Against
Maryland in Cameron, Krista broke open a 23-19 game in the first half with
a steal and 3 consecutive threes. That brought Maryland out of its zone
and allowed Beard to truly wreak havoc. Krista didn't do much else the
rest of the game, but then she didn't need to.

After scoring 8 and netting 6 assists against Wake in a blowout, she had
another fine floor game on the road against Clemson. She didn't score in
a big matchup against State in Reynolds, but she turned 3 rebounds into
fast break baskets for others and came up with a key steal down the stretch.
Krista also had a couple of rally-killing threes against Virginia in Cameron
in addition to looking smoother all the time in running the team. Krista
had that knack again versus UNC, sinking a rally-stopping three that forced
the Heels out of a zone. She followed that up with a 14-point, 4-assist,
0-turnover gem against FSU and a 9-assist masterpiece against Georgia Tech
where she schooled their young guards.

Moving past an off-game against Maryland, she bounced back with her third
double-digit scoring showing of the year against Wake. Then came a game against
Clemson that established a pattern that would play out several more times
as the year went on. Clemson had cut a big Duke lead to 9, but Gingrich
engineered a 9-1 run with a three and 2 assists to put Duke up big. The
Tigers fought back but Gingrich took a gutsy three, the sort of shot younger
players didn't want to take, and canned it. When the Tigers pulled within
4 with two minutes left, Gingrich immediately found Beard on a drive. And
with 20 seconds left in the game and Duke leading by 4, she icily sank 2
free throws. Duke hadn't been in a close game for quite some time, and it
was Gingrich who was key in setting everyone up as well as hitting some
clutch shots.

Krista followed that up with some unremarkable games, including her
Senior Night event. She didn't hit any threes, but played her usual solid
floor game and was honored by "KG" being written on the arms of her teammates.
But Carolina was looming and KG always saved her best for the Heels. UNC
took an early lead but Krista kept Duke in the game with a couple of threes
and a short jumper. Gingrich then had 7 assists in feeding Duke's scoring
frenzy in the second half. In the ACC Tournament, she did well when the heat
was on against Virginia. She hit a couple of threes that put Duke up big in the
first half, found Beard on a late breakaway and hit a big foul shot at the end
of the game. Gingrich even blocked a couple of shots!

Carolina loomed once again in the finals, and Krista was up to the task.
She hit a couple of threes early on to keep Duke in the game, and then got
Beard the ball in the second half. But with Duke down 12 with thirteen
minutes left, Duke needed a burst of energy and Krista was more than willing
to provide it. She pulled up on the baseline for a jumper and then grabbed
a rebound after UNC missed, pulling up for a three that really got the run
going. As Duke controlled the game down the stretch, Gingrich didn't make a
single mistake. And Krista had done something no other Duke women's player
could claim: she was a part of three ACC championship teams.

After a mediocre game in the NCAA opener, she proved to be a vital
spark against TCU in the second round. After the Lady Frogs stunned Duke
with an early 12-6 lead, Krista immediately came in and settled the team
down. She hit a couple of late first half threes to boost Duke's lead, but
it was her second half playmaking that won the game for Duke. After
TCU cut Duke's lead to 7, Krista drove and scored on a three point play.
She then fed Beard on play after play before hitting a three that put Duke
up by 11 with four minutes to go. Duke was on their way to Raleigh!

Krista played erratically against Texas, turning the ball over 4 times against
0 assists and hitting just 1 three pointer. But she had her mad bomber hat
against South Carolina, hitting an NBA three in the first half and matching
USC shooter Kelly Morrone. With about 7 minutes left, Duke had a 6 point
lead. Morrone dropped 3 straight threes on Duke, but was matched by 2
threes from Gingrich and another two pointer. This was especially important
since USC, like many other teams, had gone zone on Duke, waiting for someone to
bust it. Krista shot poorly in the Final Four, but it didn't tarnish
her accomplishments one bit.

I wrote the following descriptions of Krista after certain big games
this year, but I think both apply to her season as a whole: "She's been there
when the team has needed her and has been the perfect teammate when they
haven't. That's a pretty fine legacy to leave as a senior captain" and
"In some ways, her game was notable for what she didn't do rather than what
she did, and this has defined her season. She didn't turn the ball over. She
didn't take bad shots. She didn't try to overextend herself. She simply fit
into the offense, played good defense and made her team better." There's
not much more to say about the way she turned her season around, and in
effect, Duke's season around as well. While not a starter or a star, she
learned to rely upon her experience and instincts to help her team. And when
her teammates saw that a senior was sacrificing shots, minutes and glory
for the betterment of the team, it was easy to fall in line. With her
second Final Four being one she truly earned, Krista Gingrich made history
at Duke, going down as one of its most beloved senior leaders.

Best Games: @ Virginia (17 points, 5 rebounds, 2 assists, 0 turnovers)
UNC in ACC tourney (11 points, 4 rebounds, 3 assists)

StatWise: Krista finished 8th all-time in career assists with 267, 5th
all-time in threes with 124, 5th all-time in FT% with 77%, 7th all-time
in 3FG% at 38.9%, second in overall wins with 99 and fifth in ACC wins
with 46. In her senior year, she was 7th in the ACC in 3FG made with
1.6 per game. In ACC play only, she was 4th in 3FG made, ninth in assists,
and second in assist/turnover ratio with 2.67:1.

Post-Graduation: Krista has said that she plans to be an orthopedic
surgeon. Her own experience with injuries should make her a rather
sympathetic physician. Good luck to this true scholar-athlete whose
attitude was her greatest asset.


Michele Matyasovsky
6-1 Forward Jr
3.7 rpg 52% FG 36% 3FG 6.4 ppg 91% FT

Notable 2002 Achievements: All-NCAA East Region

Season Recap: Michele Matyasovsky, throughout her career, has been a player
that's eluded easy description and analysis. There is not a single aspect
of her game that makes her stand out from most players, with the exception
of the rather nebulous skill of "moving without the ball", one that is not
always easy to notice. With most players, it's easy to see what effect
they have on a game--simply watch them and see what happens. With Michele,
one must do the reverse: watch what happens in a game and then see what
Michele is doing to influence it. The only thing that's clear is that it's been
incredibly difficult to keep Michele out of the starting lineup. Peppi Browne
goes down as a senior? No problem! Michele simply starts and the team wins
their first ACC tournament. Iciss Tillis ineffective? Stick "Mattie" in
for the last 9 games of the year and watch Duke win another ACC tournament.
Wynter Whitley facing confidence problems? Michele will simply step in
and start the last 15 games of the year.

Matyasovsky, in many respects, is a coach's dream because she's willing to do
just about anything in a game in order to play. When she first got to Duke,
she started in the backcourt. Later in that same year, she moved to the
post. This is despite not really being able to drive like a guard or post
up like a center. There were many games where she didn't do a single
spectacular thing. Indeed, she went scoreless on 4 separate occasions. On
the other hand, there were several games where she saved Duke's bacon, either
with timely scoring (Georgia Tech, South Carolina), great defense (USC again,
UNC) or solid rebounding (UNC, NC State). She rarely demanded the ball,
with 9 being her season high in field goal attempts. Mattie didn't go to
the foul line that often (which is no surprise, given her style of play
and physique), just 33 attempts, but she converted 30 of them. But what
Michele did best was simply stay light on her feet, and move with a purpose.

Duke runs a motion offense and a lot of five-out motion at that. One of the
things that can make a motion offense effective is to invert players' roles.
You run post players out to the three point line and have guards go down
low. By having your center stay mobile and either spot up for jumpers or
set high picks, you remove a lot of congestion in the blocks and allow
your slashers room to operate. While Wynter Whitley did a fine job on
the defensive end in her time as a starter, she grew increasingly tentative
on the offensive end. She declined to take open shots, was hesitant every
time she touched the ball, and worst of all stood around too much. Whitley
lingering without a good purpose in the blocks meant that the offense came
to a screeching halt, where players had to rely on their one-on-one skills in
order to score. On the other hand, Matyasovsky knew exactly what she was
doing as a post player even if she wasn't capable of guarding the nation's
elite. When other players were doubled, she happily caught the ball
and fired away. Otherwise, she preferred to pass the ball and keep moving.
Her development of a decent hook shot made her more dangerous as a center/
power forward, especially when she legitimately started posting people up.
Still, it was her quick catch-and-shoot ablity that made her most effective
on offense.

Another nice thing about having Matyasovsky in the game was that she
usually made good decisions with the ball. While she did have more turnovers
than assists, she was a pass-first kind of player without being overly
tentative. She knew that, other things being equal, Beard, Currie and
Tillis would and should receive the lion's share of shots and did more than
a little playmaking. But the simple fact that Mattie set picks for the
Big Three and allowed them the space to operate made her a playmaker--she
understood the offense well and knew her role in it. Michele is a talented
player who understood that in order to win, she would have to make certain
individual sacrifices in her game. Like Krista Gingrich, playing this role
to its hilt is what made this Duke team a great one.

Michele's stats on the Australia trip were utterly unremarkable. She
shot just 37% from the field but did average 6 rebounds a game. Her first
four games of the regular season were solid but unspectacular. In her
first stint of the year against Texas Tech, she came up with a steal that led
to a basket and hit Duke's only three of the game. She was one of the few
Duke players who wasn't asleep against Toledo, hitting all 3 of her shots.
That earned her starts against Davidson and USC, and she played reasonably
well in both games. Her minutes and role as a starter were fluctuating,
coming off the bench against Charlotte but playing 11 more minutes. What
followed were a series of games where she made perhaps one or two big plays a
contest but didn't consistently put up big numbers. She only played 16 minutes
against top 10 Louisiana Tech, but she got some big-time rebounds and hit
2 key baskets in the waning minutes of the game. She followed up her
first double-figure scoring game of the year against Georgetown with her first
foul-out of the year against UNC-Greensboro.

Speaking of schizophrenic performances, she followed a showing against
Tennessee where she was outmuscled on a consistent basis by the Lady Vols'
legion of bigs with a clutch performance against a scrappy Georgia Tech
squad. That game came just 3 nights after being humiliated by Tennessee,
fouling out and helping contribute to a 16-rebound deficit. Against Tech,
she hit some big shots early on but really came on down the stretch. Tech
had rallied from a huge deficit to take a lead, but Matyasovsky hit a jumper
to seize the lead back, right after hitting 2 big free throws. She then took
a charge and sank some more pressure foul shots. Michele even sank both of
her threes.

She followed that game up with 5 quiet games in a row, though she did have
her moments. Against Maryland, she hit a key basket that squelched a
Maryland run and their momentum--but that was the only one she hit all game.
However, she went 0-4 against NC State and 1-5 against Wake Forest. Her
scoring average had dropped to just 5 ppg. She did pick things up a bit
with 7 points against Clemson, which led to a superb 10 point, 9 rebound
game against UNC. She picked her spots well against UNC's zone, got big
rebounds early as Duke was building its lead (keeping UNC off the o-boards
is crucial and Michele did this well) and even managed to avoid fouling
out despite getting 4. This was one of her best games of the year against
Duke's archrival--not an unusual occurence for Michele.

She followed that up with another big scoring game, this time 13 points
on 6-7 shooting from the field against FSU. Her last three efforts got
her back into the starting lineup for good, and Duke was simply magnificent
in February and March. This was true not only because Michele was starting
and looked comfortable doing it, but it also helped make Wynter Whitley a
better player. Instead of worrying about making the perfect play as a
starter, she could relax and get an understanding of what was going on before
going in, reducing a lot of her jitters. Michele had a typically fine
all-around game against Tech in her first start, scoring 9 points while
getting 3 steals and 2 blocks. Foul trouble limited her somewhat against
Maryland, but she bounced back with two consecutive double-figure scoring
games. The second was in a close contest against Clemson where the Tigers
were smothering Iciss Tillis. Michele responded by hitting a jumper, posting
up for a turnaround, scoring on a cut and finishing in transition with her
left hand. This was a game where Duke needed every point and she was up to
the task. Against State, she was needed to rebound and rove around on defense,
and that's what she did. Against FSU, she did a bit of everything: fed the
low post for easy baskets, went inside for a rebound basket, hit a three from
the top of the key and scored on a cut (her signature scoring move).

Oddly, her solid play down the stretch disappeared in the ACC Tournament.
After a foul-plagued finale against UNC, she simply disappeared in Duke's
flat showing against FSU. She picked up 3 first half fouls against Virginia
but rallied to hit a few second half baskets. Then came a curiously
ineffective game against UNC's physical frontline, and she actually saw
just 16 minutes of play as Whitley came in off the bench to excel. Michele
bounced back with a fine performance in the first round NCAA blowout but
once again encountered some foul trouble in round two.

Raleigh was another story for Michele. The games were called pretty loose
inside, which let Michele operate fairly freely. In fact, she managed to
avoid being called for a single foul in the East Regionals! Mattie scored
5 quick points against Texas and did a great job fronting their star center,
Stacy Stephens, frustrating her for much of the game. She saved her best
for South Carolina, scoring Duke's first points after USC had jumped out
to an 8-0 lead. Mattie hit shot after shot in this game, but more importantly
had a career-high 4 blocks to prevent USC from easily driving to the basket.
Duke needed someone to step up on defense and offense, and Michele did both.
Throw in 5 rebounds and it was a great day at the office. Mattie also played
pretty well in the Final Four against Oklahoma, getting a modest 6 points
and 3 rebounds.

Her great NCAA play got her an all-East Regional nod, and seeing a team-
first player get some individual recognition was a very nice sight. As
I mentioned last year, she probably doesn't have the talent or temperament
to be a superstar, but that doesn't matter much on a team that already
has plenty of star power. The phrase "role player" has taken on a
connotation of someone who isn't good enough to make an impact, when in
truth someone maximizing their role is every bit as important as being a
star. It means that you're unselfish enough to let the best players take
the most shots and not create chemistry problems, but it also means that
you're good enough to produce when other players are struggling or double-
teamed. It means that you've earned the trust of your teammates to take
and make big shots when it counts. And it's quite clear that Michele has
earned their trust, because she's been in marquee games her whole career.
One of her first games came against the mighty US Olympic team--everything
else must seem like cake!

At this point, it's hard to predict what will happen in her senior year.
With 2 new post players and an outstanding wing coming in, there will be
more competition everywhere. Michele will have a few advantages, however.
Her experience is considerable, especially as a starter. Her good showing
down the stretch this year has to be a big confidence boost, and this is
important because it's clear that confidence has been an issue at times
for her. Her versatility will continue to be important, especially when
the new players have more specialized skills. That said, she will have a
new role next year: senior leader. Never a very demonstrative player, she
will need to talk much more on the court and learn how to translate her
experience into mentorship for the younger players.

Even as a veteran, there's plenty for her to improve. Michele needs to
continue to get stronger and improve her rebounding. I'd love to see
that rebounding average increase to 5 per game next year. Seeing more of
a consistent post game would also be good, although I have a feeling she'll
be facing the basket a lot next year with two true post players coming in.
Still, she doesn't have a lot of go-to moves, especially off the dribble.
Overall, Michele simply needs to become a more physical player. Combined
with her potent shooting skills and understanding of the game, she should
still be a major factor next year. Whether or not she starts will probably
depend on the learning curve of Whitley, Smith and Bass. If that group
steps up the way that Currie did last year, then Michele will probably be
coming off the bench. If not (or if Michele seriously beefs up those aspects
of her game that need work), then Coach G could do far worse than start
this dependable winner.

  • Best Games: @ Georgia Tech (16 points, 3 rebounds), USC in NCAA (12 points,
    5 rebounds, 3 assists)
  • StatWise: Michele is currently 13th all-time in blocked shots with 47.
  • Strengths: Versatility, shooting, rebounding, moving without the ball,
    clutch play, foul shooting
  • Needs To Work On: Strength, post scoring, overall game, leadership
  • Role: Possible starting center, do-it-all player inside and out
  • Must: Do the dirty work, fight hard for rebounds, continue to develop
    post moves and go-to shots, get to the free throw line more often
Sheana Mosch
5-10 Guard Junior
9.1 ppg 3.5 rpg 2.5 apg 83% FT
Notable 2002 Achievements:
All-NCAA East Region
Honorable Mention All-ACC

Season Recap: This season certainly had its share of bittersweet moments
for Sheana. She lost the starting job she had held for most of her career,
but learned how to lead from the bench. She was outshined by an aggressive
rookie but experienced tremendous team success. She suffered a number of
physical setbacks but ultimately found ways to contribute. Most importantly,
she put the concerns of the team over her own, and the result was what can
only be called a joyride. Ultimately, Sheana became a true leader and
inspiration for her teammates, and this is a role that she can build on for
her senior year.

Sheana has always been a bit of a puzzle. There have been times in her
career when she's looked like a genuine superstar and one of the best players
in the league. Who can forget her 4-game rampage in the ACC last year? At
other times, it seems as though she doesn't know how to fit in with her
team to be effective. Simply put, she can do things that her teammates
can't. Her smooth dribble allows her to go to the basket at will. Her
pull-up jumper is a reliable weapon, one she doesn't use enough. She is a
super foul shooter and quite adept at getting to the line (83% on 108
attempts). She is a solid rebounder for a guard and has an admirable 1.5:1
assist:turnover ratio. The most disturbing trend about her play this year
is that her numbers and minutes took a steady downward turn as the season
progressed. She averaged about 11 - 12 points a game until January, and
bottomed out at 9.1 ppg--a number nearly identical to her frosh year stats.
Similarly, her rebounding numbers tumbled, as did her steal total. But
in this instance, there is a fairly obvious explanation: she hurt her
ankle in January. This limited her motion and forced her to play still-
considerable minutes in pain. She went from a player averaging 4 or 5 free
throws per game to one who didn't even get an attempt for 4 straight
games. Clearly, Sheana relied a lot on her athletic ability to score.
When that was taken away, she simply wasn't able to do what she did best.

That said, it's clear that this injury had to have an effect on her
overall confidence level. She was replaced in the starting lineup in early
January after starting over 50 games in a row. Sheana worked through the
setback like a champ, actually increasing her scoring average in the next 5
games. Not only that, she averaged over 4 assists per game. She responded
just like a team captain should. Then came the ankle injury, and what followed
were 8 straight games where she failed to reach double figures. She was
barely heard from on offense and had trouble keeping up on defense. To her
credit, she was still getting assists, but the game was clearly a struggle
for her at a time when Monique Currie was really emerging. But there
was nothing anyone could do--Duke needed Sheana to play if she was able, and
she went out there like a trooper.

The good news is that Sheana slowly got better and waited for her chance
to really show her stuff. For whatever reason, Mosch often has chosen to
act passively in games until she senses that her team really needs her, and
then she can go off on incredible scoring jags. She came up with some sterling
performances in the ACC Tournament and the East Regional of the NCAA's this
year, at a time when Duke needed someone to make big plays. She was finally
healthy again, seized the moment in games like she has in the past, and most
importantly relied on her experience in big games to pull her and the team
through. Sheana also eventually rose to the role of team leader, with her
stuffed childhood gerbil Homey taking on legendary status for team-building
and keeping everyone loose.

I had written a year ago that Duke could not be a great team this year
if Sheana didn't become a great player, which included performing at a
consistent level and becoming a leader. While this assessment of the team
did not prove to be true of the team down the stretch, it was so early in
the year. And while Sheana didn't make huge contributions in the stat sheet
in the last couple of months, her leadership did become an important factor.

The trip to Australia was a productive one for Mosch. Averaging 36 minutes
a game, she was the only double-digit scorer other than Beard at 14 ppg.
More impressively, she was second in rebounding at 8.3 rpg! Like most of
Duke's players, she struggled from the floor, shooting just 37% with the
slightly larger ball. Still, it was an excellent showing that proved she
could get her shots playing alongside Beard. After shooting 3-15 against
the Australian Institute of Sport in the first game, she bounced back with
10-23 in the second, where she also grabbed 9 rebounds. It was pretty clear
that she'd be able to fend off challenges from Duke's younger players for
the starting guard spot.

Mosch started the season with a nice performance against Texas Tech, scoring
16 points and hitting one of her patented 15' pull-up jumpers at a critical
juncture late in the game. As always, she did most of her work in transition
and getting to the foul line. Sheana was one of the few players who seemed
awake in the loss at Toledo, again scoring 16 points and hitting 2 of Duke's
few threes. But she was disturbingly quiet in big games against South
Carolina (just 1-3 from the field) and Louisiana Tech (2-9 but with 5
rebounds). The Tech game was aggravating because all of her misses were
layups. After Craig and White left the program, Sheana got her head together
and and strung together 5 straight double-digit games. That included 15
points and 7 rebounds in the turnaround Virginia game, 24 points and 8
rebounds against Liberty on a night when Krista Gingrich wasn't available,
a double-double against Georgetown and a decent 14 point showing against

She scored just 8 points but had 5 assists in a close game against Georgia
Tech and while she shot just 2-9 against Maryland, she had a good floor
game and played solid defense. After a 4-11 showing in a rout of Wake, she
was removed from the starting lineup. It wasn't because she was playing
poorly, but rather because frosh Monique Currie was playing so very well.
Currie showed the kind of aggressiveness from play to play that Mosch didn't,
and this was important because Duke needed a third dependable scorer who
could take the pressure off of Tillis and Beard right away. This did not
mean that Mosch was no longer important; in fact, she was expected to be
able to come in and have an impact off the bench. Sheana was just 2-4
against Clemson in her first game in quite awhile off the bench, but she
also had 7 rebounds and 6 assists--she was certainly making a difference.

A good example of this was her showing against NC State on the road.
She had 12 points on steady 3-6 shooting and led the team with 5 assists.
With the game close down the stretch, she hit some important shots; in fact
every shot either broke a tie or put Duke ahead. I noted that coming off
the bench might suit her since it would encourage her to make a difference
right away in games. Sheana was solid in big wins against Virginia and
UNC, then exploded against FSU for 24 points and 5 assists. For whatever
reason, Sheana got into a groove when she, Gingrich and Matyasovsky entered
the game, taking a season-high 14 shots including a couple of threes. After
a solid game against Georgia Tech, Sheana suffered her ankle injury and
went into her funk. She scored 6 points total in three straight games,
shooting just 3-7. She had 9 assists but 8 turnovers. In a close game
against Clemson, her minutes dipped down to just 14. Mosch finally managed
to perk up a bit in the home finale against FSU, scoring 9 points and
getting 5 rebounds.

After a lackluster showing on the road against UNC and a mediocre 2-6
shooting game against FSU in the first round of the ACC tournament, Sheana
finally woke up and played some game-saving ball. During her tailspin,
Mosch had almost completely abandoned her jumper, trying to prove she could
still drive to the basket. Teams started playing her exclusively for the
drive, which meant that Sheana wound up doing very little on offense since
she stopped shooting. Against Virginia, she opened up her stint with a 19'
jumper after Duke had missed several shots in a row. She hit a big three
in the second half at a time when no one on Duke could score. Against UNC,
she made plays that kept Duke close (including a late first-half three)
and was on the floor when Duke made their late run. Her big-game experience
showed here, as she was part of a group that didn't panic.

After a couple of unremarkable early NCAA games, she was the MVP of the
game against Texas. In fact, she scored all 13 of her points in the last
8 minutes of the game when Texas was making a comeback. With a big lead
cut to three, Sheana hit a tough jumper, got a steal and was fouled, hitting
both shots. Later, she posted up and hit a high-difficulty turnaround jumper.
With six minutes left, she was fouled by Texas star Stacy Stephens, who was
then called for a technical and sat on the bench for the rest of the game.
Mosch put Duke up by 13, and it was smooth sailing from there. Against USC,
Sheana hit a couple of jumpers but was more important in some of the big
assists she came up with. Unfortunately, Sheana was pretty much a non-factor
against Oklahoma, though she certainly wasn't the only one.

The end of the season showed that Sheana could still be a big factor for
this team. She proved beyond a shadow of a doubt that she was a team-first
player, trusting her coach and her teammates in some tough times. In terms
of team goals, she certainly couldn't be any happier. In terms of individual
goals, this was a season of lost opportunity, though her injury certainly
played a part in that. With just 8 players and only 1 truly established
star (Beard), Duke was looking for other people to rise to her level. Mosch
had certainly shown signs last year that she was ready to make The Leap,
but she didn't have a single game all year that matched her highlights as a
sophomore. There's certainly nothing wrong with being a role player who
comes up with clutch shots in big games (Krista Gingrich made it her calling
card this year), but it seemed like Sheana was capable of so much more. The
only area where she stepped up to be truly great was in leadership,
evidenced by her on-court talk, running the pre-game huddle and much more.
I expect her to continue this role next year, though it will almost certainly
be from off the bench again. While Duke adds three more guards to their
roster next year, all bring different things to the table than Mosch, who
is primarily a penetrator and finisher. That role will be here for her
next year as well, though the points of improvement I've been writing about
for her for some time are still valid. She needs to take more jumpers
from mid-range, attempt the occasional three, understand when she needs to
take over games, and continue to work on her defense. Seniors at Duke are
given every opportunity to excel and take over certain roles; some have made
the most of the opportunity and others were never quite able to grasp it. At
the very least, I think Sheana will have a season similar to Gingrich's this
year: a beloved leader who makes big plays when needed. But I think she can do
much, much more and that her best case scenario is "big gun off the bench"
and instant offense". She's already had a very good career and will wind
up in the top ten at Duke in points (she's just 9 away from 1000), free throws,
assists and steals. Great teams have great senior leadership and contributions,
and while it's probably too late for her to become an all-time star, she
can still certainly accomplish greater things.

  • Best Games: @ FSU (24 points, 5 rebounds, 5 assists), Texas (13 points)
  • StatWise: Sheana is 18th on Duke's all-time list with 991 points. She's
    16th on the assist list with 217, 15th in steals with 126, 8th in free
    throws with 271 and second in free throw percentage at 81%. She was
    second in the ACC in FT% at 84% and fourth in assist/tunover ratio in
    ACC games only at a rate of 1.81:1.
  • Strengths: Foul shooting, penetration, finishing, mid-range jumper, leadership,
  • Needs To Work On: Three point shot, confidence, asserting herself, defense
  • Role: Penetrator, finishing the break, leader
  • Must: Stay positive and encouraging, accept coming off the bench, know how to
    assert herself without taking bad shots