Duke's JT

TAMPA - The Duke Blue Devils look like two completely different basketball teams at times, and both versions are beating the USF Bulls badly, 38-15 at the half.

There is the Duke that plays a slower, perimeter passing game, utlilizing its bigs to make up for the fact that the guards aren't quick or particularly good ball handlers. Then there is the Duke that runs and plays a fast-paced brand of ball led by freshman point guard Jasmine Thomas.

It is clear to me that when Thomas is in the game for the Devils, their whole game plan changes. They become an up-tempo team with Thomas leading the charge. She seems to have a penchant for pushing the ball up the floor and driving the lane. But she also has no trouble stepping back and launching one from long range.

At the half, Thomas has four points on 2-of-6 shooting, but she does have two assists, two blocked shots and a steal. She is definitely a difference maker.

She's a rookie and being so makes plenty of rookie mistakes but make no mistake yourself, Thomas will endear herself to the Cameron Crazies and her coach, Joanne P. McCallie, very quickly because of her hustle and determination.

Several times already, Thomas has been seen diving for loose balls and scraping in a pile fighting for a loose rebound.

It is a far better Duke team with Thomas on the court, but against the Bulls, it doesn't seem to matter much, as Duke can just feed the ball inside to Chante Black and Joy Cheek if they have to.

With 15 points at the half, no one on the Bulls has been particularly impressive. The leading scorers, Shantia Grace and Jazmine Sepulveda, both have just four points and the leading rebounder is 5-foot-9 Daiane Packer.

The Devils are simply bigger, stronger, quicker and faster than their opponents tonight. A good night not to have Abby Waner in the line up.

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