November 15, 2007

An Assesment Of Duke

TAMPA - Well, Duke's good. But are they that good?

Truly, the jury is still out on these Blue Devils, who are young, and who played without star All-American candidate Abby Waner due to a tweaked ankle - an ankle that in a massive air cast looked a lot worse than a tweak.

Duke was able to do pretty much anything they pleased against an outworked and overmatched USF team that falls to 1-1 on the season after the 89-52 spanking at the hands of the Blue Devils. I bet Bethune Cookman didn't have athletes like Duke.

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No Horns On These Bulls

TAMPA - With the score 73-38 and just under seven minutes to play in the game, I think it's time to let the Lady Vols and Sooners take the floor.

This game has come to a stand-still. The tempo could put you to.........sorry, sleep.

Could you imagine if Abby Waner played? The fact is, Duke is simply bigger and stronger. They can do anything they want on the inside and have just taken the ball away from USF's guards multiple times.

It is apparent that these two teams are on different levels. Duke's bench would probably defeat USF's starters, especially without the Bulls' center Lawson, who fouled out just as the second half was beginning.

At least it won't be a long ride back to campus for the Tampa-based Bulls.

Fouled Out, Bowled Over

TAMPA - USF might be down 47-18 with still 17:44 to play in the game, but the Bulls do lead the Blue Devils in tackles.

Oh, wait, wrong sport.

Center Jessica Lawson had four fouls already at the 18 minute mark when a pass to Wanisha Smith was broken up by solid hip check, sending the ball, and Smith, flying towards the Duke bench.

With Smith writhing in the floor in pain, Lawson didn't even look at the pain she had inflicted, she just continued walking towards her bench, knowing that she just fouled out of the game with her team only scoring 18 points.

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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.

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Orange and Blue

TAMPA - The game is USF against Duke.

The colors involved should be gold, green, blue and white. So why do I see so much Tennessee Orange?

The Lady Vols fans certainly can travel and they are the predominant makeup of the crowd. Right now I am looking across the court in the stands and I see two colors, blue (the empty seats) and orange (the Lady Vol faithful).

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Proving Her Point

TAMPA - Duke's Jasmine Thomas didn't get the start, but after just a few minutes of action, after it was obvious that Brittany Mitch and Wanisha Smith struggled at getting the ball up the court, Thomas entered.

On the first play that she was in the game, Thomas stole the ball and went coast to coast for a driving lay-up and the foul.

Thomas must be a factor for Duke to win this season. She will be the answer to the departed Lindsey Harding. On both offense and defense, as she seems to excel at both thus far in this game.

After only five minutes of action the score is Duke 8, USF 4.

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No Waner For Duke

TAMPA - The ESPNU Basketball Invitational starts at 7:30 p.m. ET and will feature two excellent games. In the first, No. 10 Duke meets the Big East's South Florida Bulls and in the finale, a dream matchup, No. 1 Tennessee plays Courtney Paris and No. 9 Oklahoma.

It should prove a fun night of basketball, but for Duke, the night starts with some bad news...

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