The Plight Of Abby Waner
"She's right. We are Duke and we should be winning," said Duke junior guard Abby Waner of Maryland's Laura Harper rejoicing with fans in a chant of, "We beat Duke! We beat Duke!" after the Terps defeated the Blue Devils in College Park for the first time since 1998 Monday.
In many ways, that distorted Duke doctrine that says the Blue Devils will forever be masters of anything basketball related is correct.
Year in and year out, we expect Duke basketball - men or women's - to be among the best in the nation. And although they lost the coach (Gail Goestenkors) and both All-Americans from a team that went undefeated in the regular season, here the Dukies are, once again, near the top of the rankings at No. 10.
But this isn't the same Duke team. It's not even close. And one of the biggest reasons the Blue Devils have struggled throughout a season in which they have already lost four times is the fact that their two biggest returning stars, senior Wanisha Smith and the junior preseason All-American candidate Waner, are simply not playing up to potential.