A New Day for Duke

GG certainly did not leave the cupboard bare for J P McCallie. This is one heck of a group of basketball players. Duke added two top 10's and number 31 from Hoopgurlz for the third best class in 2007 to a team that gets Chante Black back from a redshirt season.

11 Chante Black C 6-5 Jr.
21 Joy Cheek F 6-1 So.
13 Karima Christmas G 5-11 Fr.
30 Carrem Gay F 6-2 Jr.
31 Keturah Jackson G/F 6-0 So.
22 Brittany Mitch G/F 6-2 So.
15 Bridgette Mitchell F/G 6-0 So.
23 Wanisha Smith G 5-11 Sr.
5 Jasmine Thomas G 5-9 Fr.
34 Krystal Thomas C 6-4 Fr.
4 Abby Waner G 5-10 Jr.
2 Emily Waner G 5-8 Sr.

Last year's minutes and scoring average show Duke has 60 minutes to fill and 25 points that need to come from them to stay up with last year.

04 Abby Waner.........28.5 14.1
10 Lindsey Harding....30.4 13.6
43 Alison Bales....... 29.1 11.9

23 Wanisha Smith......27.4 9.4
30 Carrem Gay......... 23.3 8.8
21 Joy Cheek.......... 15.7 5.3
15 Bridgette Mitchell. 12.3 4.9
02 Emily Waner........ 15.0 3.6
22 Brittany Mitch..... 14.9 3.3
31 Keturah Jackson.... 8.9 2.0

Cheek, Mitch, Mitchell and Jackson go from freshmen to sophomores. Black and Krystal Thomas get to take over for Bales, And the Waner's, Smith, Jasmine Thomas, and Christmas get to fill in for Harding. This Duke team has good balance and great scoring potential. Can't wait to see what McCallie can do with these players. She never had it this good in Michigan.

Despite her mini-meltdown v RU in the tournament Lindsay Harding was a POY and will be tough to replace. But Duke has a great guard prospect in Jasmine Thomas who just made the U19 team with Krystal Thomas the center. Duke could even be improved over last years great team with these two and Black back. They can go 6'5 6'4 6'2 6'2 6'1 on the front line with Black, Thomas, Gay, Mitch and Cheek. Better height than any team but Tennessee. And Abby Waner and Wanisha Smith are great guards..

By mid-season this Duke team may be the best in the ACC even with losing more than Maryland. Who knows - maybe McCallie can do what GG couldn't and will this team into the Championship game. No one should be too surprised to see Duke in the Final Four. Don't dismiss Duke.