Football Friday: Previewing Duke and the 2013 ACC Football Schedule

Coach-Cutcliffe12013 will mark the Duke Blue Devils' sixth season under the leadership of Coach David Cutcliffe. Equaling the three ACC victories the team achieved in 2012 should be enough to ensure a trip to a second consecutive bowl game, but for the program to post a winning record and take the next stride toward returning to real prominence, four or more ACC wins will be necessary. Duke's eight conference games conveniently break down into four two game mini-seasons.

The first mini-season consists of two home games in September, against Georgia Tech on the 14th and Pittsburgh on the 21st. The second mini-season consists of two road games in October, at Virginia on the 19th and at Virginia Tech on the 26th. The third mini-season is back at home in November when Duke hosts N.C. State on the 9th and Miami on the 16th. Finally, Duke heads back on the road, traveling to Wake Forest on the 23rd of November and finishing the regular season at Carolina on the 30th.

Duke is 4-4 in its most recent matchups against those eight teams on the 2013 conference schedule, with wins over Virginia, Wake Forest and North Carolina last season and over N.C. State in 2009. The losses to Georgia Tech, Virginia Tech and Miami were last season, with the loss to Pittsburgh occurring in 1976. So that 37 year-old loss may be a little less likely to provide any useful information about this year's prospects.

One path to the four necessary conference victories is winning one game per mini-season. Securing a second victory in one of the four would set the Blue Devils up to achieve a 5-3 mark, which would be a superb achievement for Coach Cutcliffe and the Blue Devils, but it was Cutcliffe who commented this spring, "We're capable of beating everybody on our schedule."

Prior to taking a game-by-game look at the conference schedule, let’s take a quick look at the 2013 Duke Blue Devils:

Duke’s defense will be led by senior Ross Cockrell at cornerback and sixth year senior Kenny Anunike at defensive end, but the return of Kelby Brown at linebacker and having nose tackle Jamal Bruce healthy could be the two most important ingredients for improvements on defense. Duke has had difficulty pressuring opponent’s quarterbacks in recent years, which naturally has left the secondary vulnerable, and the defensive line has also had problems stopping the run. Too many tackles have been made by defensive backs the past few seasons. Who else can help along the D-line? In addition to the aforementioned Anunike and Bruce, senior Sydney Sarmiento, senior Justin Foxx, junior Jordan DeWalt-Ondijo, junior Dezmond Johnson, junior Jamal Wallace, junior Jonathan Woodruff and junior Steve Ingram are players who will be counted on to use their experience to produce this season. Sophomore Carlos Wray plus redshirt freshmen A.J. Wolf and Keilin Rayner are players who also will have the opportunity to make an impact along the defensive line.

The secondary will be young, especially at cornerback opposite Cockrell, so look for redshirt freshman DeVon Edwards or even a true freshman such as Evrett Edwards or Quay Mann to start. All three will most likely see meaningful minutes throughout the season.

Jeremy Cash, a transfer from Ohio State, had an excellent spring and is ready to assume duties at bandit safety, a position where Walt Canty in 2012 and Matt Daniels in 2011 earned All-ACC honors.
Sophomore Dwayne Norman and redshirt freshman Corbin McCarthy will be leaned on heavily to produce at safety. Norman was solid in the secondary last year as a true freshman.

After the Spring Game, Coach Cutcliffe commented, “I like where we’re headed. We’re building some depth. I think we can be a more energetic defense.”

On offense, Sean Renfree, Conner Vernon and Desmond Scott are gone, so the attack will have to feature some different players. Fortunately for Duke, those players already have significant playing experience. Leading the way are junior quarterback Anthony Boone and junior wide receiver Jamison Crowder, as well as a trio of running backs: senior Juwan Thompson, junior Josh Snead and sophomore Jela Duncan. Duncan and Snead both averaged five yards per carry in 2012, while Thompson checked in at 4.7.

Braxton Deaver return to action this year at tight end after missing the entire 2012 season with a leg injury. Deaver is talented, with the ability to both catch passes and block for the running game. With Deaver out for the season in 2012, David Reeves started 12 games, catching 18 passes including three touchdown receptions. Nick Sink moved from the defensive line to tight end prior to last season’s Belk Bowl. Redshirt freshman Dan Beilinson will provide depth.With this talent and experience at tight end, fans should not be surprised when Duke lines up in two tight end formations at times.

Wide receiver is a position where the team will need somebody to step up and excel opposite Crowder. Crowder will draw coverage from the opponents top defensive back this season so it is critical that a viable option emerge to test the opposite side of the defense, or opponents will double cover Crowder all year long. Leading candidates include senior Brandon Braxton, sophomore Max McCaffrey, and redshirt freshman Anthony Nash. A couple of true freshmen, Johnell Barnes and Terrance Alls, may figure into the mix as well. Issac Blakeney and Erich Schneider will man the slot receiver position. Blakeney recorded 32 receptions for 290 yards in 2012.

But at long last, a big and experienced line is set to be the backbone of the offense. Starters project to be left tackle junior Takoby Cofield (6’4” 305); left guard senior Dave Harding (6’4” 285); center sophomore Matt Skura (6’4” 290); right guard junior Laken Tomlinson (6’3” 320); and right tackle senior Perry Simmons (6’5” 300). Sophomore guard Lucas Patrick (6’4” 310) is another quality lineman who will see significant action. His development last season was limited due to off season surgery on a fractured left ankle. Redshirt senior John Coleman, redshirt sophomore Carson Ginn, redshirt sophomore Cody Robinson, redshirt sophomore Marcus Aprahamian, redshirt freshman Casey Blaser and redshirt freshman Tanner Stone will provide significant depth on the line, permitting Duke to play the fast-paced offense Coach Cutcliffe intends to implement. Coach Cut has stated explicitly that the line is going to be a big key this season as Duke turns to a more run-oriented offense featuring a read-option attack. Quarterback Boone will have two running backs lined up in the backfield, as opposed to the "pistol" formation Duke featured the past several years.

Special teams will be an area of strength. Kicker Ross Martin and punter Will Monday were Freshman All-Americans and All-ACC performers in 2012. Kick and punt return specialist assignments are unclear, but identifying candidates with explosiveness has to be a priority for the staff.

Let’s move on to the ACC schedule:

The Georgia Tech game will serve as an early litmus test for the defense. Can the Blue Devils stop the Yellow Jackets’ formidable rushing attack? Improved performance by the defensive line and at linebacker will be required to prevent the Yellow Jackets from running the ball down Duke’s throat. In last year’s 42-24 win, Georgia Tech rushed 72 times for 331 yards. Yes, that is not a misprint - - 72 rushing attempts!

But Georgia Tech has question marks too heading into the season, with the defense being first and foremost. The Yellow Jackets’ defense yielded over 28 points per game last season, which resulted in the mid-year firing of defensive coordinator Al Groh. Defensive improvement is at the top of the Jackets' 2013 to-do list. With three-year starter Tevin Washington gone, consistent quarterback play is another concern.

In Week 4, Pittsburgh rolls into Wallace Wade Stadium for the first time since 1976. There are multiple question marks at the skill positions on a Panthers squad which went 6-7 in 2012 and lost to Ole Miss in the Compass Bowl.

The heir apparent at quarterback is 5th year senior Tom Savage. Savage, who started out at Rutgers before transferring to Arizona, and then transferring again to Pittsburgh, has never played a down at Pittsburgh. Moreover, Rushel Shell, who with 641 yards in 2012 was to be the leading returning rusher, opted to transfer out of the program, so the Panthers have question marks at both quarterback and running back.

Looking at the passing game, three of the top four in pass receptions are gone from last year’s squad. Only Devin Street, who hauled in 73 receptions for 975 yards and five touchdowns, is back. The question is who will line up opposite him to provide a second option.

On October 19th, Duke travels to Charlottesville for their first ACC road game against the Virginia Cavaliers, a team Duke is 4-1 against in the Cutcliffe era. There is much uncertainty surrounding the quarterback situation at Virginia, with the transfer of Michael Rocco to Richmond and Phillip Sims being declared academically ineligible. In 2012, Rocco started eight games, with Sims starting the other four. Now neither will suit up for the Cavaliers. Sophomore David Watford took snaps with the 1st Team during the spring. Watford redshirted last season after completing 30 passes for 346 yards with three touchdowns and four interceptions as a freshman in 2011.

Head Coach Mike London also shook up his staff after the 2012 season ended, and the new additions include former Boston College and N.C. State head coach Tom O’Brien. It appears the changes were mandated from above, and a layman’s view of the situation says London’s seat is getting hot in Charlottesville.

Duke jumped out to a 20-0 lead over Virginia Tech in Blacksburg before falling to the Hokies 41-20 in 2012. Due to conference schedule tweaking which was required to accommodate the inclusion of newcomers Pittsburgh and Syracuse, Duke will once again travel to Blacksburg in 2013.

Logan Thomas is a gifted and experienced quarterback who will lead an offense that has struggled to consistently move the ball and score points. Virginia Tech was ranked 9th in the ACC in Total Offense in 2012, with Thomas throwing 16 interceptions and being sacked 25 times. Virginia Tech also struggled to establish a prominent running back last season.

Under coordinator Bud Foster, the Hokies defense is projected to be the team’s strength.

N.C. State will have a new head coach and a new quarterback in 2013. The head coach will be Dave Doeren; the new quarterback is, well, we don't know. The candidates are Pete Thomas, Manny Stoecker or transfer Brandon Mitchell, who graduated from Arkansas and transferred to State, so he is eligible to play immediately. Two freshmen QB's will also be on the roster and Coach Doeren has the option to platoon the position to take advantage of the skill sets of multiple quarterbacks.

Whoever ends up running the offense will have an uphill battle learning a new offense amidst a shortage of experienced talent in Raleigh. The Wolfpack have holes on the offensive line and at the skill positions. The opportunity is available for a freshman or two to step up and make an immediate impact.

When Miami arrives at Wallace Wade Stadium on November 16, Duke will have their hands full. Miami is predicted to win the Coastal Division by most preview magizines and that viewpoint is shared here at Blue Devil Nation. Miami's defense ranked 116th out of 120 in 2012, yielding over 500 yards of offense and 30 points per game. However, their offense produced 440 yards of offense and 31 points per game to propel the Hurricanes to seven victories. Their 52-45 victory over Duke on November 24 is a perfect example of how Miami had to outscore teams in 2012.
If the Hurricanes' defense is improved in 2012, and many analysts believe it will be, Miami will be the favorite to represent the Coastal Division in the ACC Championship come December.

On offense, senior quarterback Stephen Morris, sophomore running back Duke Johnson and junior wide receiver Phillip Dorsett ensure the Hurricane offense is again a high octane attack. The offensive line will be one of the most experienced in the conference.

Duke's long losing streak to Wake Forest was broken in 2012 with a 34-27 victory in Winston-Salem on September 29, 2012. Duke will look to secure back-to-back road wins over the Demon Deacons when they once again travel to Winston-Salem on November 23, 2013. All indications are Coach Jim Grobe intends to return to a run-oriented offense after having relied on the pass in recent seasons. The question which must be answered is whether or not the offensive line will be talented and healthy enough to win enough battles in the trenches to provide tailback Josh Harris room to operate. Harris rushed for 608 yards last season.

Quarterback Tanner Price is a talented passer with enough running skills to hurt a defense with his legs if left unchecked. His primary receiving target will be Michael Campanaro, whose numbers could benefit from the emergence of a downfield threat capable of stretching the defense.

Undersized but talented (two time All-ACC selection) Nikita Whitlock will once again anchor the middle of Wake Forest’s talented defense. In contrast to the Demon Deacon offense, which will have a new look, the defense is stable with eight of 11 starters returning to execute their familiar 3-4 set.

One certainty is Coach Grobe will have his team ready to play week in and week out. Wake Forest is not a team which beats itself with mistakes and penalties.

The 2013 NFL Draft saw five North Carolina Tar Heels selected, including two in the first round, which results in some significant holes for Coach Fedora to fill this coming season, especially in the trenches. Moreover, two time 1st Team All-ACC running back Gio Bernard became the first running back selected when taken in the 2nd round.

However, senior Bryn Renner is back at quarterback; senior A.J. Blue, sophomore Romar Morris and freshman Khris Francis are three talented running backs; and sophomore Quinshad Davis is a potential star at wide receiver. The talent pool in Chapel Hill has plenty of stock. Moreover, Renner has a year's experience under his belt running Coach Fedora’s offense.

On defense, the players also have a year under their belt adjusting to the 4-2-5 scheme, but two big questions remain to be answered. First, will the secondary be improved; second, who will step up and replace the departed Kevin Reddick and Sylvester Williams?  Those questions will have been answered by the time Duke travels to Chapel Hill in late November.

In 2013, Duke will look to build off the successful 2012 season, including the Belk Bowl appearance.  The ACC schedule, which does not include Clemson or Florida State, is conducive to achieving four or five wins and taking the next step in the rebuilding process.

Checking in with Duke prospect Justise Winslow


Justise Winslow has a monster day.  Rick Crank for BDN
Justise Winslow has a monster day. Rick Crank for BDN

No player in the country has been playing better basketball than Justise Winslow of late and the hot prospect definitely benefitted from his recent play with Team USA.  During the Nike Peach Jam, Winslow showed off his skills set and now sports  as complete a game as any prospect on the Nike EYBL circuit.  In short, Winslow has very few weaknesses.

The Texan can take you off the dribble, post up smaller and larger players, crash the boards, step back for a smooth mid range jump shot or nail the three on offense alone. And did I mention he brings the ball up court like a point guard and can hit the open man with his passes.  And Winslow can defend as well, having the ability to guard up to four positions if needed.

It doesn't take long to appreciate Winslows on the court exploits, but he's just as impressive off the court where he fires back answers that are clear and concise to reporters, many of whom seem in awe at how articulate his retorts can be.  Winslow after all, goes to one of the top schools in Houston and as you will see in the following interview, he is a competitor in the class room just as he is on the hardwood.

I've seen Winslow play in well over twenty games on the AAU circuit and what you look for over the years is for a player improve and Winslow is flat-out playing his best basketball ever and in my eyes is a top ten player in his class.  Which ever team gains his services at the collegiate level will get a solid citizen and as good a wing as one could want.

Check out the latest on Justise Winslow with our interview where we discuss the schools on his list, his timeline, Team USA Basketball and more.


I know Arizona, Duke and other schools have been on you hard, but what it your current list of schools? [private]

Well, right now I'm still at ten schools and there are no leaders or anything like that. North Carolina, Duke Florida, Texas A & M, Baylor, Houston, Arizona and Stanford. And there are some new schools trying to talk to me like UCLA, Indiana and Michigan.

Yeah, I don't know when I will sign for sure but want to do so by November. I just want to make sure I am signed by then.

Coming back from playing with Team USA overseas has to be tough on the body.  You didn't have long to prep for the Peach Jam.

Yeah, it was tough and that's why I sat out the first game of the Peach Jam. I learned a lot by the experience and I'm just looking to take all the knowledge gained and just look forward to try to display it out here and be the best I can be. It was tough adjusting to the time zone again but that's no excuse. I've got to know my body and do what's best for it. So, yes, it was tough and I'm adjusting.

Can you talk of  your experience?

It's just a big difference playing with those guys because most of them have been to college other than the three of us, so the speed of the game and they're just stronger and bigger I got a lot out of the practices and the coaches helped me understand the game and how to defend ball screens off the ball. It was a great time.

At this point in the process are you starting to feel the pressure knowing a decision is looming? You have all these coaches looking at you and probably texting you before you get off the court. Are you feeling the pressure.

I was feeling the pressure at first but my family told ,e to just forget about it and play basketball. One day it will come to me where I want to go to school and ,y family told me not to force it but just go out and be a kid and have fun.

Who will play important roles in your final decision. Your parents? I know you're close to your brother as well ...

Yeah. Just my immediate family. My coaches will play a little part, but mainly my family.

I know you've been asked of a package deal with Tyus Jones and Jahlil Okafor ...

I don't know how big of a factor, but it is a factor and being able to go to school with those guys and make that program elite. I want to go to school with them but all three of us have to do what is best for our families. If it happens that all three of us go to school together, that would be the best. So, I'm really excited and if it does hold up, I will be very happy.

And which teams were all three of you considering from your list?

I think Baylor, Duke, Kansas. I think that's it.

What is it like playing in front of all the major college coaches?

Umm. You know it's kind of exciting at first but you just have to be yourself. You can't go out there and just try to please those coaches but be yourself.

What are your plans moving forward?

I may take time off and the last event will be Orlando for me.

Will you take some time off in the near future?

Yes, definitely a time. I wish I had more time to spend with my family and relax at home but my team needed me, so I thought taking off the first game in North August was the best thing I could do for my body. In August or September I will keep working on my game and will take some time then for my family.

I know your family is big on education.  Have you thought about what you might take in school?

I like math and physics so numbers are my thing. So, maybe something in business or engineering. My family is really big on academics and I go to one of the top schools in Houston. So, I pride myself on that ... being a competitor on the court and in the class room I think I do a lot of things good and some things great, but I think my versatility and all around game is what upgrades me from other guys.  [/private]


2016 Wing Vincent King is on the Duke radar

Vincent KingDuke is generally slow to get involved with some younger kids, but the talented Vincent King garnered their attention this pas weekend at the Nike EYBL Peach Jam in North Augusta, South Carolina.  King has not been back long from an overseas trip where he helped Team USA roll through the competition.   The LeBron James Shooting Stars U-16 team was one of the best this season and King was part of that.  His play in North Augusta was seen by many coaches who were also scouting some of his talented teammates and the calls are sure to roll in after the evaluation period for this talented young man.  Vincent King is a guy to keep an eye on moving forward.

It's the first time I have been able to see you play this weekend and I'm impressed. Where did you learn your basketball skills?

I learned from my Dad, he played overseas. He's Vincent King and I'm junior. (goes by V.K.)

How would you describe your game in your own words?

I'm very patient, I don't like to force a lot of stuff but to remain poised and get my teammates involved and play good defense.

You're a young guy but I am sure you are already hearing from a lot of schools.

My [private] Dad has been hearing from a lot of schools, he feels like I'm not really old enough to handle it just yet, so I just keep it that way for now. So, he handles all that stuff.

Did you have a dream school growing up?

A dream school? (pause) No, not really. I watched a lot of schools and it will be three years for now. A lot of things can happen between now and then.

Will you continue your AAU career with the LeBron James Shooting Stars?

For now, yes.  I'm playing with a lot of the lot big time players and there are a lot of schools here.

(the reason I asked the question above was that the team/roster was more or less thrown together this season and many of the kids have never played together)

Do you try to pattern your game after any particular player?

I try to pattern my game after Lebron, Kobe and players like that.

You were just overseas representing your country with Team USA. Tell me a little bit about that experience.

It was a great experience, especially with the way we played. In my first game we scored 99 points, so it was fun. The experience, doing whatever was fun.  I had time to grow and learn.

I'm kind of from the North Carolina region. What do you think of schools like Duke and North Carolina?

Those are great schools. I like those schools a lot and also the education is great there too. You have to work for everything you get there with those schools.

Being from Ohio are you hearing from the local schools like Ohio State?

Yeah, they offered me and I have a great relationship with the head coach and assistants.

Which schools have offered to date?

Ohio State, UNCC, Wisconsin, N.C. State, Iowa State and some others as well. It's humbling to see a lot of schools come in early.

What do you do in your down time?

Try to get out there and play golf a little bit. My Dad runs a gold company, so I try to get out there some.

I spoke briefly with Mr, King after the interview who is very hands on and sits on the bench with the team.  He's a personable guy and tall meaning his son could grow an inch or two yet.  He runs a non-profit golf organization which helps kids in Ohio and has roots and family in North Carolina somewhere in the Western part of the state.  He grew up rooting for North Carolina and was excited to see Coach Williams watching their game.  When asked if this was bad for Duke, he said no, but it was clear he had some heart-strings attached to UNC.  Duke will recruit Jackson in time and Coach K did take in his game while watching dual games and came away impressed.  Luke Kennard, his teammate had good things to say about the youngster as well. Talk about this interview on the message board for members. [/private]

Duke showing interest in 2015 SG Charles Matthews

peach 057One of the hottest players in the class of 2015 is 6-5 shooting guard Charles Mathews and his play during the recent Nike Peach Jam did nothing to cool him off.  In fact, it was clear that Duke and Mike Kryzyzewski had started to recruit Matthews as he stood side by side with John Calipari to take in his game.  Kentucky offered Matthews in June ans since that time he's on his way to becoming a household name.  Matthews can swing to the point guard spot as well with his skill set and his active presence on the court is hard not to notice.  Matthews claims there are no early leaders and that he would not make a decision until his senior season.  Blue Devil Nation caught up to Matthews to get his thoughts on Coach K and the recruiting process to date.

What are you trying to accomplish while participating in the Peach Jam?

I'm just trying my hardest to come out here and win and gain experience while advancing in the tournament.

How would you describe your game in your own words?

I'm just a really versatile player who plays defense and can get to the basket as well.

Which schools have been the most aggressive of late in your recruitment?

Kansas, Kentucky, Duke, Ohio State, Michigan State and Providence. [private]

Who have you talked to from Duke in the past? {private]

Coach K and Coach Capel.

He's a Chicago guy like you. Cubs or White Sox?

I don't really get into baseball, maybe the White Sox.

Where are you from in Chicago?


Louisville is showing interest.  Did you see Rick Pitino? (other site)

No, I didn't really see him.  I don't pay much attention to the coaches.

Where did you learn or who taught you your basketball skills?

Just playing in the gym with my big brother, cousins and Father.

You played with some Louisville players recently ... (other site)

I think Louisville is bringing in some good guards, so they'll be good.

Will you take any unofficial visits after the evaluation period?

It depends on my mom and whether she wants t go to some schools.

What do you do in your down time?

I just work on my craft and build consistency in my game.

Kentucky was watching you and I know they're interested.  How do you feel about them? (other site)

It means a lot to me that they are coming.

You said that Coach k called you.  What did you talk about?

He just talked to me about being a Chicago guy and he said he was going to start recruiting me as well. It means a lot you know, Coach K is a legendary coach, one of the great names.

USA Basketball. Is that something you would like to get involved in?

Yes. it's a dream of mine to represent my country doing the sport I love to.

What do you have, a hip pointer? (icing his hip)

Yeah, it's kind of tightening up on me in the games.

Are there any early leaders?

I am open to all schools right now and just trying to build relationships with the coaches.

Who are your favorite NBA players?

I like Kevin Durrant and Derrick Rose.

Whats in your game console?

I like to play NBA 2K or College Hoops. Those are the only two games I play.

Thanks for your time and good luck the rest of the way.

Thank you. [/private]

Catching up with 2015 prospect Skal Labissiere

prosMake no mistake, Skal Labissiere is clearly one of the top prospects in the class of 2015 and his play continues to draw hoards of coaches on the AAU circuit.  Labissiere runs the floor like a Gazelle said one major college coach and I have to agree.  If you are looking for a smooth operator who glides up and down the court showing off his length and impressive offensive skills, then Skal is the prospect for you.  As he gains strength, his potential could be frightening in that he seems to be showing constant improvement during each event.  We spoke to Labissiere during the NBAPA Top 100 Camp recently and took time to follow up with him on what has happened since while covering the Nike EYBL Finals also known as the Peach Jam.

How many teams have called since I last saw you at the NBA Top 100 Camp?

I haven't had that many but Duke called, Baylor, Texas, Tennessee and that's about it.

So, how did you originally come to the United States from Haiti?  [private]

My guardian, Gerald Hamilton is a part of a non-profit organization that helps kids from other countries and help people play sports and reach their dreams.

What are your impressions on college basketball in the United States?

In Haiti. we do not watch college hoops, we watch the NBA, so I do not know much about the college game/

Did you have a favorite NBA player growing up?

Kobe and the Lakers. He's a person I would love to meet.

If you could have dinner with any coach all time, who would it be with?

John Wooden. I have books which talks about him.

You have all the major college coaches in the gym to watch you, what are your feelings about the growing attention?

When I came to the United States I didn't know basketball was that serious and that the college recruiting is so crazy. On the court, it is really physical and the game is fast.

Do you have an idea when you will make a decision on where you will play college basketball?

Probably my senior year. I am going to take my time.

What are the most important factors for you when choosing a school?

The system. I want to go somewhere you can run and look at what kind of guys they have there. I want to check out how things are off the court as well and play with guys who have good character.  I know I have to earn my playing time and put in the work once I get there but I just want to have a good relationship with the coach and the teammates around me.

Will you take all of your alloted official visits?

Yes sir. I will take all five official visits.

Have you taken any unofficial visits to date?

Memphis and Ole Miss

What do you like the most about basketball?

Just, you know, I just have fun playing the game.

Any idea on what you would like to study in college?

Probably something to do with business.

Thanks for your time.

Yes sir, no problem.

Liston Wins Gold at World University Games

ListonThe USA Women won Gold today in Kazan, Russia at the World University Games with a 90-71 victory over host Russia in the Championship Game. Duke guard Tricia Liston averaged 8.2 points per game in 13.7 minutes of action, during the tournament. She made 42.9 percent (9-21) of her 3 point field goal attempts and was a perfect eight for eight from the free throw line.

The toughest game for the United States was a 79-78 victory over Australia in the semi-finals. Australia stormed out to a large 1st quarter lead before the United States battled back with tenacious defense to build a 17 point lead. However, Australia wasn’t finished as they mounted a furious comeback and took the lead with less than a minute to play in the game. Crystal Bradford (Central Michigan University) scored the decisive basket with 14 seconds remaining in the game.

The USA was led by Bria Hartley (Connecticut), Kaleena Mosqueda-Lewis (Connecticut) and Odyssey Sims (Baylor).

In preliminary round play, the USA was not challenged and easily defeating Mali (120-32), the Czech Republic (101-61) and Brazil (105-75). Liston scored 13, 14 and nine points respectively in those three games.

The quarterfinals saw the USA defeat Sweden 103-72. Liston scored 11 points in the victory.