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  1. #1
    Join Date
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    DWBB 2024 Off-season

    Alas, the season is over a little too early but what a season it was. With the rise of the program, there will be lots to follow over the next 6 months. First and foremost, the recruitment decision of #1 Sarah Strong. There is sure to be some portal news, but please do not speculate about our players leaving, if anyone does leave there will be plenty of time to discuss it after it happens. We might even hear from some 2025 recruits early, Kara has returned Duke to an interesting destination. Also feel free to add general WBB news.

    Discussion of the current NCAA tourney should remain on the other thread. Let's go Wuffettes!
    Bad officials are elected by good citizens who do not vote. - George Jean Nathan

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Feb 2008
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    Quote Originally Posted by dudog84 View Post
    but please do not speculate
    But that's what we do!

    Like you, my number one wondering will be what Sarah Strong decides. I can't believe that the baby blue Bangharts are seriously a consideration for her anymore, but UCONN sure would be. She'll have to think does she want to sign up with a team that will likely be stacked next year with Bueckers and a number of newly healthy players, or does she want to roll the dice with Duke and join some other top freshmen that Kara has coming in. And I'm sure she's factoring in Geno's longevity, too. He's stated that retirement is on the imminent horizon.

    Aside from that, I'll also be giving Knoxville the nervous side eye until they figure out who will be taking over their program.
    Q "Why do you like Duke, you didn't even go there." A "Because my art school didn't have a basketball team."

  3. #3
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    Marietta, Georgia
    Quote Originally Posted by dudog84 View Post
    Alas, the season is over a little too early but what a season it was. With the rise of the program, there will be lots to follow over the next 6 months. First and foremost, the recruitment decision of #1 Sarah Strong. There is sure to be some portal news, but please do not speculate about our players leaving, if anyone does leave there will be plenty of time to discuss it after it happens. We might even hear from some 2025 recruits early, Kara has returned Duke to an interesting destination. Also feel free to add general WBB news.

    Discussion of the current NCAA tourney should remain on the other thread. Let's go Wuffettes!
    Thanks. Without speculating about anyone leaving. Do we have holes to fill through the portal? I assume we will be looking if Strong goes elsewhere.

    Also, how much of a factor is NIL for women's hoops?

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Feb 2008
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    New Bern, NC unless it's a home football game then I'm grilling on Devil's Alley
    If we go portal shopping, hopefully it will be for length. Emsbo (6'5") and Brown (6'6") will be hard to replace defensively. Off the bench, Camille was so valuable in her toughness and shot blocking ability. My joke throughout the season was that I'd not want to meet her in a dark alley.

    Incoming freshman Arianna Roberson is 6'4" (19th top recruit), and we have 6'4" Jordan Wood, although I'm not sure she helps us much. So potentially, we're looking at a "small" team.

    Kara Lawson is on record as saying use the portal for what you need, not just because someone is available. That tells me that unless she really feels we are lacking somewhere, or unless someone unexpectedly exits, our roster may be set aside from Strong's decision.
    Q "Why do you like Duke, you didn't even go there." A "Because my art school didn't have a basketball team."

  5. #5
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    Dec 2014
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    Quote Originally Posted by Daddylawman View Post
    Thanks. Without speculating about anyone leaving. Do we have holes to fill through the portal? I assume we will be looking if Strong goes elsewhere.

    Also, how much of a factor is NIL for women's hoops?
    My assessment is that Kara wants to build through recruiting, she wants a 4-year relationship with her kids, and she's training them for more than just basketball.

    The portal was a necessity at first. Last year she went for just 2, a back-up for Kennedy and back-up/co-point guard for Vanessa. When Vanessa went down in late July, it all got dumped on Taina's shoulders and Ashlon had to learn back-up point guard.

    The only need I see I see from the portal is for an experienced post, hopefully a senior or grad. Arianna Roberson should be great but she's lanky, 6-4, listed as a forward, and obviously a freshman.

    Don't ask me about NIL. No knowledge, no interest in learning.
    Bad officials are elected by good citizens who do not vote. - George Jean Nathan

  6. #6
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    To re-iterate my lengthy post on the other thread, I'm even more convinced Sarah comes to Duke. uNC has to be out. When they got down to South Carolina they gave up. When we got down to UConn, we just fought harder.

    Re UConn, the programs are on different trajectories. UConn had nowhere to go but down due to their dominance, but my goodness they haven't won it all since 2016! Geno is on his way out, I assume when Bueckers leaves which will be next year. Meanwhile, we gave UConn all they could handle with a very young team and no All-Americans.

    Sarah Strong appears to be a very sharp young lady, waiting to see where the chips fall. Waiting to see how Kara did with another year of coaching experience (and I give that an A+). Now, maybe waiting to see if Kara jumps to UT. I thought we'd hear from Sarah this week (McD is tomorrow) or next (after the NCAA), but now I'd be shocked if she decides before Kara makes a definitive statement. I'd almost bet a pie that Kara and Sarah (sounds good, eh?) have been on the phone already today.
    Bad officials are elected by good citizens who do not vote. - George Jean Nathan

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Feb 2008
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    Quote Originally Posted by dudog84 View Post
    I'd almost bet a pie that Kara and Sarah (sounds good, eh?) have been on the phone already today.
    Hey Coach, hear about that UT job?

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Feb 2018
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    Dur'm
    Quote Originally Posted by dudog84 View Post
    To re-iterate my lengthy post on the other thread, I'm even more convinced Sarah comes to Duke. uNC has to be out. When they got down to South Carolina they gave up. When we got down to UConn, we just fought harder.

    Re UConn, the programs are on different trajectories. UConn had nowhere to go but down due to their dominance, but my goodness they haven't won it all since 2016! Geno is on his way out, I assume when Bueckers leaves which will be next year. Meanwhile, we gave UConn all they could handle with a very young team and no All-Americans.

    Sarah Strong appears to be a very sharp young lady, waiting to see where the chips fall. Waiting to see how Kara did with another year of coaching experience (and I give that an A+). Now, maybe waiting to see if Kara jumps to UT. I thought we'd hear from Sarah this week (McD is tomorrow) or next (after the NCAA), but now I'd be shocked if she decides before Kara makes a definitive statement. I'd almost bet a pie that Kara and Sarah (sounds good, eh?) have been on the phone already today.
    And I'd bet a pie that Nina and Kara have also been in touch. I think it is obvious that, at a minimum, Kara would try to parlay interest from Tennessee into an extension/raise. She'd be a fool not to. But take a look at the biographies of Nina King versus that of Daniel White. White's biography is at least 3 times longer, but 70% of it is devoted to Tennessee football. Basketball is prominently mentioned, but mostly the men. Women's basketball, and women's sports in general, are mentioned only in passing. Meanwhile, Nina King shows up in person to nearly every Duke women's game, and has been up to her elbows in the women's game at the national level. To me, it is absolutely clear which AD and which school is more concerned with and eager to support women's sports.

    Tennessee was paying Kellie Harper $1.1 million per year, and just ponied up about $1.65 million to get rid of her three years early. I don't know how much Kara is making. I'd guess a fair amount. But I'd guess Duke can do enough to retain someone with Kara's national profile to try to maintain our forward progress and bring the Duke women's team back into the national conversation.

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by Phredd3 View Post
    And I'd bet a pie that Nina and Kara have also been in touch.
    Thanks Mr. Obvious! I'd bet Nina was on the phone (or in Kara's office) within minutes of the news.
    Bad officials are elected by good citizens who do not vote. - George Jean Nathan

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by dudog84 View Post
    Thanks Mr. Obvious! I'd bet Nina was on the phone (or in Kara's office) within minutes of the news.
    Hey, someone has to lower the signal-to-noise ratio around here!

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by Daddylawman View Post
    Thanks. Without speculating about anyone leaving. Do we have holes to fill through the portal? I assume we will be looking if Strong goes elsewhere.

    Also, how much of a factor is NIL for women's hoops?
    So far, Kara has played a lineup of post, forward, and three swiss-army-knife guards. The only minor hole I can think of based on who is committed is at the post. We have Arianna Roberson as an incoming freshman, who is 6'4" and an inside presence on both ends of the floor. But she's the only true center we will have in the lineup.

    On the other hand, we also have Janessa Cotton and Toby Fournier coming in at the forward spot. Both are 6'2". Cotton is more of a big body, built even stronger than Delaney Thomas. But her primary game is more of a power forward type, with shooting range out to the 3-point line and relying on agility and a step-back jumper more than a bang-with-the-bigs, post-up kind of approach. Toby Fournier has a much slighter frame and is known for her ability to dunk. However, while Fournier was able to make a lot of crafty moves in the paint and block shots playing at Crestwood Secondary (Canada's version of high school), I am concerned that her slight build, relative lack of height, and complete lack of any face-up game might make her transition to college a little rough. But if her craftiness plays up a level, she could be very dynamic - think Jadyn Donovan, but taller.

    And of course, all three of Roberson, Cotton, and Fournier are freshmen. It would be really nice to have an experienced big to provide some extra experience in the middle, if Strong does not commit to Duke.

    But I'd take the versatility and high ceiling of Strong's game over a transfer post any day of the week.

  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by Phredd3 View Post
    And of course, all three of Roberson, Cotton, and Fournier are freshmen. It would be really nice to have an experienced big to provide some extra experience in the middle, if Strong does not commit to Duke.

    But I'd take the versatility and high ceiling of Strong's game over a transfer post any day of the week.
    I think we need the post even when (see, I didn't say if ) Sarah commits. Seeing her skill set, I can't imagine her wanting to be our post player. I know Kennedy is out of eligibility (though I don't know why she can't appeal getting a COVID year just because she was injured then), but what do you think of her as a graduate assistant to teach our young frontcourt the defense?
    Bad officials are elected by good citizens who do not vote. - George Jean Nathan

  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by dudog84 View Post
    I think we need the post even when (see, I didn't say if ) Sarah commits. Seeing her skill set, I can't imagine her wanting to be our post player. I know Kennedy is out of eligibility (though I don't know why she can't appeal getting a COVID year just because she was injured then), but what do you think of her as a graduate assistant to teach our young frontcourt the defense?
    I agree that Sarah Strong doesn't want to be relegated to the post, and I wasn't suggesting that she would be. Just that when Sarah commits (see, I can do that, too!), we will only have one player who can truly play the post and no scholarship options left. We'd have to speculate about a player transferring out to get both. But really what we have is a coach who seems willing to take the best pieces and mold them into a team. Kara has mostly played post-forward-3-guard lineups, but we've occasionally seen Thomas play the post alongside Donovan, and we've occasionally seen double-post lineups. I think Kara would design around the lineup she's able to bring in. Her preference seems to be for a true post, and there will be some teams against whom we will really need a strong physical presence, but I doubt that Strong would play there exclusively, or even most of the time.

    I'd love seeing Kennedy stick around, but I'm not sure she has coaching on her mind. I know she has professional playing aspirations as her immediate post-Duke goal. She's hoping to get a look in the WNBA, but failing that, I imagine she'd be a force on a top European team somewhere. Camilla will be the one at Duke finishing her grad school studies, but I think she may be pretty committed to the degree.

  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by Phredd3 View Post
    I agree that Sarah Strong doesn't want to be relegated to the post, and I wasn't suggesting that she would be. Just that when Sarah commits (see, I can do that, too!), we will only have one player who can truly play the post and no scholarship options left. We'd have to speculate about a player transferring out to get both. But really what we have is a coach who seems willing to take the best pieces and mold them into a team. Kara has mostly played post-forward-3-guard lineups, but we've occasionally seen Thomas play the post alongside Donovan, and we've occasionally seen double-post lineups. I think Kara would design around the lineup she's able to bring in. Her preference seems to be for a true post, and there will be some teams against whom we will really need a strong physical presence, but I doubt that Strong would play there exclusively, or even most of the time.

    I'd love seeing Kennedy stick around, but I'm not sure she has coaching on her mind. I know she has professional playing aspirations as her immediate post-Duke goal. She's hoping to get a look in the WNBA, but failing that, I imagine she'd be a force on a top European team somewhere. Camilla will be the one at Duke finishing her grad school studies, but I think she may be pretty committed to the degree.
    Good points. I could see Delaney-Toby-Arianna-Janessa-Sarah doing enough to lessen the need for a true post. I think we're a preseason top-10 team and solid Final Four threat when Sarah commits, but still a year away from a title.

    Though Kara showed me she can exceed my expectations, I really didn't think we would beat Ohio State in Columbus. These may be Duke blue glasses, but looking at what she has done and the recruiting, I think we have the best young coach in WBB. I think Nina agrees.
    Bad officials are elected by good citizens who do not vote. - George Jean Nathan

  15. #15
    Join Date
    Feb 2008
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    New Bern, NC unless it's a home football game then I'm grilling on Devil's Alley
    Quote Originally Posted by dudog84 View Post
    Good points. I could see Delaney-Toby-Arianna-Janessa-Sarah doing enough to lessen the need for a true post. I think we're a preseason top-10 team and solid Final Four threat when Sarah commits, but still a year away from a title.

    Though Kara showed me she can exceed my expectations, I really didn't think we would beat Ohio State in Columbus. These may be Duke blue glasses, but looking at what she has done and the recruiting, I think we have the best young coach in WBB. I think Nina agrees.
    Without her we'll still be top 20 and should look to have as much or more success in the tournaments. At the same time, I know it took Jadyn a long time this year to become as valuable as she is, so I'm expecting the same with our incoming class. College ball at the level Duke plays is far different than anything they've seen in high school. If everyone is on fire out of the gate, I'll very pleasantly surprised.
    Q "Why do you like Duke, you didn't even go there." A "Because my art school didn't have a basketball team."

  16. #16
    Kellie Harper is officially out as the Tennessee head coach.

  17. #17
    Quote Originally Posted by WV_Iron_Duke View Post
    Kellie Harper is officially out as the Tennessee head coach.
    I think this is really bad news for Duke. Coach Lawson seems like the type of person that would love to turn around her alma mater.

  18. #18
    Unsurprisingly, Georgia Amoore is in the transfer portal out of VT. Doubt she will come to us but notable.

  19. #19
    Join Date
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    Quote Originally Posted by loran16 View Post
    Unsurprisingly, Georgia Amoore is in the transfer portal out of VT. Doubt she will come to us but notable.
    "Transfer portal"...being the open door at Kentucky.

    PS, we don't need a player at guard.
    Q "Why do you like Duke, you didn't even go there." A "Because my art school didn't have a basketball team."

  20. #20
    Quote Originally Posted by CameronBornAndBred View Post
    "Transfer portal"...being the open door at Kentucky.

    PS, we don't need a player at guard.
    Amoore is good enough that if she was interested you make room. But like you said, she probably follows her coach to Kentucky

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