DePaul cruised to a victory over Harvard in the nightcap of the Maggie Dixon Classic, so the title game will be the Dukes of Duquesne vs. the Blue Demons of DePaul. Unfortunately for the Dukes, Harvard was no match for the Blue Demons, as the Blue Demons were able to rest plenty of players en route to a 99-75 win. DePaul was able to play 11 women 11 or more minutes, and the DePaul starters only averaged 18 minutes of action tonight. DePaul will certainly be the more rested team heading into tomorrow’s clash with the Dukes.
DePaul is coming off an at-large berth to the NCAA Tournament, losing to Oklahoma State in the first round. They project as a top 50 team this year from the new Big East. For the Dukes, this is the type of game that would be a huge resume builder come March if they could steal a road win.
Breaking down DePaul:
Coach Doug Bruno’s teams like to run, run, and run some more and play a 2 PG offense. It should be a fun, exciting matchup for the Dukes. However, for all the running they do, they limit turnovers and value the ball much the way Everhart’s teams did here. For all their running, they will likely start a three-guard offense against the Dukes. It will be interesting to see how Coach Burt counters DePaul’s pressure and to see if he sticks with going tall as he did in the opener. If so, the Dukes may be the team trying to slow it down which isn’t Burt’s style.
Brittany Hrynko, 5-8 Junior PG. Previously an ESPN Top 100 recruit, Hrynko is an exceptionally quick point guard, particularly on the defensive end from the little bit of video I saw on DePaul. I’m worried she could have a ton of steals against April. Hrynko averaged 14.7, 4.5, and 4.8 last year as a sophomore. She’ll be the focal point and take a lot of shots, including some ill-advised ones from reading the DePaul sites.
Chanise Jenkins, 5-5 Sophomore PG. Chanise is another ESPN Top 100 recruit who is lightning fast. Jenkins registered 8 ppg and 4.5 apg last year.
Jasmine Penny, 6-1 Senior F. Jasmine averaged 12.8 and 4.9 in close to 30 minutes per game last year. She’ll have to step up this year for DePaul to be an NCAA type team. Jasmine scored 17 points in 14 minutes in the Harvard game.
Key Losses from last year:
Katherine Harry. DePaul’s primary and often only rebounder last year, Harry got the Demons 9 and 11 last season. Somebody – most likely Jasmine Penny – will have to pick up the slack on the boards or it could be a long night for DePaul who was only an average rebounding team with Harry.
Anna Martin. Last year’s leading scorer at 15.7 PPG when she was healthy, but missed a third of the year with injuries to both knees. She was primarily a scorer on a team that won’t lack for scoring.
As always, GO DUKES!!!