After the first two games, the Dukes played two likely top 100 teams in Cal Poly and DePaul. Now, the Dukes get a quick breather at Kent State before the home opener on Sunday against a Green Bay team that has dominated the Horizon League women’s titles much the way Butler did the men’s.
Kent State is in a rebuilding mode after making the WNIT in 2011, eventually falling to Duquesne to end their season. Danielle O’Banion is in her second year at the helm and is coming off a 3-27 season in her first year (RPI 328). However, Danielle O’Banion is known as a recruiter and things may be turning around already. O’Banion was able to get a solid recruit in Larissa Lurkin, beating out Delaware and St. Louis for her services. On the court, Kent State was able to pull out an overtime win in their first game of the 2013-14 season against Eastern Kentucky, a WBI team last year.
However, this is a game the Dukes should win going away if they are a team that expects to make a run at a potential NCAA at-large berth.
Projected Starters for the Dukes and what I’m looking for vs. Kent State.
PG – April Robinson. How she handles pressure. She was limited in the Cal-Poly game due to fouls, and the quickness of the DePaul guards bothered her. I’m looking for her to limit the turnovers.
SG – Raegan Moore. She’s played great, well above what I expected from last year. She’s shot well, handled the ball well, and played a solid PG for a little when April was out. Can she keep it going? If so, Raegan has a shot at the A-10 Most Improved Player award.
SF – Orsi Szecsi. Can she limit mental mistakes in a game that could be a runaway?
PF – Wumi Agunbiade. After going 5-18 at the free throw line to start the regular season, can she get back to hitting a respectable rate so that games won’t start looking like hack-a-Shaq?
C – Jose-Ann Johnson. She seemed more assertive in the Cal-Poly game than I was used to. Can she keep up the aggressive play, particularly on the defensive end?
Projected starters for the Golden Flashes
G – Ashley Evans, 5-9 senior
G – Amber Dunlap, 5-9 senior
G – Larissa Lurkin, 5-9 frosh
F – Montania Johnson, 6-1 junior
C – Cici Shannon, 6-4 junior