Joanne P. McCallie and the Duke women’s basketball team as the Blue Devils went through a three hour session in the Michael W. Kryzewski Center.DURHAM, N.C. – Wednesday marked the first official practice for head coach
“There were some good things early,” commented McCallie. “I think getting the intensity for the duration is a real challenge. Demanding of each other – that effort, immediacy and intensity is coming. It is exciting. It is a great month to prepare and I think we are getting better every day.”
The Blue Devils will have 11 days before hosting the annual Blue/White Scrimmage on Sunday, Oct. 27 at 2:00 p.m. Duke will also feature exhibition contests on Wednesday, Oct. 30 at 6:30 p.m., and on Sunday, Nov. 3 at 2:00 p.m. The Blue/White Scrimmage and the exhibition contests will be free admission.
“I certainly hope we can be deeper, stronger, quicker and faster in all areas,” said McCallie. “The post position – Kendall McCravey-Cooper and Oderah Chidom have really come in competing at a very high level. They want to play and mix it up early. I think they are heading in that direction beautifully. Kianna Holland has also made quite a splash, relative to her athleticism, quickness and IQ. There is no doubt that we will blend people in. Hopefully we can be deeper, maintain a higher level of intensity for longer and be a true 40-minute team.”
Duke will open the 2012-13 campaign on Sunday, Nov. 10 at nationally-ranked California on ESPNU.
The Blue Devils return five starters in 2013-14, including 93.7 percent of its scoring as McCallie enters her seventh year at the helm. McCallie, who is the 2013, 2012 and 2010 ACC Coach of the Year, has guided Duke to the NCAA Elite Eight four straight years and is coming off posting a 33-3 mark a year ago.
The Blue Devils will welcome back All-America selections Chelsea Gray and Elizabeth Williams along with All-ACC performers Tricia Liston and Haley Peters. Freshman All-America and ACC Tournament MVP Alexis Jones is the final returning starter for Duke. A total of 11 letterwinners will return to the squad this season.
Duke has also been ranked No. 2 nationally by Lindy’s Magazine and the Sporting News, while being tabbed No. 3 in the USA Today Sports preseason magazines.
All home games are played in historic Cameron Indoor Stadium. For ticket information, contact the Duke Ticket Office at (919) 681-2583 or 1-877-375-3853. You can also purchase tickets online at www.GoDuke.com.