Women vs. Liberty (Preseason WNIT) Preview

by Rogabee

Discuss on Yuku

While most will be watching the men's game at Albany, there will be another game going on of significance for Duquesne sports.  Rather than following the men's game online, hopefully some folks will go to the AJ Palumbo Center to watch the women host Liberty Lady Flames at 7:00.

Liberty is the defending Big South Champions, finishing with a 21-9 record overall, and #92 by the RPI.  By comparison, Duquesne finished last season #91 in the RPI.  It appears to be a battle of two top-100 teams, one which DU could use come Selection Sunday and that Albany could use to get out of the 16 seed if they win the Big South tournament.

Liberty is the dominant team in the Big South Conference, and that's not changing anytime soon.  Liberty is once again favored to win the Big South Conference, which marks the 15th time in 16 years.

The winner will play the winner of Davidson/North Carolina  (Can we put that in the game notes somewhere please?  Thanks!)

Duquesne Injury Update

Per Duquesne's game notes, Carly Vendemia missed the scrimmage due to a stress fracture and is out indefinitely.

Notes on Liberty:

Liberty is projected #20 in the Women's Mid-Major Poll by collegeinsider.com.  (The A10, CUSA, and the MWC opt out of the poll, so Duquesne is not ranked.)

Coach Carey Green is a huge believer in crashing the glass.  Over the last 10 years ,the worst that Liberty has been in rebounding margin in the NCAAs is 5th.  Yes...the WORST they've been is 5th, and have every year over the last 10 years averaged a +10 or better per game on the glass.

Liberty returns three starters and five total seniors from last year's team.  Oddly, all four recruits this year are guards.

Devon Brown, now finally a senior, is the player to watch for Liberty.  A swing, Devon made the Big South First Team as a frosh, a remarkable honor, and has also made it ever since.  With a full season to go, she's already 6th all-time in points for Liberty.

Reagan Miller logged 33 mins/game as a frosh PG last year, and set a Liberty record for total minutes played last year, which is no small feat considering how many good teams Liberty had over the last decade and a half.  However, it will be interesting to see how many minutes she gets this year as...

Emily Frasier, Liberty's expected starting PG last year who started 30 games as a frosh the previous season before being named to the Big South All-Freshman team, missed all last year with an injury.  Frasier will be back this year to provide quality assistance at the PG position, leaving Liberty with two experienced starting PGs for the season opener against the Dukes.

However, Liberty did take a tremendous hit with graduation.  Not only Liberty's all-time leading rebounder but also the Big South's overall leader, Avery Warley, graduated last year.  She's found herself a home with the Phoenix Mercury of the WNBA.  Warley helped make Liberty the nation's leading rebounding team (by plus-minus per game) for two of the last three years.

There's still height and bulk on the Liberty roster, however.  With four players over 6'3' (including one that is 6'5'' and another 6'6'')', Liberty still has a big team inside that can potentially control the glass.  And that doesn't count Devon Brown, who while only 5'10'' is one of the Big South's leading rebounders as well.

Liberty's current coach, Carey Green, is a remarkable 310-103 (75.1%) overall.  Under Green, Liberty has held it's own against current A10 opponents, going 10-11. 

Liberty is one of only three NCAA programs to keep it's women's head coach and top three assistant coaches for the last six years.

Since I know someone will ask me, the most local player on Liberty's team is Ashley Rininger from Canton Ohio.

That's all for now folks.  Hope to see some of you at the game.
Discuss on Yuku