DURHAM, N.C. – Head Coach Joanne P. McCallie and the Duke Women’s Basketball Team held a successful opening practice on Friday evening in the Krzyzewski Center. The Blue Devils practiced for three hours and went through drills, defensive sets, plays and saw extensive action against the male practice players.
“It was a good, strong practice,” said McCallie afterwards. “I liked the focus, the intensity, and I thought we did a lot of nice things. It’s the beginning, and the important thing for us right now is the attention to details and discipline, and to go as hard as we possibly can with whatever we’re doing.”
“The team worked hard, has prepared well, and had a terrific preseason so this is really just a continuation of that. It was a nice first day.”
Entering her second season at the helm of the Duke women’s basketball team, McCallie led Duke to its 10th straight 25-win season with an appearance in the ACC Championship game and a trip to the NCAA Tournament Sweet 16 in Oklahoma City. The trip to the NCAA Tournament marked the 11th straight appearance in the regional semifinals for the program, which received its 14th straight and 15th overall tournament bid.
In the preseason rankings, Duke has been tabbed fifth by Athlon Magazine, sixth in the Slam Magzine and seventh by Lindy’s Magazine polls.
The Blue Devils will have nine days of practice before hosting the second annual Blue/White Scrimmage on Sunday, Oct. 26 at 2:00 p.m., in Cameron Indoor Stadium. Duke will then host Anderson University on Nov. 6 in an exhibition contest at 7:00 p.m. The Blue Devils will open the 2008-09 campaign on Nov. 14 versus Oklahoma State at 7:00 p.m., in Cameron Indoor Stadium.
Duke will feature excellent leadership in 2008-09 as the Blue Devils return tri-captains Chante Black, Carrem Gay and Abby Waner, who have seen action in a combined 298 games and made 175 starts over the last three years. Black and Waner have been selected to the preseason "Wade Watch" list for the State Farm Wade Trophy Division I Player of the Year.
As a team, Duke registered a 25-10 overall record and advanced to the NCAA Sweet 16 in 2007-08 before falling, 77-63, to eighth-ranked Texas A&M. The Blue Devils were ranked in the top 20 the entire season to go along with the top 13 nationally in 18 weeks. Duke made its 11th consecutive NCAA Regional appearance, which is currently the third-best streak in the nation.
“The team is excited and motivated, and there is a lot of good energy,” added McCallie. “At the same time, they recognize the focus needed, the discipline needed, and the attention to details needed as we move forward.”
Duke features a very challenging slate in 2008-09 with the first appearance coming on Oct. 26 with the Blue/White Scrimmage at 2:00 p.m. The Blue Devils will also host Anderson College in an exhibition contest on Nov. 6 at 7:00 p.m., before opening the season at home versus Oklahoma State on Nov. 14 at 7:00 p.m. Duke will have a total of 14 home contests this season and will be on television 12 times in the regular season.
All home games are played in the historic Cameron Indoor Stadium. For ticket information, contact the Duke ticket office at 1-877-375-DUKE (3853) or 919-681-BLUE (2583).