Doug Feinberg of the Associated Press reports that the Duke Blue Devils' 70-58 road win in Berkeley yesterday impressed one voter enough to move them to the #1 spot in the AP poll ahead of the UConn Huskies.
However, Rob Clough of DW Hoops saw an area for improvement for Duke in that game against the Cal Golden Bears that might temper some of that voter's excitement.
Areas For Improvement: Duke was frequently stagnant in its offensive sets and didn't do a great job getting the ball to its bigs in scoring position. The players relied on long pull-up jumpers too many times with the shot clock running down. Duke gave up 16 offensive rebounds.
The outcome of the game was certainly a "resume-builder" as Clough noted, but Duke hardly put on a standard-setting performance. In the first half, Duke shot just 38.7% from the field and center Elizabeth Williams struggled to get going, which certainly helped Cal stay in the game. Despite an outstanding second half overall, coach Joanne P. McCallie alluded to lapses in intensity that allowed Cal to gain momentum.
If UConn plays the way we've come to expect in recent years, those struggles certainly keep Duke a step behind. On December 17, we'll be able to answer the question with more than speculation as Duke and UConn will face off in the Jimmy V Classic.
As for Cal, the loss resulted in a drop to the #10 spot while Baylor moved to #9 and, for now, that's reasonable: as Cal coach Lindsay Gottlieb said after yesterday's game, they were exposed and their inability to score consistently - against Duke or Long Beach State - makes it difficult to dispute a drop in the rankings.
Aside from Baylor and Cal switching spots, the top 10 teams remained the same. Beyond that, Dayton's loss to Iowa resulted in a nine-spot drop while Nebraska rose two spots.
For more on Cal and Duke, check out our storystream with full coverage of their game yesterday.