Wednesday, October 21st, 2020

Dishin & Swishin Q&A looks at the Class of 2014: Duke’s Tricia Liston is more than just a shooter

Published on February 2, 2014


Dec 22, 2013 - Duke at Kentucky. Photo: Timothy D. Sofranko.

Dec 22, 2013 – Duke at Kentucky. Photo: Timothy D. Sofranko.


It is our pleasure to introduce a new feature on Hoopfeed. As we head toward conference tournaments, the NCAA tournament and then the WNBA draft, Dishin & Swishin podcast host David Siegel is taking time to chat with some of the top seniors in this year’s college class. These are the leaders of their teams, the focus of their opponent’s attention and they have the eyes of WNBA coaches on them. By draft day, you should have information on most of the people your favorite team may choose!

High expectations met the Duke Blue Devils at the start of this season. Preseason All-American candidates Chelsea Gray and Elizabeth Williams were returning to the Blue Devils in good health, the underclassmen had more experience, and their was another strong freshman class. They also had a three-point shooting specialist in Tricia Liston, to help keep people off Williams inside and hit spot-up jumpers when Gray penetrated the line.

Liston, however, has proved to be far more than that. She leads the team in minutes played, and heading into the game against Notre Dame, the multi-faceted scorer leads the team at over 18 points per game. Liston was hitting almost 58 percent of her shots, over 50 percent of her three-point attempts and nearly 90 percent from the foul line. In addition, she is averaging over five rebounds per game, and less than two turnovers per game, key with her increased ball handling responsibilities.

What Does the WNBA think of Liston? An insider says:

Liston is a strong, consistent three-ball shooter, in a draft where there are not a lot of great shooters. She has improved off the dribble tremendously, and isn’t afraid to absorb contact. Her improvement shows self-discipline, and she looks to find ways to improve her game. Speed and defense are a concern; it hurts her a bit playing so much zone at Duke.

DNS: Tricia let’s start with the bad first, and get that out-of-the-way. Chelsea Gray goes down for a second consecutive year. It has to be somewhat discouraging for the team, but as a fellow senior, it’s got to be killing you to watch it happen to her.

TL: Yes, it’s a huge hit for us as a team, but for me individually, yes it really is hard. Chelsea and I have been close since the day we met, and on the court we have such great chemistry together. It hasn’t really hit me yet that we aren’t going to be playing together again, at least at Duke, and you know you just don’t want to see anyone end their career like that, especially a player like Chelsea who is such a great player and has such a big impact on our team. I do think it gives everybody just that much more motivation to play for their teammates, to play for each other, because you realize that at any point something can be taken away from you. I think it’s a lesson to be learned that every day is not guaranteed, and Chelsea shows us that, but she’ll continue to be a huge part of our team throughout the year

DNS: Coming into this year it was ‘Tricia Liston is one of the best three-point shooters around.” This year Tricia Liston has proven to be a great basketball player who can hit a lot of three-pointers. How important was it for you to come in this year and make a statement about the overall game that you have?

TL: I think it was huge for me. Starting from my freshman year, when I really didn’t play so much, only shot a couple of threes here and there, up until my senior year, I feel like I’ve progressed a lot and had to do different things to make this team successful. I think it was just like a growing experience; I guess trying to build, to make it that much harder to shut me down and guard me.

DNS: The rebounding, the ball handling, the assists; the whole package has come together this year and it makes you so much more difficult to cover all over the court.

TL: You try to have a couple of different weapons so that you are not easy to be shut down. If you’re known as just a shooter, it’s a lot easier to guard you; they’re not going to help, they are just going to run out at you out-of-control and hope that you put it on the ground. But, when you learn to do different things and you learn how to handle those situations it is a lot more difficult, and then you have opportunities to create for yourself as well as your teammates.

DNS: This past summer you were on the gold-medal winning World University Games team. You were such a consummate team player and you did so many things that were needed on a team that was pretty short. You all just stepped in and did the rebounding and everything else that was needed to go all the way.

TL: Last summer was an incredible experience for me. I never imagined I’d be playing for a gold-medal, but just being able to play with the players that I did, and a lot of things that I learned last summer from the players and from the coaches; just doing things in a different system, playing overseas, and playing against international competition. It was a really great experience for me, especially because I have hopes of playing overseas someday when I’m done here at Duke. It was an opportunity that I’m very thankful to have had; I wouldn’t have changed it for the world. I thought the whole experience was great and I was just trying to do whatever it took to win the gold-medal. Whether it was coming in and getting a key rebound, hitting a big three, at that point it was just playing for the bigger image, which was the gold-medal for USA and for everyone.

DNS: How cool is it to wear that “USA” on the front of the jersey?

TL: it was crazy putting it on for the first time, even in practice with the reversibles (practice jerseys), I was like wow this is really something else. Then actually going over seas and wearing it against another country, that something a lot larger than I’ve ever been a part of, so that’s something that was really cool.

DNS: Now the ACC has changed, and as you’ve evolved your game, the conference has certainly evolved as well. Does part of you look at Notre Dame, and say, “you know this is been our turf and it’s good to stay our turf.”

TL: A little bit. We have traditions here at Duke and we have standards, and that’s always been to be at the top of the conference, win the conference, win the tournament. So when you add new teams nothing changes in our minds, and our mentality; it’s still we have things that we want to do, and the only people who are to come in between that is ourselves. It’s great to welcome in such great competition like Notre Dame, but I think that we still have the same goals in our minds for this year.

DNS: The one loss you have this season of course is against Connecticut. When you look back at film of that game, is there anything that jumps out at you? As you go forward and look to play them again in the NCAA tournament, that you saw that you have to do this differently?

TL: I think as a team we got a little bit out of what we do. We got a little bit rushed, credit their defense, obviously it’s great, but I think we just did things we wouldn’t normally do because of the competition we were facing. I think that next time we play them we need to be determined to stay within ourselves and our system rather than try to make the “hero” shot or pass. We were just trying to do something that we normally wouldn’t do

DNS: I read the bios and I see that you are a psychology major. I just wonder what you think when coach McCallie starts going into some of her, shall we say more colorful moments, as a psychology major?

TL: (laughs) you just have to realize where she’s coming from. She wants us to be the best team we can be. Whether or not she says it in the simplest forms or not, you have to go back and think “where is this all coming from” and what does she really mean by that. Sometimes she uses a different language when she says things, but you look back and realize how she’s applying it to our team and what we want to do, it makes a little bit more sense.



Readers Comments (0)

Comments are closed.


Sign up for Hoopfeed's Weekly Newsletter

* = required field





%d bloggers like this: