While Eastern Conference teammates like Allison Hightower, Ivory Latta, Crystal Langhorne and others began and concluded college careers, Tamika Catchings was already well into building her professional résumé with the Indiana Fever.
Already depleted by injury, Duke found out Friday that its star freshman center has a stress fracture. Now it's time to find out if the Blue Devils are too wounded to rise to the moment or too hardened to fall flat.
The sad reality is that seemingly every women's team has to deal with injuries, but Stanford is near the top of the class in dealing with them. And that's why the Cardinal will carry on, despite losing JJ Hones to a torn ACL.
No Candace Parker? No problem. At least, it wasn't Wednesday when the Tennessee star was benched. Her teammates picked her up, and if that's their New Year's resolution, it's a scary proposition for future opponents.