It's pretty easy to determine that it is far easier to recruit to Duke in WCBB than to UT. UT is fantastic, don't get me wrong, but WCBB players value education to a far greater degree than men, given limited professional opportunities upon graduation. The Duke name carries big weight in the professional world (even though, realistically, you can get just as good of an education at Texas).
Duke was in the bottom of the ACC before Goestenkors arrived. Her pitch to recruits was using the academics as a primary recruiting tool, while also selling the opportunity to completely build a program.
And because of her efforts, CAPE developed (around 1999), which is a MAJOR advantage that Duke has with some elite recruits (e.g., Alison Bales, Elizabeth Williams).
CAPE Link #1
CAPE Link #2
(video from earlier this year)
Goestenkors and McCallie had similar problems. UT, by all accounts, is a very good public institution. But a Duke degree carries much more weight and is perceived as having a higher status than one from Texas; in other words, it is more elite. Goestenkors' mistake was forgetting how much she came to rely on the Duke degree as part of her sales pitch.
McCallie's mistake coming to Duke was thinking that Duke would simply sell itself because of the degree, not realizing that Goestenkors had built the program and was selling Duke (not simply recruits competing for Duke scholarships, as McCallie initially thought). This is why McCallie's first two classes relatively pedestrian The 2007 recruits had signed with Duke when Goestenkors was still there; Abby and Emily Waner re-sold Duke to them so they would stay after Goestenkors left. Shay Selby, the best player from Duke's 2008 class, had already committed to Duke when Goestenkors was still there (and one of her lead recruiters, Shannon Perry, was staying at Duke). Of the five players in the 2008 and 2009 classes that were "solely" McCallie's players, two transferred and one quit.
McCallie corrected the course by having two assistants who do full-time recruiting; in fact, former Duke assistant (current Louisville assistant) Samantha Williams was the architect of the 2010 class, which, at the time they signed, was the greatest recruiting class in the Duke's history.