Erin Mathias is not confined to the post at 6-foot-4—she can shoot from the perimeter and switch ...

Duke women's basketball 2016-17 player preview: Erin Mathias

Erin Mathias

  • Year: Junior
  • Height: 6-foot-4
  • Position: Forward/Center
  • Last year’s statline: 1.8 PPG, 1.7 RPG, 0.5 APG

Game Breakdown: Mathias is very much a modern-day center. She doesn’t simply live in the paint—she can step out a few feet beyond the rim and hit the occasional jumper. Despite being one of the few upperclassmen on the team, Mathias still has yet to play meaningful minutes for head coach Joanne P. McCallie. She has spent time playing behind centers like All-American Elizabeth Williams—who went on to be selected fourth overall in the 2015 WNBA draft—and Azurá Stevens. 

Despite her size, Mathias has had trouble slowing down similarly sized players when facing some of the top teams in the country. She will need to use more than just her height in key matchups if she wants to have a larger role on this team.

Role on the Team: In her first two years, Mathias has not seen much time on the court. On an injury-riddled team last season, she averaged just 8.4 minutes per game—the second fewest on the roster. This year, however, it looks as if that might change. McCallie started Mathias Sunday against Charleston in the only exhibition game before the start of the regular season, and the Pittsburgh native looked comfortable complementing the three-guard attack of Lexie Brown, Rebecca Greenwell and Kyra Lambert. It remains to be seen whether this was a one-time reward, but it would not be surprising to see Mathias used a lot more often this year to help speed up the tempo.

Projected stats: 6.8 PPG, 5.7 RPG, 0.6 APG

Stay tuned to the Blue Zone for our continuing preview of Duke basketball. Previous players previewed include: Leaonna OdomHaley GoreckiFaith SuggsCrystal Primm, Kyra Lambert and Lyneé Belton.

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