Leaonna Odom could challenge opposing defenses with her length and ball-handling skills from the ...

Duke women's basketball 2016-17 player preview: Leaonna Odom

Leaonna Odom

  • Year: Freshman
  • Height: 6-foot-2
  • Position: Forward

Game Breakdown: As Duke’s top recruit in its 2016 class, Odom brings versatility and athleticism at the forward position that will help the Blue Devils run an up-tempo offense and create matchup problems for opponents. The Lompoc, Calif., native arrives in Durham after a stellar high school career, capped off by a state championship in her senior season. The McDonald's All-American will help fill the hole left by the departure of star forward Azurá Stevens at the end of last season with her ability to step out and shoot from the perimeter in addition to playing in the post.

Odom brings a multi-dimensional skillset to Duke, as she led her high school team in 3-point percentage and points per game and was second in rebounds, blocks and assists per game last season. She has also impressed her coaches and teammates with her athleticism and ability to run the floor from the forward position, a trait that will be critical if she is to step into Stevens’ shoes.

Role on the Team: As Odom transitions to the college level, she will give the Blue Devils valuable flexibility in the lineups they can put on the floor. On the floor, the natural forward will shift between the wing and the power forward positions, allowing head coach Joanne P. McCallie to play her with different groups depending on the opponent. With Lexie Brown, Kyra Lambert and Rebecca Greenwell rounding out the backcourt, putting Odom at forward affords McCallie a unique option to pick up the pace and run a fast-paced offense through the freshman. But shifting her to the wing gives the Blue Devils added depth at guard and lets them go big down low instead.

Odom’s skills off the ball should help Brown, Lambert and Greenwell work the offense more effectively when she is on the court, and her athleticism on defense will help her match up against a wide variety of opponents as well.

Projected Stats: 8.1 PPG, 4.3 RPG, 0.9 APG

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