Sophomore Crystal Primm will become the sixth Blue Devil to transfer out of head coach Joanne P. McCallie’s program since 2013, a source close to the program confirmed Saturday.
A five-star recruit when she arrived at Duke in 2015, the 5-foot-11 guard appeared in 65 games during her career and made 14 starts as a freshman. But after playing in every game and averaging 18.8 minutes per contest in her first year, Primm saw her playing time drop significantly as a sophomore—she averaged just 11.0 minutes per game and never started.
"I think so, but I never got an answer," McCallie said when asked if the decision was about playing time. "People make those
Primm never developed into a dangerous scoring threat, averaging 3.5 points per game in her career. However, she was one of the team’s better perimeter defenders and often entered games to slow down opponents’ top guards. The West Palm Beach, Fla., native notched 39 steals in her two years at Duke.
Forced to step into a more prominent role in the Blue Devils’ NCAA tournament loss to Oregon March 20 after starting point guard Kyra Lambert tore her ACL in the first round, Primm posted season highs with eight points and 20 minutes played.
The Blue Devils are a year removed from an internal investigation after a slew of players and assistant coaches recently left the program. Guards transferring after struggling to find their niche in McCallie’s rotation is nothing new.
Sierra Moore transferred to Penn State after the 2012-13 season and Alexis Jones—who was recently selected in the first round of the WNBA Draft—transferred to Baylor after the 2013-14 season. Both Kianna Holland and Sierra Calhoun transferred to Ohio State after just one semester at Duke in the 2013-14 and 2014-15 seasons, respectively.
Star forward Azurá Stevens also transferred to Connecticut last spring.
The Blue Devils will still have high expectations next season with star guards Lexie Brown and Rebecca Greenwell returning and one of the top recruiting classes in the country coming in.
Update: Primm announced via Twitter April 29 that she will transfer to Auburn. The Tigers have played in the NCAA tournament in each of the last two seasons.
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Ben Leonard contributed reporting.