The Blue Devils played their annual Blue-White scrimmage Sunday afternoon at Cameron Indoor Stadium, as the White Team topped the Blue Team 111-50 after featuring most of Duke’s veterans in the first half. Here are five of the biggest takeaways from the Blue Devils’ debut.
1. White Team showcases potential starters?
The White Team started Leaonna Odom, Rebecca Greenwell, Erin Mathias, Lexie Brown and Mikayla Boykin and had Bego Faz Davalos off the bench. With the team’s top returning players as well as two highly touted newcomers in Boykin and Davalos, it took a 61-25 lead at halftime.
The Blue Team’s starting five included Jade Williams, Jayda Adams, Faith Suggs, Madison Treece and Haley Gorecki, with Emily Schubert coming off of the bench.
After the first half, Williams and Gorecki switched to the White Team, and Greenwell and Mathias took their spots on the Blue Team for the third quarter. Greenwell and Mathias returned to White for the fourth quarter, swapping with Boykin and Davalos.
2. An All-American performance
The Blue Devil squad consists of two preseason All-American guards in Greenwell and Brown. They both lived up to their preseason hype and showed leadership on the court, especially with plays like Greenwell’s behind-the-back save in the first quarter that led to one of many 3-pointers and Brown’s 3-point buzzer beater to end the third quarter. Greenwell led all scorers with 33 points—27 for White and six for Blue—and Brown added 24 for the White Team.
“We can go all the way down the bench, to be honest,” Brown said. “Of course Becca and I are going to be the core of this squad since we’ve been working so hard together and I love playing with her, but anybody on this team can go off for 30, 20, 10 rebounds. We have so many weapons for this team and I can’t wait to show it off.”
3. Erin Mathias: A powerhouse in the paint
Mathias, a senior post player who may step into a major role this season after the departure of Oderah Chidom, impressed in Sunday’s scrimmage all over the court, but especially in the paint with several defensive rebounds, lay-ups and blocks. She nearly finished with a double-double with 14 points and a game-high nine rebounds, and the Pittsburgh native added to her impressive defensive performance with three blocks and a steal.
4. Turnovers could cause problems as the season begins
A recurring problem for the program, turnovers played a major role again in Sunday’s scrimmage—the two squads combined for 37 giveaways in 40 minutes of play. Although Brown and Greenwell took care of the ball in the backcourt, potential frontcourt starters Erin Mathias and Bego Faz Davalos combined for nine turnovers for the White Team.
“We’ll improve on that. That’s just the nature of things since it was a Blue-White [scrimmage],” head coach Joanne P. McCallie said. “But there’s no question we need to have nine or less per game, and we will. We’ll get there.
5. Mikayla Boykin struggles in her first appearance in Cameron
The Clinton, N.C. native, who had outstanding high school stats and was named to the Newcomer Watch List at ACC Media Day last week, had trouble living up to lofty expectations Sunday. She scored just three points in the first half and none in the second half after averaging 37.4 as a senior in high school.
“She learned a lot from today, in terms of what it takes to play at this level and the kind of conditioning,” Blue Devil head coach Joanne P. McCallie said. “Mikayla has awesome, awesome potential, and she’s going to have to really dedicate every day to get into that place.”
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