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Duke women’s basketball 2018-19 player preview: Jade Williams

<p>Jade Williams will need to continue her high-level defensive play against Eastern Carolina's explosive guards.</p>

Jade Williams will need to continue her high-level defensive play against Eastern Carolina's explosive guards.

Jade Williams

  • Year: Sophomore
  • Height: 6-foot-5
  • Position: Forward/Center
  • Last year’s statline: 4 PPG, 3 RPG, 1.2 BPG

Game Breakdown: The No. 14 overall prospect in the Class of 2017, Williams is one of the more talented young bigs in the ACC. Her greatest strength is her presence on defense—despite placing just sixth on the team in minutes last year, the 2017-18 All-ACC Freshman Team selection led the Blue Devils in blocks. Offensively, Williams will not be a threat from downtown—she missed her lone three-point attempt last season. But the faceup-five has a keen ability to finish inside and a mid-range shooting touch that forces defenders to keep an eye on her at all times.

Role on the Team: One of just three returning players to appear in all 33 of Duke’s games last season, Williams will serve as the Blue Devils’ starting center during her sophomore campaign. That likely means Coach Joanne P. McCallie will want her playing at least double the 14.8 minutes per game she averaged last year. But if the The Colony, Texas native hopes to stay on the court that long, she must cut down on her fouls, as Williams placed third on the team in fouls last season despite her role off the bench. 

Incoming 6-foot-6 freshman Uchenna Nwoke may compete with Williams for playing time down the stretch, but if a spot on the watch list for the Lisa Leslie Award—given annually to the nation’s top center—is any indicator, Williams will be a very valuable part of this year’s Duke squad.

Projected Stats: 6.8 PPG, 6.0 RPG, 2.1 BPG

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