As the Blue Devils hit the road to Boston College, freshman Uchenna Nwoke was noticeably missing from the bench. The center suffered a hyperextended knee in practice this past week and will be out 4-6 weeks.
Though Nwoke only averaged less than three minutes per game and saw action in only eight contests this season, the Grand Prairie, Texas, native’s absence will be noticeable in the coming weeks. With a roster of only 10 active players, her injury has further limited Duke’s depth off the bench in particular. The Blue Devils will now only have nine available weapons, two of which who have averaged fewer than six minutes per game.
Nwoke was an important piece of the entering class for Duke this year, rounding out a guard-focused class that was highlighted by Miela Goodchild and Rayah Craig. Though not a top-100 recruit out of high school, Nwoke’s height provides a great asset to the Blue Devils.
Nwoke is the only player the Blue Devils have had that stands at 6-foot-6 since the departure of All-American Azura Stevens following the 2015-16 season. She is also one of the only players that Duke has had in recent history that truly plays a five role in the paint.
“We are really pleased to have [Uchenna],” head coach Joanne P. McCallie said to GoDuke.com. “All of our post players have been more inside-out players where Uchenna is happy to be a true five with her back to the basket.”
Until Nwoke is healthy, the Blue Devils will be depending heavily on Sophomore Jade Williams and freshman Onome Akinbode-James. Redshirt senior Sofia Roma will also get more minutes off the bench for Duke.