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Duke women’s basketball 2019-20 player preview: Jade Williams

<p>Jade Williams will anchor the Duke frontcourt during her junior season.</p>

Jade Williams will anchor the Duke frontcourt during her junior season.

Jade Williams

Year: Junior

Height: 6-foot-5

Position: Forward/Center

Last year’s statline: 8.4 PPG, 5.4 RPG, 0.9 SPG

Game Breakdown: Coming off two satisfactory collegiate campaigns, Jade Williams has proved herself to be the most reliable big on the Blue Devil squad. The junior is a formidable presence in the paint, both as a finisher and a rebounder. Last season, she led the team with 2.5 offensive rebounds per game and finished third-best in field goal percentage, converting 45.9 percent of her attempts from the floor. Williams is at her best when she gets the ball deep under the basket.

Her highlights last season include two double-doubles and an incredible performance at home against Pittsburgh, showcasing her versatility with 15 points, eight rebounds, three assists, three steals and three blocks. 

Role on the Team: The Texas native will be a centerpiece on the team and she’s expected to contribute around 30 minutes every night as Duke’s starting center. If the Blue Devils want to turn around last year’s disappointment, Williams has to assert herself even more. During the preseason Blue and White scrimmage, the junior came out with a team-high 19 points and eight boards in 32 minutes.

In addition to her offensive production and rim protection, Duke also needs Williams to be a consistent passer with the team not utilizing a true point guard this year. Coach Joanne P. McCallie emphasizes that the team will rely on motion offense, which requires even the bigs to spot cutters and execute the delivery. The Lisa Leslie Award candidate demonstrated her court-vision against North Carolina last year with a career-high six assists, and if she can improve to be a reliable coordinator in the high post, the Blue Devils' offense can really be effective this season.

Projected Stats: 9.5 PPG, 6 RPG, 1.2 BPG

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