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Duke women's basketball 2020-21 player preview: Jaida Patrick

After having a more reserved role last year, Jaida Patrick is going to see a significant increase in her minutes as she takes over the three position.
After having a more reserved role last year, Jaida Patrick is going to see a significant increase in her minutes as she takes over the three position.

College basketball season is approaching, and with that the Blue Zone gives you a breakdown of the 2020-2021 women's basketball squad.  Be sure to check out the previous previews: Vanessa de Jesus, Uchenna Nwoke, Jiselle Havas, Sara Anastasieska and Jada Claude.

Jaida Patrick

Year: Sophomore

Height: 5-foot-10

Position: Guard/forward

Last year's statline: 1.7 PPG, 6.0 MPG

Game breakdown: Patrick is a defense-first wing with clear talent, though her exposure to collegiate basketball was a bit abridged, in part due to a deep guard rotation last year and in part due to former head coach Joanne P. McCallie's erratic and inconsistent substitution patterns. Patrick generally played spot minutes or in blowouts, but showed a lot of reasons to be optimistic about her ability to contribute.

Patrick’s strengths on the defensive end start with her physical tools. She’s very quick and her upper and lower body move independently, to a degree that many upperclassmen struggle to achieve. She also plays with a long wingspan and has the lateral quickness to make dribbling around her a difficult endeavor, though she doesn’t yet flip her hips excellently or have a good cross-step, so skilled ball-handlers can consistently turn the corner on her if she’s not careful.

 But those are skills that can be easily developed through practice and repetition, so there’s every reason to think Patrick could quickly become as impactful as Miela Goodchild or last year's Kyra Lambert on the defensive end.

On the offensive end, Patrick is still a bit of an unknown. The Blue Devil offense last year was notoriously inept until past New Year’s, and Patrick provided a few examples, often ending up in poor positions and running into teammates. She seemed more comfortable in games when she played enough to get into a groove, which wasn’t particularly often; she only attempted 35 shots all year. The jumper remains a question mark, but her instincts in slashing and spacing appear to be enough to not be a non-factor on offense.

Role on the team: Patrick is one of the shorter players on the roster, but this team's rotation will consist of just four Blue Devils at least six feet tall. That’s fairly good news for Patrick’s playing time, but it does mean she’s likely to be featured against taller players at the three fairly often. With Goodchild firmly entrenched as one of the team’s best players, Patrick should be able to carve out a 20-plus-minute role over Sara Anastasieska and Jiselle Havas, splitting time between the two and three spots. A lot of that will depend on her offense of course, as she can’t be a mediocre shooter in lineups that are bound to feature a couple of offensively-challenged players.

Projected stats: 22 MPG, 9.5 PPG, 1.1 SPG

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