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Duke women's basketball 2020-21 player preview: Sara Anastasieska

Anastasieska is going to be a crucial role player for the Blue Devils this season.
Anastasieska is going to be a crucial role player for the Blue Devils this season.

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 and Jiselle Havas.

Sara Anastasieska

Year: Graduate student

Height: 5-foot-11

Position: Guard

Last year's statline: 7.8 PPG, 1.3 RPG, 1.8 APG (California-Berkeley)

Game breakdown: Anastasieska is a “jack-of-all-trades, master-of-none” type of player. The grad transfer from California-Berkeley started 25 games for the Golden Bears last year, after missing the 2018-19 season with a back injury, and was a decent player all over the court.

According to Synergy Sports, Anastasieska combined above-average spot-up shooting and cutting with average defense, with weaknesses shooting off of screens and guarding in the pick-and-roll. She’s shown a clear ability to shoot no matter the space she has, and actually shot better guarded last year than she did unguarded. And she’s got a good feel when she comes downhill, whether it be in the pick-and-roll, driving or cutting.

Role on the team: Anastasieska is the first transfer to the Blue Devils since Lexie Brown, but hopefully fans aren’t expecting the same level of impact this time. That’s no knock on Anastasieska, but the Australia native is a lot more likely to fill a solid role than to be a two-time All-American. She should be competing with fellow newcomer Jiselle Havas for the third spot in the wing rotation. 

Anastasieska’s greatest advantage in that battle will be her ability to perform multiple jobs off the bench, each at a level better than Havas. Expect her to earn the lion’s share of the ten or so minutes at that third-string spot as a result.

It’s entirely possible that Anastasieska ends up playing closer to her 25 minutes per game mark from last year, but Duke should be looking to get more out of Miela Goodchild and Jaida Patrick, each of whom figure to be significantly better players with brighter futures.

Projected stats: 3.0 PPG, 0.5 APG, 7.0 MPG 

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