In one afternoon, the Blue Devils went from the deepest team in the ACC to suddenly thin at point guard.
Point guard Jordyn Oliver will miss the upcoming season with a torn Achilles, Duke announced Friday afternoon. The third-year player transferred in from Baylor in late April, marking perhaps the highest-profile addition to the program this year.
Injuries are always awful news, but this is especially painful for all sides. For Oliver, this season was set to be her first campaign in a program that was going to give solid minutes all across the roster and vary its lineups. After having barely played 500 minutes in Waco, Tex. in her underclassman years, the former No. 12-overall recruit was going to have the opportunity to establish a significant role on a nationally competitive roster. Instead, she’ll be recovering from arguably the worst injury a basketball player can suffer.
For the Blue Devils, they’re now down to Vanessa de Jesus and Shayeann Day-Wilson at point, who’ve played a combined four collegiate games to this point. And both have shoddy defensive reputations at best, compared to Oliver, known for her stout point-of-attack defense.
But this isn’t the end of the world. De Jesus and Day-Wilson are both extremely promising young talents who need on-court time to develop, and if she takes a medical redshirt, Oliver will still have three years of eligibility remaining. Plus, Achilles injuries may not be as bad as they once were; WNBA stars Breanna Stewart and Kelsey Plum have both come back from Achilles tears almost good-as-new, while Kevin Durant was one of the few best players on Earth this year after having suffered a ruptured Achilles.
At Duke in particular, women’s soccer players Sydney Simmons and Mia Gyau, who graduated last year, both recovered from torn Achilles and returned to excellent on-field play.