With the college basketball season just around the corner, the time has officially come to take a deeper look at the 2021-22 Duke women's basketball roster. The Blue Zone has you covered with player previews for each member of the team. Be sure to check out the previous previews: Jiselle Havas, Emma Schmidt, Lee Volker, Amaya Finklea-Guity, Onome Akinbode-James, Nyah Green, Miela Goodchild, Shayeann Day-Wilson, Imani Lewis, Lexi Gordon, Celeste Taylor, Vanessa de Jesus and Elizabeth Balogun.
Year: Graduate student
Last year’s statline: 11.0 PPG, 9.0 RPG, 4.5 APG, 29.0 MPG
Game breakdown: Williams is a crucial part of head coach Kara Lawson’s roster. The Texas native is an efficient scorer from the paint with an excellent sense for moving without the ball and creating opportunities for herself and her teammates. While she will not be blocking a ton of shots, her interior presence is definitely felt, especially on the offensive glass. Williams excels at grabbing rebounds and scoring second chances, as she averaged five offensive boards per game last season.
Williams is disciplined in her decision-making on both sides of the floor, only picking up two fouls per game last season to go along with a tremendous 60.6% shooting clip from the field. After her junior season, in which she attempted 34 3-pointers, Williams now seldom shoots from outside, as she is mainly used in ball screens at the top of the key only to roll back to the blocks. Last season, Williams also showed off a strong knack for finding open shooters, as she bumped her assist average up from 1.7 to 4.5 per game, lessening her turnover ratio in the process. She nearly nabbed a triple-double against Western Carolina, falling a point and two assists short.
Williams performs well against tough competition, as her top scoring mark from the shortened 2020-21 season came against No. 2 Louisville, and every night out she can be counted on as a reliable scorer and initiator. Her defense was a focus entering last season and still has room for improvement, but what Williams has shown to bring offensively can likely overcome any of her liabilities on that end of the floor.
Role on the team: As by far the most experienced Blue Devil returnee, Williams has all but guaranteed herself a spot as the starting center for a revamped Duke team. By flourishing in the pick and roll game and honing in on her role as a putback scorer, Williams can bump her scoring numbers. She may also continue to succeed with the ball in her hands, making plays for an improved shooting team. However, with additional scoring from transfers Celeste Taylor and Imani Lewis, Williams may fall back into a more supplementary role—but an important one, nonetheless.
Projected stats: 10.3 PPG, 6.4 RPG, 28 MPG
Get The Chronicle straight to your inbox
Signup for our weekly newsletter. Cancel at any time.
Micah Hurewitz is a Trinity junior and a sports managing editor of The Chronicle's 118th volume.