Film room: Analyzing Duke women's basketball forward Mia Heide

Mia Heide comes to Duke after four years with Tulane.
Mia Heide comes to Duke after four years with Tulane.

After an up-and-down 2021-22 season, Duke returns to the hardwood this year with a handful of fresh faces and true grit. In this series, the Blue Zone analyzes the new signees’ film for the 2022-23 season. We previously looked at Kennedy Brown, Taya Corosdale,  Ashlon Jackson and Emma Koabel. Next up is Mia Heide:

Duke is joined this year by 22-year-old Mia Heide, who is attending Fuqua School of Business while playing out her fifth year of NCAA eligibility. Heide comes to Durham from New Orleans, where she played the last four years as a forward for Tulane. She originates from Austin, Texas, where she was the first women’s basketball player at Austin High School to earn a Division I scholarship. During her high school years, Heide was twice-consecutively named her 25-5A district’s MVP, received a nomination for the McDonald’s All-American team and scored her 1000th career point in just her junior year. As a member of the Green Wave, Heide played in 118 games in four seasons, 81 of which she started. In her senior season at Tulane, she played an average of 25 minutes every game.

Heide spends most of her court time sticking to the paint, almost directly beneath the basket. She averaged only 1.6 blocks per game in her 2021-22 season, however, likely due to her rather passive approach to defense. Heide is not an aggressive defender, keeping her distance from her opponents on the court, which limits her efficacy in shot-blocking. Her rebound average is more impressive, though, at a mean of 5.9 per game—this is where her dominating presence and 6-foot-3 stature serves her best. In the following clip, Heide turns her Green Wave teammate’s botched layup into a clean box-shot:

Heide’s own contact with the ball during her games is somewhat limited: she is reserved in her defensive technique, primarily using her height and frame to interfere with the offense. When in man-to-man defense, Heide marks her opponent while always remaining close to the paint, sometimes straying from her defensive marking to rush whoever is lined up for the shot.

On the offensive side, Heide’s scoring percentages are staggering, for a forward: last season, she banked 51.7 percent of her field goals and 33.3 percent of her shots from outside the arc. Her formidable 73.3 percent success rate with free throws establishes her as one of the best players to take a foul shot for the Blue Devils. These impressive statistics are largely the result of Heide’s ability to catch the rebound; she is quick to put back up a shot missed by her teammate. Heide’s talent with field goals is qualifiable by her limited shooting attempts, however. Despite her laudable stats, Heide ended her last season at Tulane with a solid but unremarkable 8.6 points per game.

Heide is certainly a team player. In games, she can be seen setting picks for guards, where her height is definitely an asset. After a turnover, Heide is quick to turn around and take her standard position back in the paint. On offense, this means she stands ready to catch a rebound and put the ball back up from the box; on defense, she is often set for a block, though, again, these have seen varying levels of success. Here, Heide demonstrates her ability at setting picks and remaining under the basket to box out her defender:

Heide’s four years of experience on the Green Wave should have her prepared for a successful final season with the Blue Devils. No. 42 is set to complement head coach Kara Lawson’s team with her excellent shooting abilities and impressive history at the rim.

Sophie Levenson | Sports features editor

Sophie Levenson is a Trinity sophomore and sports features editor of The Chronicle's 119th volume.


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