As the college basketball season looms, it's finally time for the Blue Zone to preview the 2022-23 Duke women's basketball roster. We previously looked at Bo Shaffer, Emma Schmidt, Jiselle Havas, Lee Volker, Imani Lewis, Emma Koabel, Vanessa de Jesus, Mia Heide, Kennedy Brown, Shay Bollin and Jordyn Oliver. Up next is Georgia transfer Reigan Richardson:
Last year’s stat line: 5.8 PPG, 1.6 RPG, 1.0 APG, 14.7 MPG (Georgia)
Game breakdown: Reigan Richardson, a transfer from Georgia, is a big guard who has the ability to score at all three levels on the court. On the offensive end, she does not shy away from contact and strives at driving to the basket. In limited minutes, she made the third-most free throws on her team with the Bulldogs. Richardson has a good shooting stroke, with the capability to pull up off the dribble and a lot of experience shooting while coming off of screens. Her 3-point percentage last year was only 28.4%, but she improved throughout the year, finishing her last 10 games with a 37.5% clip from beyond the arc. She primarily plays at shooting guard, but her ball handling and passing abilities are akin to a point guard. Defensively, Richardson’s size gives her an advantage against other guards, she gives tremendous effort and has a solid rebounding ability. Although her height is beneficial in rebounding and blocking, it can leave her vulnerable in defending smaller, quicker guards.
Role on the team: The Blue Devils have a strong group of veteran guards this year, so it appears that Richardson will come off of the bench to start the season. In any case, her size and versatility will be vital on this team, and her ability to guard multiple positions will certainly earn her plenty of minutes. Notably, Richardson was one of head coach Kara Lawson’s two selections for ACC media day, showing Lawson’s trust in the newcomer. Her size and playing style on the offensive end is similar to projected starting shooting guard Celeste Taylor, and if Richardson can improve her defensive instincts to Taylor’s level, the sky is the limit for Richardson on this team. She is still only a sophomore, and the tremendous growth she showed during her freshman year against elite SEC competition forecasts bright things for the future.
Projected stats: 7.5 PPG, 2.5 RPG, 2.0 APG, 22 MPG
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