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, Emma Koabel and Mia Heide. Next up is Reigan Richardson:
Charlotte native Reigan Richardson is returning home to North Carolina after spending her freshman year at the Georgia. She is one of four transfers to Duke.
In limited minutes last year, Richardson averaged 5.8 points, 1.6 rebounds and 1.0 assists per game. The 5-foot-11 guard provides length and size at the wing position, allowing her to take advantage of smaller defenders. In her senior season in high school, she averaged 27 points per contest and connected on 35 3-pointers throughout the season. She was virtually unstoppable in all areas of her game, with her size and quickness creating an offensive juggernaut.
On the offensive end, Richardson’s ability to score at all three levels suggests a promising future. Although her 3-point percentage was relatively low as a freshman with the Bulldogs, she has a smooth stroke from behind the arc and is certainly not afraid to let it fly. Former Georgia head coach Joni Taylor trusted Richardson’s shot by running many set plays for her. Coming off screens, the Cannon School product has good footwork to spot up and shoot quickly, as seen in this clip from the Bulldogs' matchup against Furman last November.
Her quick first step is key to driving to the basket and her size allows her to draw contact and earn her way to the free throw line. Richardson loves to play downhill, and does not shy away from contact. Free throws are an important asset she can provide—last season, she ranked third in the stat, draining 35 shots at a 72.9% clip. Her accuracy will be essential in adding dexterity to the Blue Devils this year, and she may likely go to the stripe even more this year.
Not only can Richardson shoot from the free throw line, but her mid-range ability is a big part of her game. Her efficiency will need to improve in her sophomore year, as she only shot 36.3% from the field last year. However, it's still early in her collegiate career and she has already shown flashes of offensive brilliance. She has the ability to dribble off screens as a primary ball-handler and can pull up from any spot on the court. Richardson can catch and shoot running off screens, another forte for a guard of her caliber as well.
She has great vision at her position and can feed the ball into the post or throw it out to the open shooter on the wing. She is great at finding players in crowded situations and has strong passing instincts, as seen in the clip below.
Although her size is important for playing the offensive game she is known to put out, Richardson’s defense is quality as well. She plays with great physicality, and she is always hustling for the rebound and giving extra effort on both ends of the floor.
One thing the sophomore will need to improve at this season is her on-ball defense and lateral quickness so that she can get beat off the dribble with her height, as it can lead to reach-in fouls.
Richardson has the potential to be an excellent asset for the Blue Devils. As the season progressed for Georgia, the guard became increasingly important, scoring double digits in five of their last six conference games. This was against elite competition in the SEC, and this experience will certainly help her gain momentum in the transition to Duke and the ACC. The Blue Devil faithful can look forward to this key addition as November rolls around.
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Ranjan Jindal is a Trinity sophomore and an assistant Blue Zone editor of The Chronicle's 119th volume.