With the college basketball season right around the corner, it's time for the Blue Zone to take a look at the 2023-24 Duke women's basketball roster. We previously looked at Emma Koabel, Oluchi Okananwa, Delaney Thomas, Jordan Wood, Camilla Emsbo, Kennedy Brown, Jadyn Donovan, Ashlon Jackson and Taina Mair. Next up is junior guard Reigan Richardson:
Last year’s stat line: 20.6 MPG, 6.8 PPG, 2.2 RPG, 1.2 APG
Game breakdown: Playing in all 33 games and starting the last 26, junior guard Reigan Richardson was an impactful player on Duke’s 26-win team last season. Richardson’s presence was felt on the defensive end, as she used her quickness and length to be a formidable defender against both guards and forwards. One of Richardson’s best defensive games came in the ACC quarterfinals against North Carolina, where the 5-foot-11 guard registered two blocks, including a last-second 3-point attempt from the Tar Heels to tie the game.
At times in her first year with the Blue Devils, Richardson struggled to flash her offensive abilities. The Charlotte native showed spurts of strong finishing abilities, but failed to consistently contribute on offense. Additionally, she shot a below-par 23.3% from beyond the arc in the regular season; however, Richardson ramped up her shooting ability come conference play, shooting a solid 35.3% from deep. With fewer offensive options this year for Duke, Richardson must continue to take steps forward on the offensive end. If all goes to plan, Richardson can carry on her elite defensive play while progressing on offense, landing her a spot as an all-ACC “three-and-d” guard.
Role on the team: With the departures of star guards Celeste Taylor and Shayeann Day-Wilson, along with a season-ending injury to point guard Vanessa de Jesus, Richardson will be thrown into the fire this season. Alongside Boston College transfer Taina Mair and freshman Jadyn Donovan, Richardson will take a large chunk of the guard duties on this Blue Devils roster. While not an easy task, Richardson has the experience to do it.
As previously noted, Richardson will primarily be Duke’s anchor on the defensive end. Expect her to collect more rebounds as head coach Kara Lawson inevitably will ramp up the junior guard’s minutes. Now, a huge question mark will be Richardson’s offensive contributions. Duke needs consistent scoring this season, and Richardson is a prime candidate to take her offensive game to the next level, with a solid shooting stroke and a knack for getting to the rim. Regardless, Richardson is crucial to Duke’s team success this season.
Projected stats: 27.3 MPG, 10.2 PPG, 4.6 RPG, 1.7 APG
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