Last year we barely got a hint of what Kara Lawson would do as Duke women’s basketball coach before the season was shut down due to Covid concerns.
This year we should get a much better idea.
The non-conference schedule isn’t particularly great, which is pretty typical for a new coach building a program, but Duke does play Alabama, Iowa, Penn, and, in likely the biggest challenge of the season, South Carolina.
In conference play, Duke gets home-and-home sets with Virginia Tech, NC State, Virginia and of course UNC.
The one-off games see Duke hitting the road to play Clemson, Louisville, Miami, Syracuse and Pitt and hosting Boston College, Florida State, Georgia Tech, Notre Dame and Wake Forest.
It’s going to be interesting to see how Duke does, not just because Lawson is essentially in her first season but also because of how she has built her roster.
Duke has seven transfers, most of whom were highly regarded coming out of high school. Jiselle Havas would have been eligible last season but wasn’t able to play since the season was cut so short.
Then there are two freshmen, Lee Volker out of St. Paul VI, the same school that sent Jeremy Roach and Trevor Keels, and Shayeann Day-Wilson out of Toronto.
That’s 10 new players competing for minutes. And keep in mind only three are underclassmen. It’s going to be very interesting indeed.