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,Jordyn Oliver, Reigan Richardson and Taya Corosdale. Up next is freshman Ashlon Jackson:
Last year’s stat line: N/A
Game breakdown: Ranked 16th overall in her recruiting class, Jackson is arguably Duke’s most exciting addition for the upcoming season. Known for her elite shooting abilities, her versatility in the backcourt allows her to exploit matchups and knock down shots from anywhere and everywhere. Her specialty lies in her jumper, but she is just as capable of driving to the basket. With good court vision, the China, Texas, native can assist as well, able to find open teammates and put them in scoring position as she threads the needle between opposing players. On the defensive end, Jackson’s tough transition play and constant communication keep her team unified and focused. As if that weren’t enough, she drives the game with her uptempo pace and keeps her squad’s energy levels high with her big personality.
Jackson’s abilities are on full display in her stacked high school resume. In her senior season, she averaged 19.4 points, 5.6 assists and 4.3 rebounds per game, registering six double-doubles along the way. Even more incredible are her defensive stats: she averaged 4.2 steals and 1.5 blocks per game. The 18-year-old’s talent has earned her national recognition as she was a 2022 McDonald’s All-American and 2022 Jordan Brand Classic participant. She also boasts three All-Region and All-State selections and led her high school to multiple appearances in the state tournament championship game.
Role on the team: Despite her talent, Jackson is a freshman vying for minutes with veteran guards senior Celeste Taylor, junior Vanessa de Jesus and sophomore standout Shayeann Day-Wilson. She may start her season on the bench, but there is no doubt she will get ample playing time for Duke with her versatility and selflessness as an offensive player who can knock down shots and dole out assists. Her defensive abilities alone increase her marketability, but her vocal presence and energy make her a game changer. If she demonstrates her prowess off the bench, Jackson could see the court as a starter as the season progresses.
Projected stat line: 17.0 MPG, 5.5 PPG, 2.0 APG
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