Haley Peters' versatility makes her a key part of Duke's success

Women's basketball analyst Debbie Antonelli watches film with Haley Peters to analyze the strengths of her game (via ACC Digital Network).

The description of Duke forward Haley Peters in her profile at DWHoops.com succinctly captures her value to the Blue Devils program.

A versatile forward who outworks everyone. She has a sweet shot out to three point range but loves to scrap for rebounds. Peters is the heart and soul of the team in many ways and is the first to try to make a play when the team is in a funk.

Although her interior skills are her strength, 6-foot-3 senior Haley Peters' versatility has her listed as a "forward/guard" on her GoDuke.com bio and it's not an entirely inappropriate designation: particularly in point guard Chelsea Gray's absence(s), more of the offense runs through Peters as the team re-distributes the ball-handling burden across the roster.

All of that versatility - illustrated well by Debbie Antonelli in her interview with Peters last year (video above) - and ability to do many of the little things while picking up some bigger responsibilities along the way might earn Peters some attention on draft day.

As a WNBA prospect, Peters stands out as someone who could potentially fit the mold of a stretch four - a perimeter-oriented player with post size who can pull opposing bigs away from the basket with their ability to shoot. Peters is a 41% career 3-point shooter on 152 attempts at Duke and rebounds well enough to think that she might be able to compete for rebounds.

The one glaring statistical weakness for Peters as a draft prospect is something she alluded to in an off-hand remark in the Antonelli interview from a year ago: her very low free throw rate. To her credit, in 21 games this year she has just 13 less free throws than she did in 36 last season - she didn't even average two per game last season despite her reputation as a scrappy player. Yet even though her free throw rate is up from last year's, it's still quite a bit lower (20.47%) than that which we'd normally expect from a strong WNBA forward prospect.

Of course, the reason for her low free throw rate - and that of a few other posts among this year's set of draft prospects - should be obvious: as someone who's often floating around outside the key to get shots and open up Duke's offense, she has less opportunities to draw free throw attempts than pure interior players who are anchored in the paint. In fact, her ability to do that and rebound as well as she does offensively is somewhat impressive. Whether that's impressive enough for her to find a niche in the WNBA remains to be seen but it wouldn't be terribly surprising to hear her name called sometime during the 2014 WNBA Draft.

For more on potential WNBA prospects, check out our 2014 WNBA Draft prospect watch storystream.

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