After losing a pair of interior players to graduation, Duke’s women’s basketball team has added a veteran transfer who can help immediately.
Bego Faz Davalos, a 6-3 center who displayed strong shot-blocking skills the last three seasons at Fresno State, will enroll in graduate school at Duke and play her final season of college basketball with the Blue Devils in the 2017-18.
Set to graduate from Fresno State on Saturday with a business administration marketing degree, Davalos has been accepted into the Fuqua School of Business at Duke for graduate studies. She’ll join Duke starting guards Rebecca Greenwell and Lexie Brown there.
“Fresno State is my second home and I felt welcomed each and every time I stepped on the court,” Davalos said in a statement the Fresno State released on Twitter Monday. “You made me love Fresno State and I will forever be a Bulldog. I love my teammates, coaches and this program. Because of Fresno State, I have received an opportunity to futher my education in a way that will assist in my career aspirations long after my basketball career is over.”
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In addition to being named Mountain West Conference defensive player of the year for the second consecutive season, Davalos averaged 14.5 points and 11.2 rebounds as a junior at Fresno State last season. A native of San Luis Potosí, Mexico, Davalos averaged 3.5 blocks per game, which were No. 3 nationally.
“We are absolutely thrilled to welcome Bego and her family to the Duke family,” Duke coach Joanne P. McCallie said. “Bego is a tremendous person, a great student and a terrific basketball player who loves to play physically, can rebound aggressively, likes to block shots, and scores consistently as well. She had a fabulous career at Fresno State.”
Though Greenwell and Brown give Duke an experienced, high-scoring backcourt tandem, the Blue Devils needed help inside. Oderah Chidom and Kendall Cooper, both 6-4 post players, completed their careers last season.
Duke returns 6-4 senior Erin Mathias, who contributed in a reserve role last season, and gets 6-2 center Sofia Roma eligible. Roma sat out last season after transferring from Wagner.
Duke went 28-6 last season with a 13-3 ACC record, losing to Notre Dame in the ACC Tournament championship game and to Oregon in the second round of the NCAA Tournament.