Another day, another Blue Devil.
Former Texas Longhorn Celeste Taylor announced her commitment to Duke Saturday evening. A former five-star prospect and Big 12 All-Freshman Team selectee, she averaged 12.3 points and 4.9 rebounds on 35.3% shooting and 26.2% usage.
Taylor’s offensive game is built around rim pressure and dribble penetration, two things the Blue Devils were in sore need of. The 5-foot-11 off-ball guard is a downhill scorer, capable of making plays out of a wide variety of actions, and is usually the most explosive player on the court. Though her jump shot and catch-and-shoot performance has continually improved, she likely needs a little bit of progress on her finishing at the rim to truly excel.
She’s one of the better guards in the country at both off-ball and point-of-attack defense, ranking in the 71st percentile this year in defensive RAPM. She isn’t afraid to get physical down low and has incredible energy.
Taylor figures to compete for a starting spot in Duke’s guard rotation. Her game will likely pair well with that of both Vanessa de Jesus and Miela Goodchild, and though a backcourt of Taylor and Goodchild would be light on playmaking, a small lineup consisting of all three is conceivable. They’ve each started a good amount of their collegiate games, however, so one will have to acclimate to a sixth woman role.
With nine players on its roster, the Blue Devils still have room for a big wing or combo forward.
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