Current starting center Kennedy Brown said in the preseason that she would be a Blue Devil for two seasons, but that did not stop Duke from bringing in even more firepower at the five for next year.
Yale center Camilla Emsbo, a two-time All-Ivy League selection, announced Tuesday on Twitter that she will join the Blue Devils for the 2023-24 season. The “would-be favorite for Ivy League Player of the Year” suffered an ACL tear this past fall, causing her to miss all of the ongoing 2022-23 season but opening up the possibility of a graduate transfer for her final year of eligibility (the Ivy League does not allow graduate students to compete in varsity athletics).
A unanimous All-Ivy First Team honoree last season, Emsbo averaged a double-double while ranking in the top percentile nationally in blocks for the second-straight year, per Her Hoop Stats. At 6-foot-5, she has also ranked as one of the more efficient scorers and best rebounders in the country every year. Though her assist-to-turnover ratio and lack of 3-point shooting leave something to be desired, both Synergy and CBB Analytics rate her as one of the country’s very best finishers.
“Camilla Emsbo has a lot of length and uses it well, particularly defensively and on the glass,” Jenn Hatfield, an Ivy League beat reporter for The Next, told The Chronicle. “Defensively, she is very mobile and can switch on the perimeter; then-Yale head coach Allison Guth even said in 2021-22 that Emsbo was one of Yale's best perimeter defenders because of her length and athleticism. … Over the course of her career, she has gotten stronger and more physical, which should help her in the ACC. Assuming she is fully healthy coming off of her ACL injury, I expect her skills to translate at the Power 5 level, and I think she will particularly thrive at Duke with its defensive-minded approach.”
Emsbo’s offensive profile as a more traditional center is a bit different than what Blue Devil head coach Kara Lawson has preferred, namely fives that operate well at the elbow. But it is hard to imagine the Duke staff not adapting to Emsbo’s talented skill set.
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