After exceeding expectations a season ago, Duke women's basketball is bringing in an elite group of talent from the recruiting trail and the transfer portal. The Blue Zone will analyze film on each of the newcomers for the 2023-24 season. We've already seen Camilla Emsbo, Jadyn Donovan, Delaney Thomas and Oluchi Okananwa. Next up is Jordan Wood.
Duke already had an elite 2023 recruiting class in the spring, with three top-30 prospects set to join the Blue Devil program. To make things better, the team nabbed Jordan Wood in April, another top-100 recruit who initially committed to Michigan State.
A highly touted player in high school, Wood received the Chicago News Sun Player of the Year her senior year and was named to the Illinois AP All-State 3A First Team. The first thing that jumps out when watching Wood play is her length. At 6-foot-4, she has the height of a center with the athleticism of a bigger guard. She is often seen pushing the ball down the court after grabbing rebounds, showcasing her playmaking and ball-handling abilities.
In high school, she towered over opponents and was able to score in the post at will. Watch here as she establishes good post position and then executes a drop step to finish in the lane.
The Carmel Catholic product excelled in scoring, averaging 14.5 points per game her senior year. She was also able to dominate the glass, averaging a remarkable 7.2 rebounds per game. This highlight reel showcases her height as she both scores in the interior and grabs offensive boards to finish.
While she probably will not be able to finish with this much ease against forwards and centers in the collegiate ranks, Wood has solid fundamentals in the paint. One skill that will translate in a major way is her shot. The Chicago native keeps defenses honest with a solid stroke from behind the arc. In the last two clips of this highlight reel (beginning at 0:32), her confident shot is on display with two triples.
Her length gives opposing offenses nightmares, and she is a true defensive juggernaut. Wood averaged 1.6 steals and 1.2 blocks per game her senior year, a testament to her ability to affect multiple facets of the game. Watch here as she first steals an inbound pass and finishes off of two feet with control. In the next play, she runs the floor hard and is rewarded with a putback opportunity. This will factor well in head coach Kara Lawson’s notorious full-court press, which favors players who can force deflections and convert on fast-break opportunities, both of which Wood does at a high level.
There is room for improvement, as she will need to get stronger and improve her lateral quickness, but Wood’s potential is absolutely through the roof. Her shooting ability and her knack for the ball on both ends of the floor will make her a great asset for Lawson’s group. With a relatively thin roster at the moment, Wood should see the floor a lot and could make an immediate impact.
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Ranjan Jindal is a Trinity sophomore and an assistant Blue Zone editor of The Chronicle's 119th volume.