With the college basketball season right around the corner, it's time for the Blue Zone to take a look at the 2023-24 Duke women's basketball roster. We previously looked at Emma Koabel, Oluchi Okananwa, Delaney Thomas, Jordan Wood and Camilla Emsbo. Next up is senior center Kennedy Brown:
Last year’s stat line: 24 MPG, 6.5 PPG, 4.8 RPG, 1.4 BPG
Game breakdown: In a stacked ACC that includes some of the best teams and most talented players in the country, Kennedy Brown has established herself as a high-end center and inside presence. She is a reliable source of offensive production in the post, facilitates the pick-and-roll and can anchor a defense in the paint.
Brown started every game that Duke played last year after transferring from Oregon State and dropped her personal best as a Blue Devil — 15 points — against Richmond. She is likely to be the primary rebounder for this group, recording five or more boards in 16 of 33 games during the previous campaign. The Derby, Kan., native was also the last line of defense on a team that consistently ranked in the top five nationally in points allowed. Brown has been incredibly reliable since her freshman year and has seen a significant amount of minutes each season. Look for that to continue through her senior campaign.
Role on the team: Her most significant role to play on this team will likely be as the defensive anchor. Her imposing stature and long wingspan amplifies her inside presence, especially on defense. Brown will likely spend all of her minutes at the 5 spot, guarding the paint and locking down opposing centers.
On the offensive end, she will not have to be a superhero as this year’s team has scorers and facilitators. She will be looked to as an option on mismatches and for easy buckets, but post-up plays will likely not be the first option for the Blue Devil offense. As long as Brown can execute the pick-and-roll and create the occasional play for herself and her teammates, her job will be done.
This is all without mentioning her likely role within the locker room. As a senior in her second year with the program, Brown will be important as a leader who can help a sizable class of freshmen and transfers adapt to head coach Kara Lawson’s system. Expect her to make the step up as a more vocal presence now that she is one of the more seasoned players on the roster.
Projected stats: 25.2 MPG, 7.1 PPG, 5.6 RPG
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