Ohio State women's basketball lands All-ACC defender Celeste Taylor in transfer from Duke

Bailey Johnson
The Columbus Dispatch
Mar 3, 2023; Greensboro, NC, USA; Duke Blue Devils guard Celeste Taylor (0) shoots against North Carolina Tar Heels guard Alyssa Ustby (1) during the second half at Greensboro Coliseum. Mandatory Credit: William Howard-USA TODAY Sports

Ohio State women's basketball has landed its first transfer of the offseason.

Former Duke guard Celeste Taylor announced Thursday evening that she'll play her final season of eligibility with the Buckeyes. Taylor began her collegiate career at Texas and then spent the last two years at Duke.

"I can't thank Duke enough for the unwavering support," Taylor wrote in a statement on Twitter. Thank you to all my coaches for giving me a place I can call home and helping me learn and grow. Thank you for being a big part of my journey, Duke. Due to unforeseen circumstances, I have decided to do my (graduate) year at The Ohio State University."

Taylor was a starter from the beginning of her freshman year at Texas. In her two years with the Longhorns, she averaged 29.8 minutes, 10.8 points, 4.9 rebounds, 1.8 steals, 1.7 assists and 0.6 blocks per game. At Duke, Taylor immediately became a key starter and saw her scoring increase slightly, to an average of 11.2 points per game, along with 5.1 rebounds, 2.3 assists, 2.0 steals and 0.6 blocks.

A career 36.9% shooter from the floor, Taylor's ability as a defender is her highlight. In her senior year at Duke, she was named the ACC Defensive Player of the Year, earned All-ACC first team honors and was a finalist for the Naismith Defensive Player of the Year award.

For Ohio State, Taylor will strengthen an already-strong backcourt. Point guard Jacy Sheldon announced shortly after the season ended that she would return for her fifth season, and the Buckeyes will also get Madison Greene back from a season-ending knee injury that she suffered in December. But the departure of Taylor Mikesell to the WNBA left a gap at shooting guard, which Taylor will be able to fill.

The Buckeyes' full-court press has become a staple of their defense over the last several seasons, and Taylor is a natural fit for Ohio State coach Kevin McGuff's intense press.

Mar 3, 2023; Greensboro, NC, USA; North Carolina Tar Heels guard Deja Kelly (25) drives against Duke Blue Devils guard Celeste Taylor (0) during the first half at Greensboro Coliseum. Mandatory Credit: William Howard-USA TODAY Sports


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