Duke women add six transfers after lost season

    Mechelle Voepel covers the WNBA, women’s college basketball, and other college sports for espnW. Voepel began covering women’s basketball in 1984, and has been with ESPN since 1996.

Duke women’s basketball has added six transfers to its 2021-22 team, coach Kara Lawson announced on Friday. The Blue Devils played just four games before opting out of this past season, Lawson’s first as head coach, because of COVID-19 concerns. The transfers are expected to be a big factor for Duke in 2021-22.

Guard Celeste Taylor, who helped lead Texas to the NCAA Elite Eight this season, headlines the group. She averaged 12.3 points and 4.9 rebounds per game for the Longhorns as a sophomore. Fellow former Big 12 guards Lexi Gordon of Texas Tech and Jordyn Oliver of Baylor are also headed to Duke.

Gordon was the Lady Raiders’ second-leading scorer this season (15.7 PPG) as a starter and is a graduate transfer. Oliver came off the bench for the league champion Lady Bears and averaged 4.0 PPG as a sophomore.

Also joining the Blue Devils are guard/forward Elizabeth Balogun of Louisville, center Amaya Finklea-Guity of Syracuse and forward Imani Lewis of Wisconsin.

Lewis started 84 games in three seasons at Wisconsin, averaging 15.0 points and 8.8 rebounds this season. Balogun was ACC freshman of the year for Georgia Tech in 2019, but then spent her last two years at Louisville, averaging 5.8 points this season. Finklea-Guity, a grad transfer, started 96 games with the Orange, but was in a reserve role this past season, averaging 3.4 points per game.

“We wanted to be aggressive in going after players that fit how we want to play,” Lawson said in a statement. “There are a couple things that we value highly. One is versatility. The other is two-way players — players that can make an impact on both ends. All of these players can do that.”

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