Celeste Taylor Tabbed Semifinalist for Naismith Women’s Defensive Player of the Year

In addition to Celeste Taylor, the list included Brea Beal (South Carolina), Aliyah Boston (South Carolina), Cameron Brink (Stanford), Brooke Flowers (St. Louis), Taiyanna Jackson (Kansas), Elizabeth Kitley (Virginia Tech), Rayah Marshall (USC), Aneesah Morrow (DePaul) and Angel Reese (LSU) (LSU). The four finalists will be unveiled on March 13, with the winner revealed on March 29 in Dallas during the Naismith Awards news conference.

One of the country’s most elite defenders, Taylor has been key in helping the Duke women’s basketball team boast one of the nation’s top defenses throughout the season.

 The Atlanta Tipoff Club announced Monday afternoon.

The Blue Devils are currently ranked third in the NCAA in scoring defense (50.9) and eighth in field goal percentage defense (34.8) and have held each of their opponents below their season scoring average, including 15 foes to 50 points or less.

Taylor has been disruptive on the defensive end as she leads the squad in overall thefts (58) and steals per game (2.0) – both figures that check in at seventh in the ACC. She has tallied two-plus steals in 16 games this season, including eight games with three or more thefts and three games with at least five takeaways.

Celeste Taylor was tabbed as one of 10 semifinalists

The Valley Stream, N.Y., native is sixth nationally in defensive win shares with an average of 3.5 per 40 minutes while her player defensive rating is 73.0 is good for 32nd in the country out of 3,469 players.

Taylor has guided the Blue Devils to a 24-5 overall record and a second-place finish in the ACC with a 14-4 mark. The 24 wins are the program-best dating back to the 2017-18 season while the 14 conference wins are the most since 2012-13.

Having won the No. 2 seed in the 2018 ACC Tournament, Duke takes the floor Friday, March 3 at 6 p.m., live on ACC Network, facing the winner of Thursday’s second-round game between North Carolina and the winner between 10-seed Clemson and 15-seed Pitt.

To stay up to speed with Duke women’s basketball, follow the team on Tweet below.

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