Former Maryland point guard Lexie Brown announced May 26 she would be transferring out of College Park, leaving behind the team she helped reach consecutive Final Fours for the first time in program history. The rising junior did not specify where she would be heading but cited she wanted to be closer to her home in Georgia.
Brown revealed today she will play for Duke, the Terrapins’ most bitter rival during their 36 years in the ACC. Per NCAA transfer rules, Brown must sit out next season and will have two years of eligibility remaining beginning with 2016-17.
“Lexie is an incredible student-athlete,” Duke Coach Joanne P. McCallie said in statement. “She is highly motivated to pursue academics and basketball at the highest level in the ACC. We are thrilled to welcome her to the Duke family.”
Brown was selected first-team all-Big Ten this past season, Maryland’s first in the conference, after averaging 13.3 points, 4.5 assists, 3.3 rebounds and 2.2 steals. She also was voted all-Big Ten first-team defense and most outstanding player in the conference tournament. Maryland became the first team in Big Ten history to combine winning the Big Ten tournament while finishing 18-0 in conference during the regular season.
Brown started all 36 games and averaged 31.6 minutes last season in guiding the Terrapins to their third Final Four berth in 10 years. She totaled six games with 20 or more points, including a season-high 27 points against Michigan State in the Big Ten tournament.
A knack for flourishing in the clutch highlighted Brown’s two years with Maryland and earned her the nickname “Big Shot Brown.” But in Maryland’s only meeting with Duke this past season, Brown missed all seven of her field goal attempts and played just 18 minutes in a 65-55 win in the NCAA tournament’s Round of 16 in Spokane, Wash.
The victory was particularly gratifying for the Terrapins given their longstanding distaste for Duke, part of which includes Maryland Coach Brenda Frese’s being ejected two years ago in a 71-56 loss in Durham, N.C., for the only time in her career.
“I want people to be happy,” Frese said earlier this month following the initial announcement about Brown transferring. “Everybody has their own personal reasons for why they do things. Obviously back-to-back Final Fours and what we’ve been able to win here, you’re still not happy, then you need to go where you can find that.”