University of Maryland womens basketball players Shatori Walker-Kimbrough and Brionna Jones look back on their playing careers at the school during their final college season. (Lloyd Fox, Baltimore Sun video)
Maryland women's basketball guard Destiny Slocum was named Big Ten Conference Freshman of the Year on Monday, while her two senior teammates added more top honors.
Center Brionna Jones (Aberdeen) and guard Shatori Walker-Kimbrough were unanimous All-Big Ten selections by the league coaches and media. The pair, whose jerseys were honored before the No. 4 Terps' game Sunday against Minnesota, also made the coaches' All-Defensive Team.
Ohio State junior guard Kelsey Mitchell and Michigan's Kim Barnes Arico were voted Player of the Year and Coach of the Year, respectively, by the coaches and media.
Maryland freshman wing Kaila Charles also joined Slocum on the coaches' Big Ten All-Freshman Team.
Second-ranked Maryland clinched at least a share of the Big Ten regular-season title, beating Minnesota 93-60 Sunday on a special day for senior stars Brionna
By By Gene Wang
Feb 26, 2017 | 3:10 PM
"We really appreciate everyone who voted for our players," coach Brenda Frese said in a release. "There are a lot of great players in our league. This is a testament to the hard work these individuals have put in this season, and also a product of how much success the team has had."
Jones is averaging a career-high 19.3 points and a career- and league-high 10.7 rebounds this season. In conference play, her 20.8 points and 11.4 rebounds per game both rank among the top four. Jones' field-goal percentage this season (69.0) is currently a Big Ten record, and she has scored in double figures in 28 straight games this season and has a conference-high 20 double doubles.
Mitchell, the preseason Player of the Year, leads the conference with 23.4 points per game on 45 percent shooting for the Buckeyes, who earned the No. 1 seed in the Big Ten tournament after beating the Terps last week.
"I was kind of shocked because I didn't think it was the best year for me," she said in an interview on the Big Ten Network on Monday. "I'm definitely grateful."
Walker-Kimbrough is averaging 18.5 points and 3.8 rebounds per game. Her 53.7 field-goal percentage leads all Big Ten guards, and she's third in the league in 3-point accuracy (43.7 percent). Walker-Kimbrough has scored in double figures in 20 straight games this season. Defensively, she leads Maryland with 1.9 steals per game, just ahead of Jones (1.8).
Slocum was an easy pick for Freshman of the Year. The coaches' only unanimous selection to the All-Freshman Team, the former five-star recruit has averaged 11.1 points and six assists per game in her first year. In conference play, she leads the Big Ten in assists (7.5 per game) and had a 2.3 assist-to-turnover ratio, tied for seventh best.
"Shatori and Bri make it really easy, especially when you have someone on the wing and someone on the post that are just so accurate, and they're such great leaders, it makes the transition so easy," Slocum said in a BTN interview. She's the eighth Terp to be named conference Freshman of the Year, following Alyssa Thomas, Lynetta Kizer, Marissa Coleman, Crystal Langhorne, Bonnie Rimkus, Carla Holmes and Beth Hunt.
"Feeding them the ball's easy when they're as accurate as they are. They make everything, so they make me look good, and the rest of the team makes me look really, really good."
Charles, a Glenn Dale native, is averaging 9.9 points and 5.6 rebounds on 51.3 percent shooting this season. She has started in all 29 games and leads all Big Ten rookies in rebounding.
Junior guard Kristen Confroy was honored with a Big Ten Sportsmanship Award.
The Terps (27-2, 15-1), who earned a share of their third straight regular-season Big Ten championship, are the No. 2 seed in the conference tournament this weekend at Bankers Life Fieldhouse in Indianapolis. They will begin the defense of their two straight tournament titles Friday night.