The Maryland women's basketball team will be without its starting point guard for the past two seasons after the surprising announcement that Lexie Brown is transferring.
Nicknamed "Big Shot Brown" by teammates for her knack of making clutch baskets, the rising junior was a major contributor to the Terps' consecutive runs to the Final Four. Last season Brown was Maryland's second-leading scorer (13.3 points) and was a first-team All-Big Ten Conference selection for the first school to go 18-0 in the conference in the regular season on the way to winning the conference tournament title.
It is unclear where Brown will transfer, but under NCAA rules, she would have to sit out one season before becoming eligible.
Lexie Brown: "I thought it was in my best interest to continue my education and pursue playing basketball at a university closer to my home."
"I want to thank Coach [Brenda] Frese, the staff and my teammates for two great seasons at the University of Maryland," Brown said in a statement. "After talking with my family, I thought it was in my best interest to continue my education and pursue playing basketball at a university closer to my home."
Brown was a McDonald's All American at North Gwinett High in Suwanee, Ga., roughly 30 miles from Georgia Tech. The Yellow Jackets also have a high-profile player transferring — sophomore Kaela Davis, a first-team All-Atlantic Coast Conference guard. Davis, a first-team All-Atlantic Coast Conference guard, was Georgia Tech's leading scorer and also played high school basketball in Suwanee, although not at the same school as Brown.
Brown is close with her family, and the logistical challenges for her mother and siblings to attend games grew more complicated last season when Maryland joined the Big Ten. During her freshman year, the Terps were in their final season as a member of the ACC, where Maryland's road games often were within driving distance for Brown's relatives.
"We appreciate all of Lexie's contributions these past two years to our program," Frese said in a statement. "With two Final Four appearances, a Big Ten regular-season and tournament championship, it's been an incredible ride. We wish Lexie nothing but happiness and success in her future."
With only one senior graduating from last season's national semifinalist and two blue-chip freshmen coming aboard, the Terps figured to be ranked in the nation's top three entering next season. The returning players include guard Shatori Walker-Kimbrough and center Brionna Jones (Aberdeen), both All-Big Ten selections last season as sophomores.
Brown's departure means redshirt senior Brene Moseley would take over as the presumptive starter. Moseley was a first-team Washington Post All-Metro at Paint Branch as a junior and in line to become the starting point guard early in her college career before a knee ligament injury derailed those aspirations.