By Peter Koutroumpis
DURHAM, N.C. – Lexie Brown and Rebecca Greenwell, graduating Duke guards, also known as the ‘Splash Sisters’, are expected to take the next steps of their playing careers when the 2018 WNBA Draft takes place at Nike New York Headquarters on Thursday.
Brown was one of 10 players invited to attend the draft following a collegiate career that ended with the Blue Devils, after starting at Maryland.
Her presence in the Big Apple, and according to Mock Draft predictions, makes it a likely assumption that Brown will be selected during the Draft’s first-round, while Greenwell is anticipated to be chosen in the third round.
2018 WNBA Draft Board (WNBA.com)
Brown a Power player
The five-foot-nine-inch guard’s career numbers – 2,088 points, 587 assists, 345 steals, 262 three-pointers made and 455 rebounds – afforded Brown the distinction of becoming only the third player in NCAA Power Five Conference history to accumulate over 2,000 points, 500 assists, 300 steals and 200 three-pointers during her time with the Blue Devils and Terrapins combined.
If chosen during the first round, Brown would become the fifth Blue Devil to do so following in the shoes of four other opening-round picks over the last seven seasons, including Elizabeth Williams (2015, No. 4 overall), Chelsea Gray (2014, No. 11 overall), Tricia Liston (2014, No. 12 overall) and Jasmine Thomas (2011, No. 12 overall).
Also, as the daughter of Dee Brown, who was selected with the 19th overall pick in the 1990 NBA Draft by the Boston Celtics, Brown is looking to become the first daughter of a former WNBA head coach to be drafted.
Dee Brown was the Orlando Miracle head coach in 2002 and the San Antonio Silver Stars head coach in 2004.
Greenwell knows how to go The Distance
The six-foot-one-inch Greenwell has a strong resume to be selected on Thursday, finishing her collegiate career with a Duke-record 301 three-pointers over four seasons, while also ranking fifth all-time in the ACC.
She became just the second ACC player in history to drain 70 or more three-pointers in four straight seasons.
Greenwell holds a 40-percent conversion rate beyond the arc which is the sixth-highest on the Duke charts.
In 2017-2018, Greenwell dropped 73 3-pointers, shooting an ACC-best 43 percent.
The three-time All-ACC selection also averaged 13.9 points, a team-high 6.4 rebounds, 1.8 steals and 1.6 assists.
Greenwell was the first Blue Devil to amass 1,800 points, 600 rebounds and 200 made three-pointers, and ended her Duke career with 1,874 points, 761 rebounds and 215 steals.
Notables – 2018 WNBA Draft
Top 10 prospects attending
- Monique Billings, UCLA:An All-Pac-12 Team and Pac-12 All-Defensive Team selection as a junior and senior, Billings became the third woman in UCLA history to record at least 1,500 points and 1,000 rebounds.
- Lexie Brown, Duke:The three-time All-America Third Team selection is set to become the first daughter of a former WNBA head coach to be drafted. Her father, former NBA player Dee Brown, was the head coach of the Orlando Miracle in 2002.
- Jordin Canada, UCLA:Canada is the Pac-12’s all-time assists leader and the only woman in conference history to record at least 1,800 points and 700 assists.
- Diamond DeShields, Cukurova (Turkey):Before playing professionally in Turkey, DeShields was a 2016-17 All-SEC First Team selection at Tennessee and the 2013-14 national Freshman of the Year at North Carolina.
- Kelsey Mitchell, Ohio State:She finished her career as the first four-time women’s All-American in Ohio State history, the NCAA’s all-time leader in three-pointers made (497) and the NCAA’s second-ranked player in points (3,402).
- Kia Nurse, Connecticut:Nurse was a three-time All-AAC selection and a key member of UConn’s national championship teams in 2015 and 2016.
- Azurá Stevens, Connecticut:Stevens averaged 16.2 points and 8.8 rebounds in two seasons at Duke before helping Connecticut reach its 11th straight Final Four this past season.
- Victoria Vivians, Mississippi State:A four-time All-America selection, Vivians led the Bulldogs to the NCAA national championship game as a junior and senior.
- Gabby Williams, Connecticut:In 2017-18, the two-time national champion won the Cheryl Miller Award as the nation’s best small forward.
- A’ja Wilson, South Carolina:Wilson was the consensus 2017-18 national Player of the Year, in addition to being a four-time All-America selection and the first three-time SEC Player of the Year.
Duke in the WNBA Draft
Since the 2004 campaign, the Blue Devils have featured 18 WNBA draft selections, including 10 first round picks.
Duke’s alumnae turned in outstanding seasons in the WNBA in 2017 that included All-Star nods by Jasmine Thomas and Elizabeth Williams.
Chelsea Gray earned All-WNBA accolades and Alana Beard was selected the WNBA Defensive Player of the Year.
Thomas and Beard were both named to the All-WNBA Defensive Team as well.
Like father, like daughter
Other daughters and dads that were selected in the WNBA and NBA drafts include – Natalie Williams (1990, 1st Round) and Nate Williams (1971 Hardship Draft), Tamika Catchings (2001, 1st Round) and Harvey Catchings (1974, 3rd Round), Cheryl Ford (2003, 1st Round) and Karl Malone (1985, 1st Round), Kaela Davis (2017, 1st Round) and Antonio Davis (1990, 2nd Round) and Abi Olajuwon (2010, 3rd Round) and Hakeem Olajuwon (1994, 1st Round).
Peter Koutroumpis: 401-323-8960, @pksport