Maryland guard Lexie Brown (4) drives the ball against Ohio State’s Cait Craft (13) during a game Dec. 4 in College Park, Md. (Photo: Tommy Gilligan/USA Today Sports)
The three headliners of the deepest class of women’s basketball recruits ever produced by Gwinnett County have adjusted to college very well.
All three — Norcross’ Diamond DeShields, Buford’s Kaela Davis and North Gwinnett’s Lexie Brown — have played major roles as true freshmen for three top ACC teams. DeShields’ North Carolina team (10th) and Brown’s Maryland squad (eighth) are both ranked in the top 10 nationally, while Davis’ Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets are on the brink of the top 25 thanks to a 10-3 start heading into Sunday’s ACC opener vs. Duke.
DeShields and Brown will be on display nationally Sunday for their ACC opener when they go head to head at 3 p.m. on ESPNU.
The Tar Heels are 12-2 with a deep lineup — six players average between 21 and 24 minutes per game — that has produced a run of blowout wins. Because of that, their key players haven’t played heavy minutes, but DeShields has been impressive in only 21.6 minutes per game.
The 2013 Naismith Girls High School Player of the Year Award winner is second in scoring (15.1) for UNC, highlighted by a 28-point game against Arizona State — one of the six times this season she’s led the Tar Heels in scoring. She also averages 4.7 rebounds and has a team-best 29 steals.
DeShields’ opponent Sunday is Maryland (12-1), another talented team that has gotten steady play from Brown. The freshman guard averages 7.4 points and 4.1 assists in 23.8 minutes.
Out of the three Gwinnett stars, Davis carries the biggest burden for an improving team whose 10-3 start is an impressive turnaround from last season, when it finished 14-16.
Davis has been the Yellow Jackets’ leading scorer in seven games, scoring 20 or more in her first three games. She scored 28 Nov. 17 in a loss to Tennessee, the school she committed to originally before switching to Tech, and also had a season-high 29 vs. Alabama A&M.
The 6-foot-2 guard averages a team-high 18.5 points and 6.5 rebounds in 27.8 minutes.
Shaw playing well for Brevard
Mill Creek grad Trevon Shaw is one of the leading scorers as a freshman at Brevard College (N.C.).
The 6-foot-2 guard averages 13.4 points behind stellar shooting — 61.2 percent, including 63.3 percent (31 of 49) from 3-point range. While he has played well, Brevard has struggled to a 2-7 start.
Wesleyan grads leading Wofford
It’s been a rough season thus far for Wofford, which is off to a 2-10 start after losses last weekend to Maryland and Howard.
But the Terriers’ best two players have been a pair of Wesleyan grads, Jordan Frazier and Logan Morris.
Frazier, a sophomore, averages a team-high 13.9 points as Wofford’s only double-figure scorer. She also leads the team with 39 steals.
Morris, a senior, is Wofford’s No. 2 scorer at 9.9 points, along with her 4.2 rebounds. She is second on the team in minutes per game (31.6).
The two have been the primary offensive hope for a team averaging just 57.8 points and shooting 32.8 percent (25.2 from 3-point range).
Parkview grad Erika Joseph had six points and nine rebounds in only 16 minutes off the bench last weekend in Western Carolina’s win over Morgan State. The sophomore also had three assists. … Wesleyan’s Holli Wilkins scored 19 points and added six rebounds Sunday, leading Furman to a 76-75 win over Charlotte. … South Gwinnett’s Yvonna Dunkley has scored in double figures in Georgia Perimeter College’s past three games with 13, 14 and 12 points. The sophomore averages 11 points.
Gwinnett Grads is a column that runs on Saturdays spotlighting achievements of past Gwinnett standouts. Coaches and parents are urged to send suggestions via email to firstname.lastname@example.org.