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Maryland's Lexie Brown named to Naismith, Lieberman watch lists

The Naismith and Lieberman Committees have their eyes on Maryland sophomore point guard Lexie Brown.

Derik Hamilton-USA TODAY Sports

If Maryland's sophomore point guard Lexie Brown tells you she feels like she's being followed, believe her.  In the preseason, it was the Wooden and Naismith Committees who both placed Brown on their list of potential National Player of the Year candidates. Some changes have occurred since those December announcements.

On February sixth, the Wooden Award Committee narrowed its list from the preseason top 50 to the mid-season top 20 and Brown didn't make the cut. That same day, however, the Nancy Lieberman Award Committee picked up Brown's trail and, for the second straight year,  announced they would be following her in their quest to identify and honor the nation's top point guard. This committee, refusing to be held hostage by the decimal system, named 31 players to its watch list. In a display of the conference's strength at the guard position, six other Big Ten guards joined Brown on the list.

The Naismith Trophy Committee narrowed its mid-season list to 30 players on the 11th of February. They concluded that they should continue monitoring Brown's progress. Brown is one of only 10 underclassmen - seven sophomores and three freshmen - on the Naismith list of it's top 30 players. Three other B1G players, Iowa's Samantha Logic, Tyler Scaife of Rutgers, and freshman Kelsey Mitchell from Ohio State are on the list with Brown.

Brown is in the top six in the Big Ten in steals, assists, and assist to turnover ratio. She has turned up her production since the start of conference play. While she averages 4.7 assists per game for the season, her conference average is 5.6 and she's improved her assist to turnover ratio from 1.9 to 2.7. The latter is second best in the conference.

Brown's chances of actually claiming either award Will Likely be hampered by Maryland's team balance, however. The Terps are perched atop the B1G as the only undefeated team after 13 games of conference play. Their overall record of 22-2 is also best among conference teams and is the sixth best winning percentage in the country. Yet, for all of that team success, not only has Brown not yet been named Player of the Week in the conference, no Terrapin has. Given the choice, I suspect she would prefer the B1G Championship and another trip to the Final Four.