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MM 9.15: Former Terps set to compete in 2020 WNBA Playoffs

This is the Maryland Minute, a short story followed by a roundup of Terps-related news.

Phoenix Mercury v Connecticut Sun Photo by Stephen Gosling/NBAE via Getty Images

After a shortened 22-game regular season, the WNBA kicks off the 2020 playoffs Tuesday night, with six former Terps in competing alongside their teams for the title.

Before previewing the playoffs, let’s take a look at how the Maryland women’s basketball alumni fared in the regular season.

The Connecticut Sun trio played a big role for their team this season, especially consistent starters Alyssa Thomas and Brionna Jones. Alongside rookie Kaila Charles, the trio accounted for 39 percent of their team’s points per game and 45 percent of the team’s rebounds per game.

Though the official WNBA nominees have yet to be announced, Brionna Jones and Alyssa Thomas both received award nominations from Slam’s WNBA People’s Choice Awards, up for most improved player and defensive player of the year, respectively.

With star player Jonquel Jones opting out of the season, Jones was inserted in the starting lineup. She took her new role in stride, averaging 11.2 points and 5.6 rebounds in 26.1 minutes per game, along with shooting a league-best 60.5 percent from the floor, up from 3.5 points and 2.2 rebounds in 8.4 minutes per game last season, in which she shot 46.7 percent.

Thomas was first in the league with 2.0 steals per game, ranked second with 9.0 rebounds per game and finished sixth in assists with 4.9 per game.

Here’s how all the former Terps fared statistically this season:

Regular Season Stats

Player Team PPG RPG APG
Player Team PPG RPG APG
Alyssa Thomas Connecticut Sun 15.5 9.0 4.8
Brionna Jones Connecticut Sun 11.2 5.6 1.0
Kaila Charles Connecticut Sun 5.4 2.6 0.9
Shatori Walker-Kimbrough Phoenix Mercury 7.3 1.6 1.5
Tianna Hawkins Washington Mystics 8.5 3.5 1.0
Crystal Langhorne Seattle Storm 1.4 2.2 0.5

The playoffs start with a single elimination round Tuesday night. The seventh-seeded Sun play the Chicago Sky at 7 p.m., while Tianna Hawkins and Shatori Walker-Kimbrough square off at 9.m. in a matchup between the No. 8 seed Washington Mystics and No. 5 seed Phoenix Mercury.

The single-elimination second round takes place Thursday night, with the semifinals starting Sept. 20 and the finals on Oct. 2. Crystal Langhorne will have to wait compete, as the second-seeded Seattle Storm have a two-round bye.

In other news

The University of Maryland moved up in the U.S. News 2021 rankings.

The NCAA is nearing towards a decision on the official college basketball start date.

Maryland men’s basketball paid tribute to its fanbase.

Maryland football took a look back at its special edition helmets.

Maryland women’s basketball player Diamond Miller explained her decision to become a Terp.

Former Maryland men’s soccer player Eryk Williamson had a big night for the Portland Timbers.