DURHAM, N.C.-- The 2018 WNBA season opened Friday, May 18 with eight Blue Devils on WNBA rosters. Each week, GoDuke.com will update how the Blue Devils are doing in the professional ranks --
Eight Blue Devils Open on WNBA Rosters
This season, a total of eight Blue Devil alumnae made final roster cuts across five different WNBA teams: Alana Beard (L.A. Sparks), Lexie Brown (Connecticut Sun), Karima Christmas-Kelly (Dallas Wings), Monique Currie (Washington Mystics), Chelsea Gray (L.A. Sparks), Jasmine Thomas (Connecticut Sun), Krystal Thomas (Washington Mystics), and Elizabeth Williams (Atlanta Dream).
Duke Sports Second-Most Players in WNBA
With final rosters being trimmed down on May 17, Duke opened the season with eight alumnae playing for WNBA teams. This is the second-most of any school in the NCAA, trailing only UConn, who has 17. The teams of former Duke players are 9-4 through week one.
Duke Well-Represented in Starting Line-ups
Through the first week of the WNBA season, seven out of the eight Duke players in the league have taken on starting roles for their respective teams. The only Duke alumnae not currently starting is rookie Lexie Brown, who made her WNBA debut this past week.
Top of the Standings
Boosted by the play of Krystal Thomas and Monique Currie, the Washington Mystics are 3-0 and lead the league, while Jasmine Thomas and Lexie Brown have paced the Connecticut Sun to a 2-0 mark. Alana Beard and Chelsea Gray have led a shorthanded Los Angeles Sparks team to a 2-1 mark. Six of the eight Blue Devils are on these three teams that have posted a 7-1 mark.
Brown’s First Bucket
In her WNBA debut, Brown tallied five points, four assists, three rebounds, and two steals in the Connecticut Sun’s 101-65 win over the Las Vegas Aces on May 20. Brown’s first career field goal came in the form of a three-pointer in the fourth quarter. Jasmine Thomas had 12 points and six assists in the victory as well.
Gray Beats the Buzzer
Chelsea Gray hit a driving lay-up as time expired to give the L.A. Sparks a season-opening win over the reigning WNBA champion Minnesota Lynx, 77-76. Gray contributed 18 points in the win and is averaging 17.0 points, 7.0 assists, and 2.3 steals through the first three games of the season. She is coming off a season-high 21 points at Connecticut on May 24.
Chelsea Gray is so clutch...— Evan Turner (@thekidet) May 20, 2018
Christmas-Kelly off to Strong Start
In the Dallas Wings’ 101-78 win over the Atlanta Dream on May 20, Christmas-Kelly recorded a double-double, posting 15 points and 10 rebounds. So far this season, Christmas-Kelly is averaging 10.3 points and 5.7 rebounds.
Currie and Thomas Instrumental in Win
The Washington Mystics opened their season with an 82-75 win over the Indiana Fever on May 20. Former Blue Devils played a big part in this one, as Monique Currie scored 11 points and Krystal Thomas added four points, four rebounds, and one block in the victory.
Dream Tally Win Column with Contributions from Williams
The Atlanta Dream rebounded from their season-opening loss to the Wings by defeating the Chicago Sky, 81-63. Elizabeth Williams had 11 points, six rebounds, and six assists in the effort.
Blue Devils Emerge as Early League Leaders
Through week one, Gray’s average of 3.5 steals is tops in the WNBA and her 8 assists per game are good for second. Also among the league leaders, Brown’s average of 2.0 steals ranks seventh in the league.
Fun Practice Times
Chelsea Gray continued her hot shooting in practice Thursday hitting a half court bucket!
Saturday, May 26 - Dallas at Atlanta at 6 pm
Saturday, May 26 - Indiana at Connecticut at 7 pm
Sunday, May 27 - Phoenix at Los Angeles at 5 pm
Tuesday, May 29 - Minnesota at Atlanta at 7 pm
Tuesday, May 29 - Dallas at New York at 7 pm
Tuesday, May 29 - Washington at Seattle at 10 pm
Wednesday, May 30 - Washington at Phoenix at 10 pm