Lady Vols taken in WNBA draft

NEW YORK – Tennessee guard Jordan Reynolds and forward Schaquilla Nunn became the Lady Vol program’s 38th and 39th overall picks in the WNBA Draft, going in the second round to Atlanta and third round to San Antonio, respectively. They were the seventh and eighth players of the Holly Warlick era taken by the professional league.

Reynolds was the 19th overall pick, while Nunn went 25th in the 2017 edition of the draft, which was sponsored by State Farm and took place Thursday night at Samsung 837 in Manhattan.

The six other Lady Vols taken during Warlick’s five years include: Bashaara Graves (2nd Rd., 22nd pick, Minnesota) in 2016; the trio of Isabelle Harrison(1st Rd., 12th pick, Phoenix), Cierra Burdick (2nd Rd., 14th pick, Los Angeles) and Ariel Massengale (3rd Rd., 29th pick, Atlanta) in 2015; Meighan Simmons in 2014 (3rd Rd., 26th pick, New York); and Kamiko Williams in 2013 (2nd Rd. 15th pick, New York).

Two of Reynolds’ and Nunns’ teammates, 6-1 guard Diamond DeShields and 6-6 center Mercedes Russell, were draft-eligible redshirt juniors but announced during the past two weeks that they had chosen to stay in school and take advantage of their final season of college eligibility.

Reynolds, who will join Simmons in Atlanta, started all 31 games she played as a Lady Vol senior, averaging 7.0 points, 5.2 rebounds and 4.5 assists per contest for the Lady Vols. She ranked first in the SEC and No. 16 nationally in assist-to-turnover ratio at 2.65 and was fourth in league play and 97th in the country in assists per game (4.5).

The 5-foot-11 Reynolds served as the team’s point guard, notching 13 games of double-figure scoring and 18 contests where she led the squad in assists. On Dec. 29, 2016, she recorded only the third triple-double in Lady Vol history, tallying a career-high 14 rebounds, 11 points and 10 assists vs. UNC Wilmington.

Eight days prior to that, Reynolds racked up a career-best 13 assists vs. Troy, marking a tie for the third-highest single-game total in UT women’s history and the second-best by a Lady Vol senior behind Dawn Marsh’s 18 in 1988. Reynolds’ 4.5 assists per game average rated third all-time by a UT senior, tying Lea Henry (4.5, 1982-83) and standing behind Dawn Marsh (7.1, 1987-88) and Holly Warlick (6.0, 1979-80).

For her career, Reynolds averaged 5.7 points, 3.6 rebounds and 2.8 assists per game, starting 85 of 135 contests. She helped Tennessee to a 101-38 overall record and 46-18 mark in SEC play. During that time, UT won SEC regular season and tournament titles, played in four NCAA Tournaments and posted two Elite Eight and one Sweet 16 finish.

Reynolds’ career accolades and activities included SEC First-Year Academic Honor Roll in 2013-14, SEC All-Tournament in 2014-15, UT Student-Athlete Advisory Committee in 2016-17 and SEC Community Service Team in 2016-17 as well.

Nunn, who was a graduate transfer in 2016-17 after playing three standout seasons at Winthrop, accepted a role coming off the bench for the Lady Vols. She embraced that assignment and gave Tennessee valuable minutes in the paint, either in reserve for Russell or providing the Lady Vols with more height and rebounding capability in the paint.

The 6-3 forward, who will join former Lady Vols Vicki Baugh and Izzy Harrison in San Antonio, played in all 32 games in her lone year at UT, starting five. She put up averages of 4.8 points and 4.5 rebounds per game, shooting 54 percent from the field after redshirting a year ago due to a broken foot. She posted five games scoring in double figures to run her career total to 60 and had five double-doubles, bringing her career number to 46. She tallied season highs of 15 points at Alabama and 15 rebounds vs. Dayton in the NCAA First Round.

Nunn played in 88 games at Winthrop, starting 86 of them, averaging 11.2 points and 10.3 rebounds in her three seasons with the Eagles. She holds career records there with 910 rebounds and 279 blocked shots. She was named All-Big South First Team and Big South Defensive Player of the Year in 2014-15 for her efforts.

Reynolds and Nunn join seven other former Lady Vols currently on WNBA rosters, including Baugh (San Antonio), Burdick (New York), Harrison (San Antonio), Glory Johnson (Dallas), Candace Parker (Los Angeles), Simmons (Atlanta) and Shekinna Stricklen (Connecticut).

Under Warlick, UT has had one first-rounder (Harrison), four second-rounders (Williams, Burdick, Graves and Reynolds) and three third-rounders (Simmons, Massengale and Nunn). Teams drafting Lady Vols under Warlick include New York, Phoenix, Los Angeles, Atlanta, Minnesota and San Antonio

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