Former No. 4 overall recruit and Maryland standout Shakira Austin announced on Wednesday that she will transfer to Ole Miss women’s basketball, adding much-needed size at forward for coach Yolett Mcphee-Mccuin.
Although she will likely have to sit out per NCAA transfer rules in 2020-21, Austin was named to the All-Big Ten Second Team in 2019-20 and will be a welcomed addition to a team that finished 7-23 a season ago. Her decision comes seven days after the Rebels added former Maryland assistant coach Shay Robinson to the staff, which presumably played a role in the recruitment process.
The 6-foot-5 rising junior was a major contributor for the Terrapins in her first two seasons and averaged 12 points and 6.8 rebounds per game as a sophomore. Her 25-point season-high came against Loyola Maryland.
Where she really made her mark, however, was with a large defensive presence. Over the course of her time in College Park, Austin blocked 130 shots and added 93 steals. She broke the program’s single-season record for blocks as a freshman and earned Big Ten all-defensive team honors in the process.
53 blocks in 19 games. Shakira Austin has more blocks than any freshman in our history. #FearTheTurtlePosted by Maryland Women's Basketball on Saturday, January 26, 2019
Out of high school, Austin was the No. 3 overall recruit in the nation per ESPN and named a McDonald’s All-American and was invited to USA Basketball U-18 Team Trials in May 2018. She also received an invitation to the Jordan Brand Classic Game, where she was MVP with 18 points and 14 rebounds.
Maryland shared a Big Ten regular-season championship and was projected to be a No. 1 seed in the NCAA Tournament before it was canceled. On the other end of the spectrum, Ole Miss was winless in the SEC.
Austin joins junior college sharp-shooter Tiya Douglas as two transfer talents that will support a roster with minimal turnover, and adds some punch to the nation’s No. 13 recruiting class with five-star recruits Jacorriah Bracey and Madison Scott.