Adams always has game face on

March 05, 1994|By Milton Kent | Milton Kent,Sun Staff Writer

COLLEGE PARK -- Looking at Monica Adams' face to gauge how the Maryland women's basketball team is performing is an exercise in futility.

It really doesn't matter if the Terps are winning or losing, Adams' expression will be grim, focused and unchanging.

"People say that about me all the time, especially those that don't know me," Adams said this week, with a reluctant grin. "I just try to be focused all the time. It just looks like I'm not having fun."

Said teammate Bonnie Rimkus: "She always has that intense look on her face, but she says the right things to keep us loose in the huddles and in meetings. We know what's going on."

Adams and her teammates may need all her focus and determination this weekend, as they play in this weekend's Atlantic Coast Conference tournament in Rock Hill, S.C.

The Terps (14-12, 8-8), who crushed Clemson, 84-46, in their regular-season finale Tuesday, landed in fourth in the ACC standings, and will probably need to beat fifth-seeded Duke (16-10, 7-9) today in the quarterfinals to stake a legitimate claim on an NCAA tournament bid.

"We just have to focus on the positive and build from there," said Adams. "We just need to play well and concentrate on what we need to do."

Adams, a 6-foot-3 senior center, has been a quiet but important force for Maryland since she arrived from Oklahoma City four years ago.

Her first three years here, Adams was a backup to Jessie Hicks, a two-time All-ACC player and Maryland's fourth all-time leading scorer.

This season, her first as a starter, Adams has stepped into her role nicely and accepted the increased pressure that comes with it as well. She is averaging 11.4 points and 5.2 rebounds, third on the team behind fellow seniors Rimkus and Michele Andrew, while leading the team in blocks.

Still, Adams, who grew up a Maryland fan in Winston-Salem, N.C., where her family lived before they moved to Oklahoma in her junior year of high school, has never drawn attention to herself.

"I'm not the type of person who goes out for publicity," said Adams. "I like to get the little things done and help the team. It takes five players to get things done and I'm doing my part in order to help us win."

Said Maryland coach Chris Weller: "She has been our preseason player of the year the last couple of seasons for all the hard work she has put in coming into the year. She should feel good about the contributions she made in terms of pushing Jessie. Playing against Jessie certainly helped Jessie and helped her, too."

K? Now, if the Terps could just get Adams to smile more often.

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