Pickup play scores big

Basketball: St. Mary's Terri Daniels thought she was shooting for fun at College Park. Yesterday, she accepted Maryland's offer of a full scholarship to play for the Terps.

May 01, 1999|By Glenn P. Graham | Glenn P. Graham,SUN STAFF

St. Mary's senior Terri Daniels isn't one to pass on a pickup game of basketball.

So when McDonogh senior Vicki Brick, the two-time All-Metro Player of the Year who is headed for the University of Maryland this fall, asked her friend a couple months back if she wanted to play some ball at College Park, Daniels' predictable response was: "Yeah, sure."

The 5-foot-11 Daniels will be playing a lot more women's basketball at Cole Field House. Yesterday, she accepted a full Maryland scholarship.

"I'm thrilled," said Daniels, who scored 1,041 points in her four-year St. Mary's career and whose 647 career assists rank second in Saints history. "I never thought I'd go there. I was looking at West Virginia University and a couple of junior colleges.

"To get a four-year education at Maryland and play in the Atlantic Coast Conference, that was something I couldn't pass up. [Maryland coach] Chris Weller is a great coach, and it's a really good, young program."

Brick, who signed with Maryland last November, invited Daniels to play pickup with some Terps several times in March.

"I brought her down the first time, and she shot the lights out, played good defense, and was making things happen. The girls were real impressed and told Coach Weller about her," said Brick. She and Daniels have played against one another since they were 10 but played together at the Amateur Athletic Union Junior Olympics in Virginia Beach last August.

"Every time I went down there I was nervous. But usually when I'm nervous, I play better," Daniels said. "They made me feel real comfortable, and everything flowed. I felt really good."

Daniels, a first-team All-Metro selection as a sophomore and a regular on the All-Anne Arundel County team since, officially met with Weller on April 22. Both left impressed. Daniels signed a Maryland offer at her Ellicott City home Thursday night and returned it yesterday via express delivery.

"Terri's a competitor, and that's what we like most about her. Bringing Vicki and her in should help the competitive level of this team," said Weller, whose 24th squad last winter went 6-21 and for the first time failed to advance at least to the ACC tournament's quarterfinals.

"Her skills are also great," Weller said. "She handles the ball well, sees the entire floor, and can shoot the three-point shot. She's so versatile, and that's what we like our perimeter players to be. We need some bigger guards."

As a St. Mary's senior, Daniels played every position for coach Harry Dobson, as the Saints reached the Catholic League tournament title game. At Maryland, she likely will be tried at both guard spots and small forward.

"The ACC plays with big guards," said Dobson. "This is a great opportunity for her, and she should do well."

Daniels is counting on it.

"I'm not concerned about playing time right from the start. I know I have to work hard and can learn a lot from Coach Weller," said Daniels. "I think with my versatility, I can play any of the three positions and develop anywhere."

She and Brick, probable college roommates, are Maryland's only signings so far for this fall.

Daniels was part of the finest class in St. Mary's history. She and fellow four-year standouts Emily Lipton and Maria Smear all surpassed 1,000 career points as the Saints went 104-21 in their years.

Pub Date: 5/01/99

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