10 Stories To Watch

College Basketball 2003 : State Women

Sunset Season

November 21, 2003|By BILL FREE | BILL FREE,SUN STAFF

1. Are France and Doron Maryland's saviors?

If Kalika France and Shay Doron come close to living up to the preseason hype, it will be a fun season at the Comcast Center. The Maryland women might even climb in the standings and gain some notice around the Duke-dominated Atlantic Coast Conference.

2. Some run-and-gun Navy offense in Annapolis

Stepping a little out of character and tradition, the Mids are going up-tempo in their offense in an attempt to extract the most ability possible out of two-time first-team All-Patriot choice Courtney Davidson (right).

3. Looking for another UMBC

The Retrievers captured the imagination of success-starved local collegiate basketball fans with their improbable run to the Northeast Conference tournament final. Could there be another Cinderella out there somewhere this season?

4. The Brandi and Kacy show at Towson

Brandi Harris and Kacy O'Brien have spent a year practicing with a struggling Tigers team, and now it's showtime for the transfers from Villanova and Virginia Tech, respectively. Maybe they can wake up some of those yawning Towson fans.

5. Morgan Bears may be coming out of hibernation

The Lady Bears may emerge from their two-year decline in which they produced just two wins and 54 losses. There is definitely more talent on this team, and the good news is that all the players -- except sophomore point guard Renee Robinson, who went down with a season-ending knee injury in the first exhibition last season -- got a chance to play a lot last season.

6. Winkfield and UMES

Tiffany Winkfield has started a mild transformation of the UMES program with her on-court talent. But she has opted to help the Hawks recruit some top talent from her home turf -- the Watts section of Los Angeles -- in an attempt to possibly reach the top of the MEAC mountain.

7. Setting the Mount's Foster free

The 6-foot Beth Foster has developed into one of the top Division I women's players in the nation, despite contending with taller players on the low post. One has to wonder how much further she can go this season without the added responsibilities of a pure post player.

8. An involved Greyhound

Coach Candace Cage is engrossed deeply in trying to build a winning women's program at Loyola in the tough Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference. But she admits to spending some of her free time in College Park, tailgating as a Maryland football fan and helping Terps coach Brenda Frese conduct clinics.

9. Coppin identity crisis

On some nights, Coppin State was good enough to compete with last season's league champion, Hampton, down to the wire before losing twice by three points or fewer. On other evenings, it looked as if that nearly successful team never got off the bus. Coach Derek Brown insists those identity problems are now behind the Eagles.

10. Retrievers' cupboard bare

UMBC coach Phil Stern may need his Princeton offense and strong defensive tactics more than ever this season now that all five starters are gone from last season's magical team.

MARYLAND

Coach: Brenda Frese, second season at Maryland (10-18)

Affiliation: Atlantic Coast Conference

2002-03 record: 10-18 (4-12 ACC)

Radio: WMUC (88.1 FM)

Arena: Comcast Center (17,950)

Consensus ACC favorite: Duke

Consensus Maryland prediction: 8th

Starters lost: 2

Outlook: All the attention and excitement this season has centered on freshmen All-America recruits Kalika France and Shay Doron, who arrive with many impressive credentials and a history of success. France, a 5-9 Parade All-American from Bishop McNamara in Forestville, is a penetrating guard who is one of the most athletic players to come through College Park in a long time. Doron, also 5-9, comes from the famed Christ The King program and learned to play at the highest level last summer while a member of the Israeli national team. Doron is both a Parade and McDonald's All-American. It's all part of Frese's recruiting push to put the Terps among the top teams in the nation. Frese will start this season with fifth-year senior Vicki Brick at point guard, with 5-5 junior Old Dominion transfer Alli Spence challenging the 5-7 Brick for that spot. Sophomore three-point shooter Chrissy Fisher (6-0) had a team-leading .382 percentage from beyond the arc last season. Frese is looking for big things on the low post from 6-3 Delvona Oliver and 6-2 Crystal Washington. But it appears that France and Doron will soon be the headliners, with the ball in their hands often.

Schedule

Date Opponent Time

11/21 Coppin State 7

11/23 Niagara 1

11/28 Sacred Heart-a 3:30

11/29 vs. UMES/La.-Lfytte-a 12:30/3

12/3 Penn State 7

12/5 at St. Bonaventure 7

12/10 Loyola 7

12/13 at Virginia Tech 2

12/20 UMBC 1

12/28 vs. Texas Tech-b 6

12/30 vs. Georgetown/San Diego-b 6/8

1/2 N.C. State 7

1/4 Virginia 1

1/9 at Wake Forest 7

1/12 at Florida State 7

1/15 Georgia Tech 7

1/19 North Carolina 7

1/22 at Duke 7

1/25 at N.C. State 1

1/29 Clemson 7

2/5 at Virginia 7

2/9 Wake Forest 7

2/12 Florida State 7

2/15 at Georgia Tech 2

2/19 at North Carolina 7

2/22 Duke 4

2/29 at Clemson 2

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