Future Terps stand out in Indiana

All-Stars Coleman, Toliver warm up for college game

Women's Final Four notebook

April 03, 2005|By Milton Kent | Milton Kent,SUN STAFF

INDIANAPOLIS - Marissa Coleman and Kristi Toliver wrapped up their Hoosier barnstorming tour of girls high school basketball All-Star games last night before taking their show to College Park next fall.

The two seniors, who are signed to play at Maryland, competed against each other in the Women's Basketball Coaches Association High School All-America game at the University of Indianapolis three days after playing on the same team in the McDonald's All American game at Notre Dame in South Bend, Ind.

"It's been tons of fun, playing and hanging out with everybody," said Coleman, a 6-foot-1 forward from St. John's College High in Washington. "It's one of those weeks that you don't want to end."

Coleman's sentiments are understandable, given the week she had. She led all scorers in the McDonald's game Wednesday with 19 points, then earned Red team Most Valuable Player honors last night with 13 points in the game held in conjunction with the women's Final Four.

Toliver, a 5-6 point guard from Harrisonburg, Va., had nine points and three steals for the winning White team. She attempted a few behind-the-back passes, some of which found their mark.

"In games like this, you don't really have time to get chemistry with one another because you haven't played," said Toliver. "Basically, you're just having a good time. You're just running up and down the court, making great passes and trying to entertain the crowd. Once the crowd gets into it, you'll get into it and have a good time."

Both Toliver and Coleman are expected to play major roles for Maryland, which was eliminated in the second round of the NCAA tournament. Coleman should challenge for a starting small-forward slot, while Toliver is expected to start at point guard, what with this year's starter, Anesia Smith, graduating.

"They obviously struggled a little bit this year because they lost Harp [freshman forward Laura Harper, who suffered a ruptured Achilles' tendon]," said Toliver. "That was a big loss, in terms of scoring and getting on the boards. But with Marissa and I coming in next year, we'll be able to click very well with them and I'm looking forward to it."

Boost for Baylor

Baylor's appearance in the women's Final Four is an especially positive note for a university that was the center of so much publicity two years ago when men's basketball player Patrick Dennehy was found dead near the university in Waco, Texas.

"It was negative for our university, but the thing that was most important to me, if my players were OK and my players' families and their parents were OK, then I was OK. And we were OK," said Baylor coach Kim Mulkey-Robertson.

Mulkey-Robertson, in her fifth year at Baylor, said only one player on her team knew Dennehy. She said she hoped that the Lady Bears' trip to the Final Four, to last year's Sweet 16 and winning the men's national championship in tennis would improve the public's perception of Baylor.

"It's never even brought up around our university until we're asked from the media questions about it," said Mulkey-Robertson. "It's not going to identify Baylor University. We are the oldest institution of higher learning in the state of Texas, and one tragedy is not going to identify our university, and that's the approach I took and that's the approach our players took."

Another former men's player, Carlton Dotson of Hurlock in Dorchester County, Md., faces murder charges in connection with Dennehy's death, and is scheduled to stand trial in June.

Big day for Augustus

Louisiana State's Seimone Augustus completed a virtual sweep of postseason awards yesterday.

Augustus, a 6-1 junior from Baton Rouge, La., captured the Wade Trophy, the women's basketball equivalent of the Heisman Trophy, in the morning, then was named the Associated Press' Player of the Year in the afternoon.

Augustus averaged 20.1 points and 4.6 rebounds a game this season in leading the Lady Tigers to their second straight appearance in the Final Four. She is only the third non-senior to win the Wade Trophy, presented by the WBCA. Old Dominion's Nancy Lieberman and Connecticut's Diana Taurasi were the other two.

Augustus and Minnesota senior center Janel McCarville headed up the list of 10 players named to the Kodak All-America team, the most prestigious list in the women's college game. Augustus and McCarville were each named for a second time.

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