At a glance

College Basketball 2006

Maryland Women

November 03, 2006|By MILTON KENT

Coach -- Brenda Frese, fifth season at Maryland (84-45), eighth overall (141-75)

Affiliation -- Atlantic Coast Conference

2005-06 -- 34-4, 12-2 in ACC (tied for second), lost to North Carolina, 91-80, in final of ACC tournament; won NCAA championship

Arena -- Comcast Center (17,950)

Consensus ACC favorite -- Maryland

Starters lost -- None

Probable starting lineup -- G Shay Doron; G Kristi Toliver; F Marissa Coleman; F Crystal Langhorne; F-C Laura Harper.

Backcourt -- Toliver cemented her place in Maryland lore with a stunning three-pointer late in regulation against Duke in the national championship game, but her steady quarterbacking of the offense was far more critical. Junior Sa'de Wiley-Gatewood, a Tennessee transfer, should not only give Toliver solid ballhandling support, but it should also allow Doron to stay exclusively at shooting guard. Ashleigh Newman and Virginia Tech transfer sophomore Christie Marrone provide good shooting options off the bench.

Frontcourt -- Langhorne is on the verge of breaking out on the national stage as one of the country's best interior players, while Harper, the Most Outstanding Player in the Final Four, is a terrific complement. Coleman, the reigning ACC Rookie of the Year, shot nearly 50 percent from three-point range and was second on the team in rebounding from the small forward slot. Jade Perry can score in a pinch off the bench, and Aurelie Noirez is the team's lone conventional low post player.

Outlook -- The Terps face a fairly mild nonconference schedule and likely won't be seriously challenged until they meet Duke and North Carolina, the two teams they beat in the Final Four, in January. Frese's biggest challenges will be to manage the serious weight of expectations and anticipation, keep the fairly young team from getting swelled heads, as well as cross her fingers and hope Maryland continues to avoid serious injuries, as it did in the title run last year.

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