Terps At A Glance

Women's College Basketball Preview

November 09, 2007|By MILTON KENT

Coach -- Brenda Frese, sixth season at Maryland (112-51), ninth overall (169-81)

Affiliation -- Atlantic Coast Conference

2006-07 -- 28-6, 10-4 in ACC (tied for third), lost to North Carolina, 78-72, in semifinal of ACC tournament; lost to Mississippi, 89-78, in second round of NCAA tournament

Arena -- Comcast Center (17,950)

Consensus ACC favorite -- Maryland

Starter lost -- G Shay Doron

Probable starting lineup -- G Kristi Toliver; G Marah Strickland; F Marissa Coleman; F Crystal Langhorne; F-C Laura Harper

Backcourt -- Toliver struggled at times last year against speedier point guards and was benched just before the NCAA tournament. Her ability to regain her confidence is critical to the Terps' fortune. Strickland (Towson Catholic), the two-time Sun Player of the Year, should move into the starting lineup as a freshman and give Maryland a solid on-the-ball defender. Senior Sa'de Wiley-Gatewood's minutes are limited by her ailing knees, but she should spell Toliver at certain moments. Senior Ashleigh Newman and junior Christie Marrone are solid scorers, and freshman Kat Lyons receives playing time at both guard slots.

Frontcourt -- Langhorne is poised to supplant Vicky Bullett as Maryland's all-time leading scorer and rebounder, and has vowed to add better midrange shooting to her repertoire. Harper, the Most Outstanding Player in the Final Four a year ago, had a down season last year and has to play better to keep defenses off Langhorne. Coleman showed the most improvement of any player on the roster last year and is on the verge of being an All-American. Senior Jade Perry and freshman Drey Mingo should give Maryland a scoring punch off the bench, and redshirt freshman Emery Wallace could spell Coleman on the wing, provided her knee holds up.

Outlook -- With a wealth of returning players from the national championship team, the nation's second best recruiting class, and the absence of the pressure of having to repeat, the Terps should be back in the national title hunt. Frese toughened Maryland's nonconference schedule, and the Terps might face five ranked opponents in the first 11 games of the season. The Terps will have to do a better job of looking for Langhorne in their half-court sets, and Langhorne, a national Player of the Year candidate, in turn, will have to assert herself in big games. Maryland will also have to manage playing through Frese's scheduled March pregnancy and blending in two new assistant coaches. It's a lot to handle, but the Terps appear capable.

Baltimore Sun Articles
Please note the green-lined linked article text has been applied commercially without any involvement from our newsroom editors, reporters or any other editorial staff.