#6 Maryland Women's Basketball 2015-2016 Preview

Maryland Terrapins

Overall Rank: #6
Conference Rank: #1 Big Ten
#6 Maryland Women's Basketball 2015-2016 Preview
Maryland Team Page


Maryland completely dominated the Big Ten last season. The Terrapins went a perfect 18-0 and there were really not even that many close calls. Maryland also won the Big Ten Tournament. Heading into the NCAA Tournament, this was a team on fire, having won their previous 23 games. And they made some noise in the NCAAs again too, cruising past New Mexico State, Princeton, Duke and Tennessee to reach the Final Four for the second straight year. Connecticut ended their season with a tough 81-58 blowout, but Maryland proved to the Big Ten that they will be the team to beat until proven otherwise.

2014-15 Record: 34-3, 18-0
2014-15 Postseason: NCAA
Coach: Brenda Frese
Coach Record: 340-104 at Maryland, 397-134 overall

The focus for Maryland will shift to the frontcourt this season with the return of Brionna Jones and Malina Howard. Jones, a 6-3 junior, averaged 12.4 points, 8.9 rebounds and 1.3 blocks. She is very tough on both ends of the floor and one of the most efficient interior scorers in the country. With some major departures in the backcourt, Jones will be asked to do even more scoring this year. She has been particularly effective because Jones has Howard, a 6-4 senior, by her side. Howard is not going to score much, although she is capable of boosting her 5.8 point per game average, but she does do the dirty work and opens up space for Jones. Another senior, Tierney Pfirman, figures to provide most of the frontcourt depth. She is a versatile forward, but has struggled with injuries throughout her career. When healthy, Pfirman is a dangerous 6-2 forward. Coach Brenda Frese also adds two top 50 recruits in Brianna Fraser and Kiah Gillespie who will at least help with frontcourt depth.

Maryland was ready to lose Laurin Mincy, the team’s leading scorer at 13.5 points per game, but it was a surprise when Lexie Brown opted to transfer. Brown averaged 13.3 points and 4.5 assists before opting to finish up her collegiate career at Duke. That leaves some major questions in the backcourt. The one player the Terrapins have to build around is Shatori Walker-Kimbrough. She averaged 13.3 points, 5.1 rebounds and 2.1 assists as a sophomore and will now be asked to pick up a big chunk of the scoring load. However, she is not a shooter or a point guard. To fill those roles, Maryland has quite a bit of young talent that should be ready to step up. One experienced option though is Brene Moseley. She can shoot and run the show and that kills two birds with one stone. However, last season she averaged just 5.6 points and 1.4 assists off of the bench. Sophomore Kristen Confroy can do both things too. She can knock down shots and will take care of the basketball. It is her lack of experience that is the major concern. Kiara Leslie is another very promising sophomore. She is a big guard and, much like Walker-Kimbrough, is more effective attacking the basket than making jumpers. But with her size and ability to help out on the glass, she will get a long look at a starting spot on the wing.

Final Projection:
Maryland certainly has some questions to answer on the perimeter, but there is a lot of talent there. If they can come together and remember to run the offense through Jones in the post, Maryland will not have too much trouble getting back to the NCAA Tournament. However, another 18-0 campaign in the Big Ten seems unlikely and a team like Ohio State can push the Terrapins for the top spot in the conference.

Projected Postseason Tournament: NCAA

Projected Starting Five:
Brene Moseley, Senior, Guard, 5.6 points per game
Shatori Walker-Kimbrough, Junior, Guard, 13.3 points per game
Kiara Leslie, Sophomore, Guard, 3.6 points per game
Malina Howard, Senior, Center, 5.8 points per game
Brionna Jones, Junior, Center, 12.4 points per game

By the Numbers:
Scoring Offense: 78.6 (9th in nation, 3rd in conference)
Scoring Defense: 61.1 (102, 2)
Field-Goal Percentage: 47.1 (7, 1)
Field-Goal Defense: 39.2 (163, 7)
Three-Point Field Goals Per Game: 5.3 (160, 11)
Three-Point Field-Goal Percentage: 34.5 (61, 5)
Free-Throw Percentage: 75.8 (16, 1)
Rebound Margin: 10.6 (8, 1)
Assists Per Game: 16.5 (17, 4)
Turnovers Per Game: 15.2 (124, 6)

Madness 2015 Women’s Basketball Recruit Rankings:
#23 Kiah Gillespie
#30 Brianna Fraser


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