#15 Maryland Women's Basketball Preview

Maryland Terrapins

Overall rank: #15
Conference rank: ACC #4
Maryland Women's College Basketball Logo
Maryland Team Page

The Maryland women’s basketball program may have been stable during the season, but when the final buzzer sounded in March the Terrapin program turned into a revolving door. It should be pointed out none of this was the result of strained relations; rather, injuries and family illness caused the loss of several players from a year ago. Maryland is coming off a strong Atlantic Coast Conference campaign, but can the Terrapins overcome the losses and elevate their game to the next level?

2010-11: 24-8, 9-5
2010-11 Postseason: NCAA (lost in second round to Georgetown, 79-57)
Coach:  Brenda Frese, 278-111 overall, 221-81 at Maryland

Who’s Out:
No seniors graduated, but there was plenty of upheaval. Maryland’s third-leading scorer, Diandra Tchatchouang, averaged 8.7 points per game and 25 minutes a contest last year, but she suffered a torn left anterior cruciate ligament in Maryland’s loss to Georgetown. In May she elected to return to France and end her NCAA career although she had eligibility remaining. In July, junior-to-be Natasha Cloud transferred to be closer to her family (a sister diagnosed with stomach cancer and a father in the early stages of dementia); she is currently at St. Joseph’s and will miss the 2011-12 season per NCAA regulations. Junior-to-be Dara Taylor is now at Penn State and will also sit out the season after averaging 1.7 points and 1.2 rebounds per game. Center Yemi Oyefuwa was “indefinitely suspended” by Frese in February and is not on the 2011-12 roster.

Who’s In:
Two players are in their first year on the roster, one a redshirt freshman and the other a true first-year player. Whitney Bays, a 6-2 forward, suffered a knee injury in high school and wasn’t quite up to speed when last season began, so Frese put a redshirt tag on her and she’s fully recovered. The true freshman is Brene Moseley, a 5-7 guard and in-state product from Burtonsville. She averaged 26.2 points per game as a junior in high school before knee problems hampered her senior season.

Who to Watch:
Amid all of the entrances and exits, the two consistent scorers from last year’s team return. Keep an eye on Alyssa Thomas, who averaged 14.5 points and 7.3 rebounds per game on the way to ACC Rookie of the Year honors. She also scored in double figures in 28 of the team’s 32 games. Thomas is a 6-2 sophomore forward. Also, senior center Lynetta Kizer had 13.2 points and 7.8 rebounds per game, including a team-leading 107 offensive boards.

Final Projection:
Having Thomas and Kizer on board for another season, in addition to their approximate 28 points and 15 rebounds a game, will help stabilize a team hit by losses. It is unsure how the freshmen will contribute to the starting lineup, thanks to the knee problems Bays and Moseley have suffered in the past, so Frese might have to do a little lineup juggling. Maryland should have another 20-win season, but things could be difficult.

There isn’t much to write home about on Maryland’s non-conference schedule, so any growth Maryland does as a team will have to come from the ACC games. Six of the first seven games on Maryland’s schedule are at home, so the team growth can occur in its College Park confines.

Projected Postseason Tournament: NCAA

Projected Starting Five:
Alyssa Thomas, Forward, Sophomore, ACC Rookie of the Year
Lynetta Kizer, Center, Senior, 13.2 points per game
Tianna Hawkins, Forward, Junior, led the team in rebounding in seven games
Kim Rodgers, Guard, Senior, strong 3-point shooter
Anjale Barrett, Guard, Senior, led team in assists in 17 games

Madness 2012 WNBA Draft Rankings:
#26 Lynetta Kizer

Madness 2011 Women's Basketball Recruit Rankings:
#67 Brene Moseley