This may come as a bit of a surprise to some, as Maryland, while 9-2 on the season, hasn’t looked particularly great thus far. They suffered an early loss to South Carolina in College Park and followed that up with a narrow two-point victory over James Madison just three days later. James Madison is a very good mid-major team, and likely a tournament team, but Maryland was not impressive in that one.
Frese’s team has started to put it together as of late, however, and heads into Big-10 play winning eight of their last nine games. The only loss coming on the road to a strong NC State team. The Terrapins are just one of two teams ranked in the top-12 in both scoring offense (5th) and scoring defense (11th). The other team is Baylor. Seven of the last 11 national champions ranked in the top-12 in both of those categories.
The Terrapins have five players averaging 10 points per game or better. Senior preseason All-American Kaila Charles has been a bit inconsistent early on this season, but her, along with Stephanie Jones, are certainly capable of being the senior leaders Frese’s team needs. Sophomore Shakira Austin has been an extremely steady presence in the post, while Taylor Mikesell is shooting the three at just over 47%. Freshman Ashley Owusu is also continuing to improve. This Terrapin team will continue to get better and while we may not be convinced as of today that they have national championship potential, come March, those feelings might change.
Plus, they have history on their side here.