A setback to a roster already losing significant talent this offseason
Maryland sophomore Shakira Austin will enter the transfer portal, it was announced Friday. Austin, a 6’5 forward that started 26 games this season, becomes the second Terrapin to leave the program after fellow sophomore Olivia Owens revealed that she will seek a transfer as well.
“We wish Shakira and Olivia all the best as they look for new opportunities,” Coach Brenda Frese said Friday in a statement released to The Washington Post. “We are grateful for their hard work and their time here with our Maryland family. They contributed to championships here at Maryland, and those memories will last a lifetime.”
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Austin played 32 games this season, starting 26. She increased her scoring average from her freshman season, up to 12 points per game from 8.6, but saw her rebounding dip to 6.8 from 9.5. Both her scoring and rebounding numbers from this season ranked second on the team.
Austin was named to the All-Big Ten Second Team this season and collected All-Big Ten Defensive and Freshman Team honors in 2018-19. She was the fourth overall recruit in the class of 2018, according to ESPN.
Owens was ranked 33rd overall in the same class, but missed all of her sophomore season due to mononucleosis at the beginning of the season and the ultimate decision to redshirt the rest of the year.
With the graduation of Kaila Charles and Stephanie Jones, along with loss of Austin and Owens, sophomore Taylor Mikesell will be the lone remaining starter on the 2020-21 roster. Expect freshman guard Ashley Owusu, who started 16 games this season, to step into a full-time starting role next year.
Maryland will seek to compensate for its losses with the acquisition of 6’3 Taylor Reese, currently ranked by ESPN as the second overall recruit in the class of 2020.
The Terrapins will look to build on a season during which they went 28-4 and 16-2 in the Big Ten, winning both the Big Ten regular season and tournament championships.
The cancellation of the NCAA Tournament came at particularly unfavorable time for Maryland, a team that had won 17 straight in conference play to conclude the season. They finished the year ranked fourth in the final AP Poll.
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