With one week left in a truncated offseason, Maryland women’s basketball is gearing up for its season debut against Davidson College in Estero, Florida, next Friday. As a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, the Terps have been forced to practice and prepare differently for their upcoming season.
Despite these challenges, Frese remains confident that her squad has a tremendous amount of firepower to make a deep run at another Big Ten Championship.
“For our team it’s about staying healthy,” Frese said. “We could play a game today. Our entire team is in phenomenal shape and we are excited and looking forward to getting our season started down in Florida.”
The Terps have the luxury of returning a star-studded sophomore class filled with talent including: guard Diamond Miller, forward Mimi Collins, guard Faith Masonius and 2020 Big Ten Freshman of the year, guard Ashley Owusu.
“Toward the end of last year coming into this season I have been working on my ability to get to the basket and my outside game to have more variety,” Masonius said. “Overall, I just want to be consistent and make my presence well-known so you know what to expect from me every game.”
Not to mention, the Terps brought in forward Angel Reese and guard Taisiya Kozlova. Reese was the No. 2 overall player in the class of 2020 and the No. 1 wing ranked by ESPN. During her career at St. Frances Academy, Reese averaged a double-double with 18 points and 20 rebounds per game. She is also the highest-ranked incoming Terp in program history, according to Maryland Athletics.
“All of the coaches push me everyday to be great,” Reese said. “It helps me a lot. They don’t let up just because I am the No. 2 player in the country. Instead, they push me harder and harder as I continue to grow.”
Meanwhile, Kozlova has an extraordinary basketball IQ and in her only season playing at Elevation Prep Academy in Sarasota, Florida, she averaged 13 points per game.
“Everybody on this roster can score,” Frese said. We are going to be tested this season and I’m excited to see each player get their opportunities to show off their skill set.”
With uncertainty around every corner, the players are simply thankful to get back out on the court and play the game they love.
“Right now we are just taking things day-by-day and taking advantage of every time we’re on the court,” senior guard Katie Benzan said. “It’s hard to think about because we have no idea what is going to happen with all of this uncertainty,” senior forward Chloe Bibby added.
The Terps have responded professionally and have approached the pandemic with a positive attitude. Although there is uncertainty in the air, that has not stopped them from getting better together as a unit.
After the Terps finish their three-game stretch in Florida against Davidson, No. 24 Missouri State and No. 14 Arkansas. They will return to College Park and make their home debut at Xfinity Center against Towson on Thursday, Dec.3.