By Sebastian Obando
Coming off two consecutive Final Four appearances, the Maryland women’s basketball team will be looking for another deep tournament run after signing the nation’s No. 1 recruiting class on Wednesday.
In her 14 seasons at Maryland, head coach Brenda Frese has brought in a top 10 recruiting class on 11 different occasions, including the No. 2 recruiting class in 2007 and 2010. This marks the first time Frese welcomes the No.1 recruiting class.
“Overall this is one of the most elite classes we have signed in my time at Maryland,” Frese said. “It is a class that has fire power in every position. Every piece, every single player fits in the overall scheme of what we want to bring here to Maryland to help us continue to win championships.”
Point guard Destiny Slocum, the No. 7 overall player in the country according to ESPN, leads the recruiting class. An Idaho Gatorade Player of the Year, Slocum averaged 25.1 points, 5.6 assists, 5.3 rebounds, and 2.9 steals as a junior, while also helping Team USA to a gold medal at the 2015 FIBA World Championships.
“I enjoyed the feel the team had and also the coaches,” top recruit Slocum said regarding her decision. “I chose the Maryland for its team atmosphere and program prestige.”
Along with Slocum, the Terps signed No. 17 overall player Jenna Staiti. The 6-6 center averaged 29 points and 16 rebounds, while shooting 71 percent from the field in her junior season. The Terps’ next signee, Kaila Charles, averaged 22 points and 10 rebounds as a junior, and was ranked the No. 25 overall player according to ESPN. Blair Watson, the No. 28 overall player, averages 23 points and four three-pointers a game.
The Terps round out the recruiting class with forward Stephanie Jones and guard Sarah Myers, the No. 51 and No. 92 ranked players, respectively. Jones averaged 17 points and 9.3 rebounds as a junior, while Myers averaged 21 points per game.
“This class was at least three years in the making so I can’t thank the various staff members enough for all of the work they put in on it from start to finish,” Frese said. “The future of Maryland women’s basketball is in great hands.”
Already winning both their exhibition games against Goldey-Beacom and Indiana University of Pennsylvania, the women’s basketball program tips off their season at 2 p.m. Saturday, November 14, against UMass Lowell.