The first of the basketball season previews ran in Friday’s dead-tree edition, a look at coach Brenda Frese entering her second decade on the job in College Park.
You can read it here.
As for a more nuts-and-bolts look, read on here:
Coach: Brenda Frese (252-86, 11th season)
Last season: 31-5 (NCAA Elite Eight)
Key player: F Alyssa Thomas. The returning first team All-American, ACC player of the year and ACC tournament MVP averaged 17.2 points and 8.0 as a sophomore and figures to again be one of the nation’s top talents.
Biggest loss: G Brene Moseley. The sophomore is still on the roster after suffering a preseason ACL tear, but her absence on the floor will force the Terps to juggle their short-handed roster and go with a point guard by committee.
Top newcomer: C Malina Howard. The 6-foot-3 freshman was Ohio’s Miss Basketball last year and will play an immediate role in the Maryland frontcourt after the departure of veteran Lynetta Kizer. She averaged 18.6 points and 11.9 rebounds during her high school career.
Best case: Junior Laurin Mincy seamlessly handles the bulk of the point guard duties after playing on the wing last year, there are no more injury issues and Thomas turns in another stellar season as the Terps reach the Final Four for the first time since their 2006 national title.
Worst case: Even short-handed, Maryland is still loaded and possesses top-10 talent. Nonetheless, the Terps’ depth already creates some vulnerability and risk of an early postseason departure, and any more serious injuries will amplify those issues.
* Dec. 3 at Connecticut. It’s the first time the Terps will ever face the perennial power Huskies, and it will happen in the high-profile Jimmy V Classic.
* Dec. 20 at Delaware. Maryland won last year’s meeting with star Elena Delle Donne and the Blue Hens, 85-76. This ends the Terps’ stretch of six road games in 10 contests to open the season.
* Feb. 24 vs. Duke. The top seed in the ACC tournament could hinge on this game on the penultimate weekend of the regular season. The Terps and Blue Devils also meet Feb. 11 at Duke.
—- Patrick Stevens