Women’s Hoops Hosts Annual Media Day

Maryland Athletics
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COLLEGE PARK, Md. - The University of Maryland women’s basketball team, which is ranked in the preseason top five nationally, welcomed media outlets from around the area and regionally to its annual media day event Tuesday.


Head Coach Brenda Frese

Opening Statement

“We are very thrilled about our team this season on many fronts, with our experience, our depth and we’re healthy. Almost every player has returned from our Sweet Sixteen appearance, we are returning five seniors and we have depth at every position. Also, to have the two time reigning ACC Player of the Year, Alyssa Thomas, who in my opinion should be national player of the year, she is a once in a lifetime player to coach.”

On the team’s mindset this year:

“This team this season is probably the most driven, committed team that I have ever been around in my 12 years here at Maryland. You can definitely see that every day they come into a workout or a practice there is a purpose. After we lost last season, most people would have been satisfied with a Sweet Sixteen finish, this group wasn’t. They committed to each other. This was the first team I have ever had where the players came back to complete 9-12 weeks of summer school so they could get ahead both academically as well as being able to work out, with in my opinion the best performance coaches in the country, Katie Fowler and Kyle Tarp in the offseason. What you’ll see when you talk to them is a workmanlike mentality, that’s how they approach everything, whether it’s their academics, in the weight room, or on the court we see a group that is extremely selfless and when you’re talking about 14 players and the dynamics that we’ll have this season, that’s a great quality to be able to have as a team.”

On how the team is changing expectations with a healthy roster:

“At different times through graduation, you’re going to be reloading. Every year you try to come back, regardless of adversity or what we face, we try to get better. We were able to do that last season despite the injuries that we had. Now, to be able to have every back healthy, five seniors…we want to be a top five program every year. We want to compete for championships.”

“I like to focus on the positive and the fact that we have the depth and a ton of options. No one’s naïve, though, when you have 14 players, you have to continue on a day-to-day basis to understand their chemistry. It’s a lot easier, like last year, to keep six players happy, compared to 14, but I do like the way this team is built and its identity in terms of selflessness, the sacrifices everybody understands we have to make.”

On Alyssa Thomas’ mindset as a national player of the year candidate:

“What I love about where Alyssa is at right now, is that she’s savoring every moment. That’s a pretty cool thing to be able to watch from afar, in terms of enjoying every single second she gets with her teammates and her coaches. I think for me now, to be able to see in her past three years everything we’ve asked her to do, when you start talking about national player of the year, I don’t think you could put any other player in the spot Alyssa’s been in and anyone could do it better.”

Senior Forward Alyssa Thomas

On playing wherever the team needs her:

 “Wherever they need me to play, I’ll go. I think me playing post this year can be very beneficial. With my speed, I’ll be able to take a lot of the post players out on the wing.”

On if anything is like last year:

“I don’t think anything is like last year, we had so much adversity last year and we were able to overcome that. This year with our numbers, we just have to play hard and learn how to play with each other for 40 minutes.”

Senior Center Alicia DeVaughn

On expanding her offensive game this year:

“It’s just having the mindset to just go get it and become an offensive threat and there’s no more time to wait now because it’s my last year.”

On how the team’s working together now:

“Right now everybody is healthy and we have our ACL girls back, and their playing like they’ve never even missed a season. They look really great. They fit in; our freshman came in strong. It’s crazy how high their IQ is, and how fast they catch on to things so quickly the past two weeks we’ve been practicing. It’s going to be a great year.”

Redshirt Senior Guard Katie Rutan

On what aspects of her game she worked to improve in the offseason:

“I really worked on creating off the bounce, so either by myself or using pick and rolls.”

On the expectations for this season:

“Since we have been back at practice we have had 14 players, which is completely different from last year. We are all excited, ready to go, and we are deep and have numbers, which will let us run more than we ever have”.

On the freshmen:

“They are great. From the start they have been picking up on things and asking the right questions and becoming a real help to us and they will be a big help this year.”

Redshirt Senior Center Essence Townsend

On how she is feeling after her knee injury last year:

“I feel great. The knee made me think about a lot of things in my life overall too. Sitting out last year and only being able to watch my team last year was drastic, so this year I want to give back to them in the best way that I can, and I honestly feel better than ever.”

On her personal goals for this season:

“My personal goals would be to contribute more than I have in my four years. I want to know my role and do it the best that I can, and try not to do anything that I know I am not capable of doing. I want to also give it my all every single game.”

On how the freshman have come in to the team:

“The freshmen are great for us this year. Having them here all summer was a great move for them because their acclimated to the school life, the basketball life, and busy schedule, so they know what to expect in the fall. The freshmen adjust quickly, even on the court. They ask great questions, they stay after practice and learn. That makes me excited as a fifth year to see that this program is going to evolve into something great.”

Redshirt Junior Guard Laurin Mincy

On her knee:

“I just got cleared today, so it is a relief that I can be back and contribute anything and everything I can to this team this year.”

On her on-court chemistry with Alyssa Thomas:

“We will definitely be able to get our chemistry going again. Also, with our freshmen, they came in here early in the summer, so we were all able to get really good chemistry with them too. The addition of our freshmen and the chemistry that we already had will make us nearly unstoppable if we just play hard and focus.”

Sophomore Center Malina Howard

On what she learned in her freshman year:

“The biggest thing I learned from my freshman year is not to overthink and just play. Also, not worrying about being perfect but just going out there and giving 100% max effort and to learn from each mistake.”

On this being the team’s last year in the ACC:

“It’s really exciting that we get to have a last season, and it’s definitely motivation to leave the ACC on a positive note. We’re just excited for the future and just taking it one game at a time.”

Redshirt Sophomore Guard Brene Moseley

On how she handled last year:

“I feel like my adjustment period was last year. I’m thankful that Chloe stepped in. Here’s this freshman, she’s getting thrown into the fire and I’m able to help her get through it. Coaching her through it helped me out because now I’m learning in a different perspective.”

On how the guard play will improve this year:

“This year we are going to be guard strong. With the injuries that we had last year, our strengths were our bigs.  So coming into this year with me, Chloe, Lexie, Mincy, Katie, all three-point shooters,  I’m expecting to see our numbers go up.

Sophomore Guard Chloe Pavlech

On her thoughts on the team going to the Big Ten next year:

“I am definitely going to miss the ACC, but there are new and great opportunities in the Big Ten. I am just really excited to travel and get to see new places and play against new teams.”

On practicing with the freshmen earlier this year:

“Being able to practice with the freshmen throughout the entire summer has been really awesome and a lot of fun. The picked up on concepts so quickly and they are really smart and really ahead of the game, so I cannot wait to see what they bring to the table.”

Freshman Guard Lexie Brown

On Katie Rutan’s “super-senior” season:

“I think she is excited. This is definitely bitter sweet for her because this is her final season. She got to go to a new school and a new family when she transferred here, and I think she is going to do amazingly this season.”

On how her dad being Dee Brown has prepared her for playing for Maryland:

“It has prepared me so much. My basketball IQ is definitely higher than most only because I have been surrounded by so many basketball minds growing up.

On if her dad impacted her decision to come to Maryland:

He had a huge impact. My first time being up here, he brought me. It was just me and him, and we drove up here from Atlanta, it was 10 hours, so we had a lot of time to talk about it. When I decided, he was all for me, he knew that I belonged here. He loved Coach B, he loved the whole coaching staff. Having my first visit here with him made that decision a lot more special to me.”

Freshman Forward A’Lexus Harrison

On what she can bring to the team this year:

“I can bring a lot of energy and hard work and take care of everything we need to take care of.”

On if there is added pressure from being a local:

“There is no added pressure. I actually think it makes it better because then you can have support from your family and friends at the games.”

Freshman Center Brionna Jones

On which games in the season she is most excited for:

“I am most excited for the UConn game. I have never played a team on that level, and it should be a lot of fun to play them.”

On what they have been working on during practice:

“A lot of things. I am learning a lot, and there is a lot to take in. We go over offense and defense and everything in between.”

– Terps –