Terps Women's Basketball Readies to Open Its Season
Oct. 28, 2008
COLLEGE PARK, Md. - The Maryland Women's Basketball team readies to open its 2008-09 season with a talented blend of youth and experience that has it in position to chase its second national championship in four seasons.
Coming off a 33-4 campaign last year which saw the Terrapins reach the Elite Eight for a second time in three years, head coach Brenda Frese and the Terps are returning one of the best backcourts in college basketball, headlined by seniors Marissa Coleman and Kristi Toliver.
Toliver, last year's Nancy Lieberman Award winner as the top point guard in the nation, has been tabbed as the Preseason Player of the Year in the Atlantic Coast Conference by a blue ribbon panel comprised of league coaches, school officials and media. After setting an ACC record with 275 assists last season, Toliver enters her senior campaign just three assists shy of setting a new Maryland record. She also figures to remain a strong scoring threat after pouring in 17.1 points per game last season.
The Terps swept the preseason individual honors for the ACC, as freshman Lynetta Kizer was named the Preseason Rookie of the Year. Kizer, a 6'4" center out of Woodbridge, Va., steps into the ACC as no stranger to the spotlight, having averaged 8.6 points per game in the 2008 FIBA World Championships as a member of Team USA. A McDonald's, Parade Magazine and Women's Basketball Coaches of America (WBCA) All-American in high school, Kizer will have an immediate impact on the Terps, stepping into a post vacated by first-round WNBA Draft picks Crystal Langhorne and Laura Harper.
Coleman, a preseason Wade Trophy candidate, also received accolaides from the conference when she joined Toliver on the preseason All-ACC team. Just the third player in conference history to amass 1,500 points, 700 rebounds, 300 assists and 100 blocks, Coleman remains one of the most versatile weapons for Frese as she looks to join Langhorne as the only Maryland players to earn All-ACC honors all four years.
The excitement around the Terps, who have been picked in the top five in several early preseason polls and sixth in Athlon Magazine's rankings, has led to the highest preseason ticket sales in the history of the program. Fans are looking forward to a home slate that features marquee opponents such as UCLA, North Carolina, Duke and Rutgers as Maryland looks to match their 21-0 home mark from last season.
In addition to looking to capture its second national championship, Maryland will attempt to claim its ninth ACC Tournament title and first since 1989. The Terps have been picked second in the conference coming into the season, behind only North Carolina. Maryland garnered 11 first-place votes.
Off the court, things are just as exciting for the Maryland program as it launches its brand new website, www.MarylandWomen'sBasketball.com, on Tuesday. The website will provide information on the players and the coaching staff, and will also feature virtual tours of the Comcast Center, personalized messages for the fans, and Frese herself introducing visitors to her program.
Maryland kicks off the 2008-09 campaign on Sunday when the Terps take on DTIII in an exhibition game at the Comcast Center. Tip-off is set for 2:00 p.m. The Terps play their first regular season game in Fort Worth, Texas, taking on the Horned Frogs of TCU on Nov. 14 at 6:30 p.m. ET.