Oct. 29, 2007
Women's Basketball Media Day
Head Coach Brenda Frese
On the start of the season:
"We're ecstatic to be able to start another season. Our theme and our motto this year, for obvious reasons, is about having twice as much fun. We really feel like we're going to have twice as much fun because of the fact that we've worked twice as hard this offseason. The lesson that we learned last year is that nothing substitutes hard work."
On the offseason:
"Our team had great success this past summer. We really dedicated ourselves. Crystal Langhorne, Laura Harper and Marissa Coleman all played with USA Basketball and were gold medalists representing our country as well as the University of Maryland. I think you have to take the time to recognize what a tremendous achievement that is. To have three players off one team be able to secure gold medals like they did this past summer is great. Kristi Toliver also had a tremendous summer. She took part in the Point Guard College down in her hometown of Harrisonburg, Va. This is a national point guard college camp that goes around all over the country and we've already seen the intangibles that we're looking for from her in terms of leadership. It's been a tremendous thing for her."
On strength of team's schedule:
On fan support:
"We're confident, but we need to be prepared. This is by far, in my opinion, the toughest schedule of any team out there and the toughest one we've ever had to date. Sixteen teams we will play this year were in the postseason last year; nine are ranked in the top-25. We really wanted to challenge ourselves with the schedule this year, specifically in the non-conference, to get us prepared for the conference schedule we're going to play, as well as, the NCAA Tournament. We're going to know early where we're at. We play 14 games in 31 days beginning on November 9. So in December, I'll have a great gauge as to where this team is at."
"The fan base we had last year was phenomenal and we feel like we have some of the best fans in the country. To be able to have two sellouts like we did last year, an average of over 9,500 fans per game come into Comcast Center, really speaks volumes about the kind of support we have here at Maryland. We want to continue the tradition and we really feel like it should be a special year."
On incoming class:
"We have the No. 2 ranked class in the country and, those who are healthy, are doing extremely well. Anjalé Barrett and Kim Rodgers had setbacks in the spring and the summer with ACL injuries so they're obviously going through rehab right now. Marah Strickland, who played right here at Towson Catholic, came in prepared and is extremely talented. Her sister, Marche, played here and [Marah] is going to be someone who is special to watch at that off guard position. She gives us a lot of size on the perimeter which we love. Drey Mingo is out of Atlanta, Ga. She is a 6-2 post player and pre-med major. Her intelligence both on and off the court will have a huge impact. She can shoot the three as a post player and has tremendous range. She has come in really prepared."
On new coaching staff:
"We're really excited about the changes that we've had, and, obviously, you have change when you're successful. Erica Floyd has been a mainstay on our staff for the past six years. She's been a tremendous glue for our program. We're very excited to be able to welcome Daron Park from the University of Utah. He came in and has done a tremendous job with our floor development and is the best basketball mind that we've had in here. I think that speaks volumes because of some of the great coaches that we've had in here. He's excited about being able to work with our players. We're very excited to be able to have him on staff. Diane Richardson is our other assistant coach. She was a prominent high school coach and is really well known in the area. All of her teams at Riverdale Baptist High School have done extremely well. She's a tremendous motivator and public speaker and she gives us another great additional recruiter. Our Director of Basketball Operations, Rhet Wierzba has brought a lot of energy from the University of Evansville. And our administrative assistant to the recruiting coordinator, Billy Fennelly, is another new face. His father is the head coach at Iowa State University, where I got one of my first starts as an assistant coach."
On Wednesday's exhibition game against USA Basketball:
"It all starts out this Wednesday with USA Basketball. It will be the best team we play all year, that's a no-brainer. But I'd rather see games like that and that kind of competition compared to when you play an exhibition game and win by 40 and have a false sense of where you're at. I'd rather know right away where we're at, what we need to get better at and we'll definitely know right away."
On hosting the NCAA tournament:
"We're also ecstatic to be able to host the NCAA tournament here. We feel very fortunate to continue to have the type of support that we have here from the administration. It also works well with the timing of our children that we won't have to travel for the first two games; we'll be able to stay right here at home. We expect, again, to have the best attendance site out there."
On her pregnancy:
"If anyone hasn't seen the video of how I announced to the team about being pregnant it's on Under the Shell, which is on our website. They were able to capture the moment when I told the team and the team's reaction is something I will remember for the rest of my life. It was priceless. My husband and I are so excited to have our kids come in and be a part of this program with people who we feel are the best role models in the country."
On team's adaption to coaching changes:
"When we filled this staff, we tried to go out and get the best coaches in the country because at Maryland, you can do that. And I really feel like we've been able to strengthen ourselves in so many areas. It's all team work on and off the floor. The transition has been great and I think this team kind of needed change. I think our players have adapted extremely well. Our kids are great people and they have welcomed everyone. From their end, they just want to continue to better themselves and improve their game and that's what they're doing."
On the ACC:
"It's not just a three-team conference. Every team out there has strengthened themselves. The bottom teams are starting to pull themselves up into the middle of the pack and you're starting to see greater parity."