Local Division I college women’s basketball preview for 2018-19

The Navy women’s basketball team has recently been the state’s most successful program other than Maryland, qualifying for berths in the Women’s National Invitation Tournament in each of the past two seasons.

Can the Midshipmen duplicate that run this winter? Or is there another program that could make a run to the postseason?

Here is a snapshot of every Division I in-state team – excluding Maryland – heading into the 2018-19 season.

Coppin State

2017-18 record (Postseason finish): 6-23 (No NCAA tournament)

2018-19 projection: 9th out of 12 in Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference preseason poll

Key returners: Sophomore F Chance Graham (13.4 points per game, 10.7 rebounds per game), sophomore F Oluwadamilola Oloyede (5.3 PPG, 3.9 RPG)

Key losses: G Genesis Lucas (16.1 PPG, 4.2 assists per game), F Candice Beverly (7.6 PPG, 4.4 RPG)

Outlook: Third-year coach Dewayne Burroughs is hoping the loss of three starters is mitigated by the return of the 6-foot Graham, a preseason first-team All-MEAC choice, and sophomore guard and New Town graduate Maraiyah Smith (8.7 PPG). There are a pair of Division II transfers in senior guard and IND graduate Brooke Fields (15.6 PPG, 2.2 APG at Roberts Wesleyan in 2016-17) and senior guard Kaiya Coleman (8.4 PPG, 3.7 RPG at the University of the District of Columbia in 2016-17).

Loyola Maryland

2017-18 record (Postseason finish): 9-21 (No NCAA tournament)

2018-19 projection: 3rd out of 10 in Patriot League preseason poll

Key returners: Junior G Stephanie Karcz (14.0 PPG, 4.0 APG), sophomore F Isabella Therien (15.2 PPG, 4.7 RPG)

Key losses: G CaLee Gelbaugh (3.5 PPG, 1.3 RPG), G Madelene McDonald (1.4 PPG, 1.8 RPG)

Outlook: Optimism should be high for coach Joe Logan, who welcomes back 93.3 percent of last year’s scoring, 92.6 of the team’s rebounding and 90.6 percent of the steals. In addition to Karcz, the conference’s reigning Defensive Player of the Year, and Therien, last season’s Patriot League Rookie of the Year, the program could get a boost from redshirt senior guard Bri Betz-White, a 2016-17 conference first-team selection who averaged 15.0 PPG and 3.5 APG after she missed most of last season because of injury.

Morgan State

2017-18 record (Postseason finish): 16-15 (No NCAA tournament)

2018-19 projection: 6th out of 12 in MEAC preseason poll

Key returners: Senior G/F Adre’onia Coleman (9.3 PPG, 6.6 RPG), junior G Jihayah Chavis (5.1 PPG, 2.6 RPG)

Key losses: F Lexus Spears (13.8 PPG, 7.6 RPG), G Braennan Farrar (12.1 PPG, 3.3 APG)

Outlook: Repeating last year’s first winning season since 2010-11 and first MEAC tournament win since 2016 might be difficult after the loss of the top three scorers in Spears, Farrar and forward Tykyrah Williams (11.3 PPG, 6.2 RPG). Coach Edward Davis Jr. added Florida transfer Sydney Searcy (4.4 PPG, 1.7 RPG last season), a junior guard.

Mount St. Mary’s

2017-18 record (Postseason finish): 9-20 (No NCAA tournament)

2018-19 projection: Tied for 5th out of 10 in Northeast Conference preseason poll

Key returners: Senior G Juliette Lawless (11.2 PPG, 3.5 APG), sophomore G Daly Sullivan (10.1 PPG, 1.9 RPG)

Key losses: Sophomore G Ashlee White (12.8 PPG, 3.1 RPG), F Katrice Dickson (10.7 PPG, 4.0 RPG)

Outlook: The loss of three starters, including center Caroline Hummell (8.2 PPG, 4.1 RPG), is a sizable hit for coach Maria Marchesano and the rest of the program. But the presence of Lawless, the conference’s Most Improved Player, and Sullivan, a member of the league’s All-Rookie team, could be fortified by a pair of transfers — junior guard-forward Kendall Bresee (2.1 PPG, 1.7 RPG at George Washington in 2017-18) and junior forward Alexis Wooden (8.0 PPG, 5.9 RPG at Coffeyville Community College in 2017-18).

Navy

2017-18 record (Postseason finish): 25-8 (No NCAA tournament)

2018-19 projection: Tied for 4th out of 10 in Patriot League preseason poll

Key returners: Senior G Bianca Roach (6.3 PPG, 1.9 APG), junior G Morgan Taylor (6.9 PPG, 3.3 RPG)

Key losses: G Taylor Dunham (14.8 PPG, 3.0 RPG), G Hannah Fenske (10.8 PPG, 3.8 APG)

Outlook: Last year’s team that lost by one point to Virginia Tech in the first round of the WNIT and compiled a program-record 25 wins bade farewell to three starters in Dunham, Fenske and forward Kaila Clark (7.8 PPG, 8.3 RPG, 2.1 blocks per game). But coach Stefanie Pemper welcomes back a pair of starters in Roach and junior forward Laurel Jaunich (5.2 PPG, 3.7 RPG). Taylor and sophomore guard-forward Sophie Gatzounas (6.2 PPG, 4.2 RPG) are poised to join them.

Towson

2017-18 record (Postseason finish): 9-21 (No NCAA tournament)

2018-19 projection: 8th out of 10 in Colonial Athletic Association preseason poll

Key returner: Junior G/F Nukiya Mayo (12.6 PPG, 9.0 RPG), senior G Danielle Durjan (8.2 PPG, 3.5 RPG)

Key loss: F Mary Cuevas (13.1 PPG, 9.0 RPG), G Raine Bankston (12.3 PPG, 4.3 RPG)

Outlook: Mayo and Durjan are the known commodities, but the program lost four of its top six scorers. There are a number of unproven players second-year coach Diane Richardson could tap, including a trio of transfers in redshirt junior point and Milford Mill standout Qierra Murray (10.3 PPG, 2.5 APG at Appalachian State in 2016-17), redshirt sophomore guard Kionna Jeter (19.8 PPG, 6.0 RPG at Gulf Coast State College in 2017-18) and junior guard and Roland Park graduate Ryan Holder (13.8 PPG and school-record 85 blocks at Harford Community College in 2017-18).

UMBC

2017-18 record (Postseason finish): 5-26 (No NCAA tournament)

2018-19 projection: 8th out of 9 in America East preseason poll

Key returners: Sophomore F Janee’a Summers (6.7 PPG, 5.4 RPG), junior G Te’yJah Oliver (6.8 PPG, 2.6 RPG)

Key losses: G Laura Castaldo (12.2 PPG, 3.1 RPG), G Brittani Burgess (6.8 PPG, 2.9 APG)

Outlook: In addition to Castaldo and Burgess, the team lost guard Allison McGrath (6.2 PPG) and forward Lakiah Sims (4.5 PPG, 3.6 RPG) who combined to make 13 starts. Coach Phil Stern will lean on a group that includes Summers (a member of the conference’s All-Rookie team), Oliver, 6-foot-2 junior center Lucrezia Costa (4.3 PPG, 3.2 RPG) and junior guard Tyler Moore (4.1 PPG, 1.6 RPG).

UMES

2017-18 record (Postseason finish): 11-20 (No NCAA tournament)

2018-19 projection: 5th out of 12 in MEAC preseason poll

Key returners: Senior G Ciani Byrom (11.1 PPG, 3.1 APG), sophomore F Bairesha Gill-Miles (10.2 PPG, 7.6 RPG)

Key losses: F Jordyn Smith (8.9 PPG, 6.4 RPG), G Alexus Hicks (6.7 PPG, 2.2 APG)

Outlook: The departures of Smith and Hicks will sting as will the absence of top reserve guard Martha Thompson (7.8 PPG, 4.4 RPG). But coach Fred Batchelor welcomes back four of last year’s top four scorers in Byrom, Gill-Miles, senior guard Keyera Eaton (9.0 PPG, 3.8 RPG) and senior forward Dominique Walker (6.3 PPG, 3.1 RPG).

edward.lee@baltsun.com

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