When the Big Ten held media day for women's basketball in mid-October, coaches hailed the arrival of Maryland as a boon to the overall profile of the conference by selecting it as the favorite to win the regular season title. They spoke about the Terps' depth, athleticism and size and how it made sense to issue that endorsement given Maryland was coming off a fifth trip to the Final Four.
Student-athletes and coaches with ties to Laurel will take part in Division I conference tourneys in the coming days. And a conference tourney title means an automatic bid to March Madness and the national tourney.
If the Terps had lost at home to a pesky Northwestern team that had won only one Big Ten game this year, they would have suffered back-to-back deflating conference losses and it would have been fair to ask if they were really as good as advertised.
Jake Layman's performance Sunday showed how he has embraced the role of go-to guy in the absence of injured Terps senior guard Dez Wells, who is expected to return Saturday after missing a month with a fractured wrist.
A'Lexus Harrison, fully recovered from the appendicitis that spoiled her true-freshman season, is still very much that 6-year-old girl in full pads. She's just older. And faster. And stronger. And better.
Maryland, which defeated Division II Goldey-Beacom, 103-43, in its first exhibition and faces Division II UDC on Saturday in its second exhibition, opens the season Nov. 14 against visiting Mount St. Mary's.
In a vote of Big Ten Conference coaches, Maryland was selected to win the league in its first year out of the Atlantic Coast Conference. Sophomore guard Lexie Brown was named preseason All-Big Ten. Expectations are high, as they have been since the Terps won the national championship in 2006.
Maryland men's basketball coach Mark Turgeon and women's basketball coach Brenda Frese were in Baltimore on Monday, having breakfast with boosters and talking about their teams' upcoming first season in the Big Ten.
Maryland fans looking to get their first glimpse at a men's basketball team that has undergone a radical overhaul to its roster and a women's team looking to replace its all-time leading scorer can mark Oct. 17 on their calendars.