Home Womens jersey Brenda Frese plays down Maryland women’s basketball transfers

Brenda Frese plays down Maryland women’s basketball transfers

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Brenda Frese says she wasn’t surprised by the massive roster shake-up that happened this offseason. In one week, Maryland lost its top two scorers and a top reserve to the transfer gate. The Terrapins certainly weren’t the only women’s basketball program with significant losses at the Portal, but the departures of standouts Angel Reese and Ashley Owusu were particularly notable.

Since then, Reese has signed with LSU, Owusu has signed with Virginia Tech and Mimi Collins will play at NC State next season.

None of this caught us off guard,” Frese said in an April interview. “We have seen this happen throughout the season. We knew we were going to be portals this offseason.

“Unfortunately, nowadays, you can’t make everyone happy. And I will say that everyone has different individual reasons, right? One might want to be marketed better than the other or be the top scorer or academically, Mimi wanted to get into grad school here and didn’t have the GPA to get into it. So I think every child has different reasons.

Women Terps lose starters Angel Reese and Ashley Owusu to transfer Portal

The losses sent shockwaves through women’s college basketball. Reese was the highest-rated rookie — No. 2 in the nation — that Maryland had ever signed and she exited after just two seasons. She led the team in points and rebounds last season and was named a third-team AP all-American. Owusu was an AP all-American honorable mention after finishing second to the Terps in scoring and assists. She was Big Ten Rookie of the Year, two-time Big Ten Tournament MVP and an all-American third team in 2021 during her career at Maryland.

Reese did not respond to an interview request and Owusu declined to comment, but in her Instagram post announcing her departure, she referenced “events that have transpired on and off the pitch.”

“I never started anything that I didn’t finish, and finishing was the plan when I decided to come to College Park,” Owusu wrote. “My goal was to have a great career here and win a national championship alongside an incredible team. I could imagine my jersey hanging in the rafters at the Xfinity Center.

“Unfortunately, events on and off the court this year have led me to make the very difficult but necessary decision to pursue my education and basketball career elsewhere.”

Reserves Taisiya Kozlova and Channise Lewis also left the program through the portal.

More than 1,200 women have transferred this offseason, according to WBB Blog, which monitors the transfer portal. Frese said that’s just life in college basketball in 2022. Coaches can expect to lose players every year and have to re-recruit their own rosters.

This transfer portal, they opened Pandora’s box,” Frese said. “In one to two years, everyone will understand that this is the new normal. What will be wrong if you don’t have someone leaving? This will be the new normal of what has been created.

Frese and his staff are certainly working on the portal themselves and have been particularly active this offseason. Two years ago, the Terrapins added Katie Benzan and Chloe Bibby and became the No. 1 offense in college basketball, with Benzan being the top three-point shooter in the nation. This time it’s 6-foot guard Abby Meyers (Princeton), 5-8 guard Elisa Pinzan (South Florida), 6-2 forward Allie Kubek (Towson) and 6-foot forward Brinae Alexander (Vanderbilt). Maryland also added 6-1 forward Lavender Briggs (Florida) during the season and signed incoming freshman guards Gia Cooke and Brianna McDaniel a month ago. The 5-10 McDaniel is ranked 42nd rookie in the nation by ESPN and the 5-9 Cooke is ranked 52nd.

Meyers, a former Walt Whitman All-Met, is the reigning Ivy League Player of the Year and was named an AP All-American Honorable Mention and Pinzan was the American Athletic’s Most Improved Player Conference in 2021.

There are only four players left from the 2021-22 squad on the roster and only three – Diamond Miller, Shyanne Sellers, Faith Masonius – have played significant minutes.

“I chose to play my senior year of college basketball in Maryland because not only am I from Maryland,” Meyers said in a statement, “but I grew up going to women’s basketball games at the amazing Xfinity Center!I have tremendous respect for the program and all that it has achieved under Coach Frese’s leadership, and want to help continue to build the winning legacy.

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Alexander, who was Vanderbilt’s leading scorer last season, added: “I’ve had Maryland in my sights for a while now. Both the culture of winning and the opportunity to play in the Big Ten appealed to me. After speaking with Coach Frese and his team, I really felt that they wanted to bring me into their family.

The transfer gate and name, image and likeness rules have created a form of free agency for college sports. But even before the full effect of these changes was realized, Maryland lost talented players like Taylor Mikesell (Oregon, then Ohio State), Shakira Austin (Mississippi) and Olivia Owens (Kentucky).

It was a lot, it was a lot,” said Austin, who was the third pick in the WNBA Draft by the Washington Mystics. “On the pitch, I felt like I had more to prove. I had more to give. Honestly, I just needed a mentor. I felt like it was bigger than basketball. And for me, the things that I was dealing with during that time, I really just needed someone who cared [about me] more than being an athlete.

“Off the pitch, I was able to really grow and mature as a player, an athlete and, also, just as a teammate. [at Ole Miss]. I was just able to really put some things back together.

Frese dismissed the idea that deeper issues were causing players to leave. She points to portal numbers and the fact that 262 Power Five teams have transferred players, according to WBB Blog. Transfers from Maryland are getting more attention due to the program’s popularity and success, Frese added.

“I appreciate that our fans are upset because it shows people are invested in our sport and in our program. That’s a good thing,” Frese said. in. … I think it’s disappointing because you build these relationships and invest so much time and money in these players and their families. But at the same time, they have to do what is individually best for them- same.

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Frese received a contract extension in April and the two-time National Coach of the Year is expected to be at College Park in the 2028-29 season. The team has lost 12 games in the last two seasons combined and qualified for the Sweet 16 in the last two NCAA tournaments. The Terps have only missed the NCAA Tournament twice under Frese, the last in 2010.

Two years ago when we were hit with graduations and the transfer gate, we were able to come in and look for Chloe and Katie,” Frese said. “And the next year we led the nation in scoring. I was lucky enough to be named coach of the year and nobody left. But nobody talked about it. Everybody was happy .

“Then you come into this year and egos can change. Different things you want as you evolve as the player changes. It’s the individual things they have to deal with. On our side, I know who we are as a program. … I think that’s the only thing when the players left, they found, it’s a hell of a risk. The grass is not always greener elsewhere. So we wish them all the best.