By Connor Bell.
With the 2016-17 season in the books, the Maryland women’s basketball team must weigh the good with the bad and regroup for next November.
The Terps failed to get to the Elite Eight for the second straight season as they fell to the Oregon Ducks March 25, 77-63. This Sweet Sixteen game was one round further than the team made it last season but still was considered less of an achievement for the No. 3 team in the country heading into the tournament.
The Terps finished with a 32-3 overall record, losing only one home game, one road game and one neutral site game. They also finished second in the regular season Big Ten standings with just one loss to Ohio State in conference play.
Despite the positives the Terps had going for them this season, here is the bad news (which is not much if you think about it), heading into the off-season.
First, the Terps have consistently been a top team in the country but have not brought in a national championship in the past 11 years. Fans are blessed with an amazing team it seems every single season, but they could soon become frustrated with a stacked team coming home empty every year. Second, the Terps are losing Seniors Shatori Walker-Kimbrough and Brionna Jones who were the top scorers on the team and leaders of the squad. Lastly, the Terps currently have no incoming Freshman for the class of 2017 for next season.
The good news is that that’s pretty much it for the bad news. Despite not winning a national championship, and losing to a double-digit seed, Coach Brenda Frese has had Maryland on the right track for a very long time now. The Terps also have won back-to-back Big Ten Championships.
Senior Kristen Confroy will be returning to lead a team that will be searching for leadership. Although they have no incoming freshmen, Maryland will add one new face to the team in Florida transfer Eleanna Christinaki, who should start contributing immediately next season.
The bottom line here is that Maryland has consistently been the best or second-best team in the Big Ten ever since they joined, swapping with Ohio State for that spot different times in different seasons. The coaching style of Frese continues to work in College Park and will keep Maryland’s reputation as one of the best women’s basketball schools in the country going strong. This reputation will help bring in stacked recruiting classes like 2016 for years to come. All the Terps must do now is find a way to come together like in 2006 and finally bring home another national championship.