Maryland can only hope eight is enough
The football team dealt with a serious of season-ending knee injuries and the women's basketball team has also been afflicted early and often by the dreaded ACL tears,
Standout wing Laurin Mincy is the latest Terrapin to go down with a season-ending knee injury joining reserve post Essence Townsend and starting point guard Brene Moseley as Maryland players who have suffered torn ACLs. With Mincy injured her right knee in a win over Nebraska. the Terrapins are heading into Monday's Jimmy V Classic game against UConn with seven healthy scholarship players and eight total players to call upon.
Maryland coach Brenda Frese admitted that the loss of Mincy, who is the team's best perimeter defender, is a crushing blow but she has confidence in the small group of players she has to work with.
""We are down to eight players but couldn't ask for eight better players in terms of who to coach and eight kids that bring it every single day," Frese said.
"There was actually a day off yesterday so they unfortunately had to find out through their own and in different ways. Obviously everybody is disappointed for her (Mincy) but I know the team will rally behind her and rally with each other, that is the type of character we have in the locker room. I don't expect anybody to coach any less and players to give any less than what we are doing. It just means we have to step up even more and be even more creative with our practices and with seven players and a walk on we have to be smarter with what we are doing."
Maryland does have the dynamic duo of Tianna Hawkins (team-leading totals of 19.5 points and 10 rebounds per game) and All-American Alyssa Thomas (13.4 points per game with a team-leading 27 assists, 11 steals).
Frese spoke about her two superstars on a Friday morning conference call.
"You talk about her (Hawkins) progression coming out of high school ranked 125th best player to where she is now as a senior, she leads the country in field goal percentage, she never takes a bad shot and when you talk about her percentage those aren't all layups either. She has extended her range all the way out to the 3-point line. A tremendous inside/outside game, really tough, she is an aggressive rebounder for us and is just having a tremendous (season).
"For Alyssa this could be her greatest season in terms of her display of leadership and what she is going to be asked to carry this team this season. I think you saw it all on display against Nebraska, her having to do so much during that game now she is having to do this throughout every single night throughout the season. She has shown she is more than capable of it, she wants the responsibility and she is going to do everything she can."