Dishin & Swishin 2/07/12 Podcast: Injuries will not derail Brenda Frese and Maryland’s quest for a trip to New Orleans

Maryland head coach Brenda Frese. Photo: Maryland Athletics.
Maryland head coach Brenda Frese. Photo: Maryland Athletics.

This week in Maryland there was a lot of celebrating, as the Baltimore Ravens won the Super Bowl. For an area with a struggling NBA Team, this was great news for a week in February.

Meanwhile, in College Park, the Terrapins women’s basketball team is rolling along, sitting at 10-1 in the ACC, and 19-3 overall, earning a top ten ranking in the polls. They have done this despite three ACL injuries and a dislocated knee cap that has depleted their roster. Rather than feel sorry for themselves, coach Brenda Frese and her team have banded together into an even closer knit group. Players have taken on new roles as needed and thrived.

Frese, who recently earned her 100th ACC conference victory, has convinced this group of high school All-Americans that as a unit they can thrive, even without their injured players, by believing in each other. Frese has done more than just motivate the healthy players, however. There is cohesiveness on both ends of the court , a trademark of winning teams that is noticeable. They play off each other well, with no egos impacting the success of the team.

Look no further than the performances of All-Americans candidate Alyssa Thomas and Tianna Hawkins for proof.

Thomas, a junior, is the leading rebounder and second leading scorer on the team, nad has increased her ball handling and running of the offense, now leading the team in assists as well.

Hawkins, the senior, leads the team in scoring and is second to Thomas in rebounding. Hawkins also leads the country in field goal percentage. She has played her way into consideration for a Top Five WNBA draft slot.

Much has been talked and written about Frese’s family situation, with her son Tyler having leukemia. In addition to raising awareness for funding needs and the need for further research in the field, dealing with this on a daily basis helps give perspective to the various injuries her team has faced. Simply put, there is an importance to basketball, but it is not all-encompassing in life, and the Maryland players realize that, and are inspired by their coach.

Frese returns to Dishin & Swishin to discuss the trials and tribulations of this year’s team, her personal battles, and the pending move to the Big Ten conference, including her Midwestern roots and history and the recruiting impact. She discusses the WNBA potential of Hawkins, and the under-appreciated star, Thomas, as well as what makes the other members of the Terps special.

The Terps play at Wake Forest tomorrow night, then face one of their season’s biggest challenges on ESPN2 on Monday night, when they travel to Duke to take on their ACC rival for conference supremacy. Enjoy it while it is there, for with that move to the Big Ten conference, there will not be many more ACC rivalry games featuring Maryland.

Enjoy the podcast!

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