Dishin & Swishin 2/26/15 Podcast: Maryland & Florida State roll with the changes, eye top seeds
Coming into the 2014-15 women’s basketball season, both Maryland and Florida State faced the difficult question, who would replace their WNBA lottery pick stars, who they relied on so heavily last year? Maryland’s Alyssa Thomas summered in Connecticut with the Sun, while Florida State’s Natasha Howard was in Indiana with the Fever.
For both Brenda Frese at Maryland and Sue Semrau at FSU, it came down to trust. Could they trust the returning talent to step up in various ways to replace the stars? For their respective teams, who would step up?
FSU entered the season preseason No. 5 in the Atlantic Coast Conference, never mind in the top ten in the country. However, the Seminoles have been one of the great stories of the season, rising to No. 9 (AP) and No. 8 (Coaches) in the polls. A team with only two seniors, FSU was already 12-1 when Semrau received a Christmas present named Leticia Romero. The transfer from Kansas State became eligible, and has ignited the Seminoles offense with her consistent play from the point guard position.
Former junior college star Adut Bulgak is on the Naismith Trophy Midseason 30 list, averages a double-double of 13 points and 10 rebounds per game for FSU, while Ivey Slaughter and Meagan Conwright have each had games where they dominated the statistics.
It is a pleasure to welcome coach Semrau to Dishin & Swishin for the first time. Semrau is the force behind the team, and it is a total team effort that makes them succeed. Seven different players have led the team in scoring, and a half dozen in rebounding. Nine different people have started, and eight players average at least fifteen minutes per game. A win tonight versus North Carolina State will clinch the Seminoles at least second place in the ACC, a conference with six top twenty-five teams.
Meanwhile, in College Park, Maryland the Terps faced their first season in a new conference, the Big Ten. Instead of Duke, North Carolina, and Notre Dame, they now face Michigan State, Iowa, Minnesota, and Rutgers among others. They have handled the changes beyond expectations, sitting at No. 5 in the country in both polls, with a 25-2 record. A team with only one senior, Laurin Mincy, who is second on the team in scoring, Maryland also relies on a trio of talented sophomores. Shatori Walker-Kimbrough, Lexie Brown, and Brionna Jones have combined for just over 40 points per game. Jones has been a force in the paint, Brown the ball handler and leader on the floor. Walker-Kimbrough brings the athleticism and leads the team in scoring while shooting over 50 percent from the floor.
Coach Frese returns to Dishin & Swishin for what has become an annual visit, discussing the success of this year’s team, moving to the new conference and new rivalries, and what the season has been like so far, with Maryland winning their first Big Ten title.
With Oklahoma upsetting Baylor last night, is Maryland in line for a number one seed?
Last year these two outstanding coaches would be getting ready to possibly face each other in the conference tournament; with the changes and realignment, maybe it will be in the NCAA tournament instead. One thing is for sure, both have their sights set on at least a number two seed in the NCAA tournament, and with a conference tournament championship, the sky is the limit!
Enjoy the podcast!