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Maryland Women Picked 2nd in ACC Preseason Poll, Get Two Verbal Commitments

Some tidbits from ACC Women's Basketball Media Day, which is being held today in Greensboro, N.C.: The Maryland women are picked to finish second in the league behind defending champion North Carolina in the preseason poll, which is determined by a Blue Ribbon panel of national and local media and school representatives. (The full list is below.)

Senior guard Kristi Toliver is the preseason player of the year, and freshman center Lynetta Kizer, an All-Met from Potomac (Va.), is the preseason rookie of the year. Senior Marissa Coleman joins Toliver on the preseason all-ACC team, along with Duke's Chante Black, North Carolina's Rashanda McCants and Virginia's Monica Wright (a three-time All-Met from Forest Park).

Here's the preseason poll (first-place votes):
1. North Carolina (15)
2. Maryland (11)
3. Duke (14)
4. Virginia (2)
5. Florida State
6. Georgia Tech
7. Boston College
8. N.C. State
9. Clemson
10. Virginia Tech
11. Miami
12. Wake Forest

Maryland hasn't won an ACC title since 1989; the Terps were the preseason choice to win in 1992, 2006 and 2007, and finished second, tied for third, and second, respectively.

Unfortunately I'm not in Greensboro today, due to other work commitments, but I'll be at the team's media day on Tuesday (Oct. 28) and will post some more updates then. In the meantime, here's some other news: Seven recruits attended Maryland Madness on Friday night, and two of them gave verbal commitments to the program the following day.

Essence Townsend, a 6-foot-7 senior from Paterson Catholic in New Jersey, chose the Terps over Seton Hall, Miami and Pittsburgh, according to her high school coach, Dave Andre. Her long and lean frame reminds Andre of Brittney Griner, a top-rated senior who is known as the "High School Girl Dunker," but Townsend, who only started taking basketball seriously in the ninth grade, is still very much a work-in-progress.

"Her upside is huge," Andre said. "She's willing to learn. She's not as experienced as other girls, but that also means she doesn't have a lot of bad habits. You teach her something, and she picks it up quickly."

Alyssa Thomas, a 6-foot-1 junior from Central Dauphin in Pennsylvania, also made an unofficial commitment. Thomas, who is ranked 27th on the ESPNU HoopGurlz Super 60 for the class of 2010, has the skills to play anywhere from the 1 to the 4, though she will likely be a 3 at Maryland, said Bill Wolf, her high school coach.

"She's like a very athletic Magic Johnson," Wolf said. "She's very good in the open floor, she's a very good passer, and she's very good at finishing in a break situation."

Thomas averaged 18 points and 10 rebounds as a sophomore, and she helped lead the Lady Rams to the P.I.A.A. AAAA state championship, recording 18 points and 18 rebounds in the final. Wolf was planning on meeting with Thomas to narrow down her list of schools, but instead got a phone call from her father, saying that she made a decision.

"I always had a feeling she would go someplace relatively close to home," Wolf said. Thomas's family is close-knit; her mother coaches her AAU team, and her father coaches her younger brother's AAU team. "She fell in love with Maryland and felt she wasn't going to find a nicer place."

By Camille Powell  |  October 22, 2008; 11:35 AM ET
Categories:  Women's basketball  
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Next: Friedgen: We Can't Have Any More Letdowns


Two extremely poor commitments - University of North Carolina women will win the ACC and NCAA titles this year.

Go Tar Heels !

Posted by: hclark1 | October 23, 2008 3:56 PM | Report abuse

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