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Maryland women picked 5th in preseason ACC poll

The Maryland women were picked to finish fifth in the ACC, according to a preseason poll of media and school representatives. It is the first time since 2003 that the Terrapins were not picked to finish in the top three in the ACC. Maryland swept the ACC regular season and tournament titles last season, but lost four starters from that team and has nine freshmen and sophomores on its 10-player roster.

North Carolina was picked to finish atop the ACC, followed by Duke, Florida State and Virginia. The Tar Heels received 30 of the 45 first-place votes; Duke (10), Maryland (3) and Florida State (2) received the remaining votes.

The Terrapins, who have had at least one player earn first-team All-ACC honors every year since 2005, did not place a player on the preseason All-ACC team. Virginia senior guard Monica Wright (Forest Park), Duke junior guard Jasmine Thomas (Oakton), North Carolina senior forward Jessica Breland, Florida State senior forward/center Jacinta Moore, and Boston College junior center Carolyn Swords were named to the team.

Wright, who led the ACC in scoring with 25 points per game, was named preseason player of the year. North Carolina freshman guard Tierra Ruffin-Pratt, a two-time All Met player of the year from T.C. Williams, was chosen as ACC rookie of the year.

Here's the complete preseason women's rankings:

1. North Carolina (30 first-place votes)
2. Duke (10)
3. Florida State (2)
4. Virginia
5. Maryland (3)
6. Boston College
7. Georgia Tech
8. Miami
9. N.C. State
10. Wake Forest
11. Clemson
12. Virginia Tech

By Camille Powell  |  October 26, 2009; 10:03 AM ET
Categories:  Women's basketball  
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Comments

Although Maryland is experiencing a significant turnover in personnel, they have just too much talent to finish 5th. I don't see them finishing below 3rd. In fact, I think this team will be great by the end of the year.

Posted by: imterpsfan2 | October 26, 2009 12:45 PM | Report abuse

This team reminds me a bit of the 2005-06 team, and we all remember what that team was able to accomplish. They have a young big (Lynetta Kizer/Crystal Langhorne), a center that will create matchup problems (Essence Townsend/Laura Harper), two versatile backcourt-oriented players (Anjale Barrett/Kristi Tolliver and Kim Rogers/Marissa Colemen), and good depth (this team should use its entire roster all season). The only thing this team doesn't have that the '05-06 team had was the element of surprise. The title team had the luxury of not getting every opponent's best effort every single night. This team, and ones for the next 5-10 years or even longer depending on success, will get every team's best shot every night, just like teams gear up for Tennessee, LSU, UConn, ND, Oklahoma, and Stanford. That may be the one thing that makes things tough for this year's team.

While I don't think this team has quite enough to win it all this year, if the ladies on this year's roster all improve throughout the year, there's no reason next year's team will have any trouble making a Final Four with the #1 recruiting class coming to College Park in 2010.

Posted by: Russtinator | October 26, 2009 3:04 PM | Report abuse

5th place would be a very respectable finish for this group.

the analogy to 2005-06 is wishful thinking IMO.

I'd rather begin with low -- but realistic -- expectations and be pleasantly surprised if they do better; instead of beginning with inflated expectations and then being disappointed or having fans find fault with the players.

All I ask is they give it their best shot, and that, I'm fully expecting they'll do!

Posted by: PurpleFan | October 26, 2009 4:35 PM | Report abuse

Last year's team relied too much on two players. This team will be well balanced. Last year's team was also terribly out of shape and didn't play defense. The fans are really going to love the way this year's team hustles.

Posted by: imterpsfan2 | October 26, 2009 7:28 PM | Report abuse

Go Maryland, I think Maryland will defend it's ACC title successfully. Brenda has brought in terrific players. Maryland has excellent outside shooters and a large presence inside. Diandra and Essence will be special on the interior and Dara will be a force as a team leader. Great balance throughout the team. Go Terps. RS


Posted by: mmmm3 | October 27, 2009 12:05 PM | Report abuse

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