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Maryland women's basketball - Brown and Frese named Naismith semifinalists

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The coach who guided her team through an undefeated Big Ten season and the player who led the team on the floor were both named semifinalists for the prestigious coach and player of the year Naismith Awards, respectively.

Jim Brown-USA TODAY Sports

A day before the Atlanta Tip Off Club announced the list of 15 semifinalists for its men's basketball Coach of the Year and Player of the Year, it announced the same lists for women's basketball. The women's players list included Maryland Terrapins point guard Lexie Brown who was joined on the coaches list by Terps head coach Brenda Frese.


Brown leads Maryland (27-2, 18-0) in assists and steals. The sophomore is tied for third in scoring on the very balanced Terrapins with 12.7 points per game -- a total that ties her for 28th in the Big Ten. Her averages of 4.8 assists per game and 2.5 steals tie her for fifth and fourth, respectively.

Brown is one of three B1G players on the list of semifinalists. Joining her are conference co-Players of the Year, Ohio State's Kelsey Mitchell and Minnesota's Amanda Zahui B. The only other conference with more than one player on the list is the AAC which also has three semifinalists Moira Jefferson, Kaleena Mosqueda-Lewis and Breanna Stewart all of whom happen to play for UConn. California's Brittany Boyd, Baylor's Nina Davis, Jewell Loyd from Notre Dame and Tiffany Mitchell of South Carolina round out the list.


Frese has guided the (No. 3 / No. 4) Terrapins to an undefeated Big Ten regular conference season helping them overcome the graduation of Alyssa Thomas, one of the program's all-time greatest players. The Terps are one of only two schools to have both their men's and women's coaches on the list of semifinalists. The other is the Oregon State Beavers. Joining women's coach Scott Rueck was (in a bit of irony for former Terp Nick Faust) men's coach Wayne Tinkle.

The Pac-12, ACC and SEC each had two coaches on the list. Florida State's Sue Semrau and Suzie McConnell-Serio of Pittsburgh represented the ACC and Charli Turner-Thorne who leads Arizona State joined Rueck as representatives from the Pac-12. Dawn Staley of South Carolina and Vic Schaeffer of Mississippi State represent the SEC.

Rounding out the list are Gino Auriemma (UConn), Courtney Banghart (Princeton) and Anthony Bozella (Seton Hall).

The lists will be pared to four finalists on March 20 and the awards will be presented on Monday, April 6.