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Maryland women’s basketball lands at No. 4 in the AP Top 25 Preseason Poll

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The reigning Big Ten champions come into the season with a major target on their back.

Photo courtesy of Maryland Athletics

Maryland women’s basketball has been handed the No. 4 spot in the 2021-22 AP Top 25 Preseason Poll, per release.

The Terps are the highest ranked team in the Big Ten, with four other teams in the conference ranked behind them in No. 8 Indiana, No. 9 Iowa, No. 11 Michigan and No. 17 Ohio State. Michigan State also received votes falling at the unofficial No. 27 spot. The No. 4 ranking is the exact same preseason spot the Terps received ahead of the 2019-20 season. It is Maryland’s 12th straight season ranked in the preseason AP poll and its ninth out of its last 11 seasons ranked in the top-10.

Only South Carolina, Stanford and Connecticut rank ahead of Maryland, but it can certainly make its case as the nation’s best team early on. In the non-conference slate, the Terps play three top-10 teams with No. 7 Baylor at home, No. 3 Stanford in the Bahamas and No. 1 South Carolina on the road. Head coach Brenda Frese has said it is the toughest schedule her team will have ever played, but it certainly allows it to prove itself against America’s premier squads.

Maryland’s high ranking is certainly deserved, as it returns all five starters and its eight leading scorers from a team that went 26-3 and led the entire nation in scoring at 90.8 points per game. All eyes are on the Terps’ dynamic backcourt of guards Ashley Owusu and Diamond Miller heading into the season. A now healthy sophomore forward Angel Reese along with graduate forward/guard Chloe Bibby and graduate guard Katie Benzan should fill out the Terps’ dangerous starting five.