After falling to Stanford in the Sweet 16 last season, Maryland women’s basketball — with nine new players — will begin the 2022-2023 campaign on Monday night at George Mason.
Last season was an up-and-down year for the Terps, with key injuries at bad times haunting Brenda Frese’s squad. Finishing at 23-9 and 13-4 in the Big Ten, the Terps come into this season ranked No. 17 in the AP Preseason Poll.
Uncertainty faces the Terps headed into the season opener, with Frese noting a starting lineup is still not set in stone.
“We’re continuing to evaluate it every day.”
Tip-off against the Patriots is set for 7 p.m with streaming available on ESPN+.
George Mason Patriots
2021-22 record: 10-19 (3-12 Atlantic 10)
Head coach Vanessa Blair-Lewis will lead the Patriots in her second year at the helm.
With half of last season’s roster gone, George Mason will have to rely on three returning starters to have a turnaround this year.
George Mason faltered last season when A-10 play hit, with over half their wins coming in nonconference play. It dropped its first six conference games, leaving the season much in doubt after that stretch.
The Patriots’ task of turning the program around under Blair-Lewis won’t start off easy, with a matchup against the No. 17 Terps kicking things off.
Players to know
Taylor Jameson, junior guard, five-foot-six, No. 0 — The junior, who appeared in at least 20 games in each of her first two seasons at George Mason, can easily score in double figures and shoots 36% from the field. Jameson uses her speed to create her own shot.
Jazmyn Doster, senior center, six-foot-two, No. 1 — The senior center shot 41% from the field last season, which led the team. She had four double-doubles last season so look for her to be deep in the paint throughout the game. Doster stands 6-foot-2-inches and when she isn’t scoring, she prioritizes crashing the glass.
Tamia Lawhorne, senior forward, six-foot, No. 2 — The senior forward is the Patriots’ most lethal threat from behind the arc, leading them in both 3-pointers made and 3-point percentage last season. The four-year starter loves to shoot the ball, and with few returning faces, she’ll continue to let it fly from deep this season.
Rebounds. George Mason grabbed around 36 boards per game last season. With the services of Doster returning for her final season, the program should be poised to get solid production off the glass again in 2022-2023. Across the board, it has a good amount of size that it may be able to matchup with Maryland, but whether that translates to the court remains to be seen.
Threes. 3-point shooting was not a strong suit for George Mason as it only shot 27% from deep in 2021-22. Overall scoring was problematic for the program that finished its season with only three conference wins.
Three things to watch
1. How will Maryland’s newcomers perform? The Terps have a myriad of new players on the roster this season, led by Princeton transfer Abby Meyers, who was the Ivy League Player of the Year last season. After two exhibition games and multiple early practices, they now get to play a game that matters. Meyers has been referred to as the mother of the group, demonstrating her leadership.
2. Which defense works best? Generating points off turnovers was an area the Terps excelled in during their exhibition games and during practices, Maryland demonstrated it can run various defensive sets and zones. Producing points off turnovers will be key for Maryland to get a victory in its opening game.
3. Can the off-court chemistry translate? From a team retreat to off-court competitions, multiple players on the team have the willingness to win at any cost. With many newcomers, generating early cohesion was key. It will be interesting to see that chemistry on display in a live-game atmosphere.