After losing five of its players to the transfer portal last week, Maryland women’s basketball and head coach Brenda Frese have started to reload.
Four-star guards Brianna McDaniel and Gia Cooke announced their commitment to Frese’s program via Twitter on Monday. The Next Hoops’ Howard Megdal was first to report the news Sunday night. Frese retweeted Megdal’s report prior to the announcements, all but confirming the news.
Both McDaniel and Cooke were committed to Texas A&M but announced that they would reopen their commitments on April 5 and April 7, respectively. The change of plans came after former Texas A&M head coach Gary Blair, after 20 seasons at the school, announced his retirement following this past season.
McDaniel, from Chicago checks in as the No. 42 overall player and the No. 10 guard in ESPN’s class of 2022 rankings. McDaniel played her high school basketball at Kenwood Academy, a public school located in the Hyde Park-Kenwood neighborhood in Chicago, where she averaged 14.5 points, 3.2 rebounds, 2.4 assists and 1.8 steals per game during her senior season, per MaxPreps.
In her junior season, McDaniel tore her ACL and slightly tore her meniscus, but she made a recovery for her senior year.
Cooke ranks as the No. 58 overall player and the No. 12 point guard in the class of 2022, per ESPN. A Clinton, Maryland native, Cooke attended Bishop McNamara High School in Forestville, Maryland. Cooke was named to The Washington Post’s All-Met First Team after averaging 15 points, four rebounds and three assists during her senior season.
The 5-foot-8 guard played AAU basketball for local squad Team Takeover.
The talented additions of McDaniel and Cooke bring Frese’s roster to nine, as of April 11.
All-Big Ten players Ashley Owusu, Angel Reese and Mimi Collins entered the transfer portal, while guards Taisiya Kozlova and Channise Lewis joined them. Each player joined the portal within a span of fewer than 30 hours. Graduate students Chloe Bibby and Katie Benzan will also not return; they have exhausted their college eligibility after two years each in a Maryland uniform.
The only returnees from Maryland’s 2021-22 roster are junior guard Diamond Miller, freshman guard Shyanne Sellers, junior guard/forward Faith Masonius and freshman forward Emma Chardon. Miller recently underwent knee surgery that will sideline her for three-to-six months, while Masonius is recovering from a torn ACL that she suffered in January. Florida transfer guard Lavender Briggs joined the team for the spring semester, and she is expected to return, as well.
McDaniel and Cooke bring Frese’s 2022 class to four players. Four-star guard Mila Reynolds and three-star guard Ava Sciolla will also join the Terps this fall.