Maryland women’s basketball spent most of 2016-17 in the top five of the AP Poll. After two graduations and four transfers, though, the Terps figure to take a step back.
Brenda Frese’s team placed 15th in the preseason AP Poll, released Wednesday. That number matches up reasonably with Maryland’s No. 13 ranking in last week’s Coaches Poll. This team seems like a tough one to project, given that it has so much production to replace, but at least at the moment, there’s a consensus on its place in the national picture.
This is the Terps’ lowest preseason ranking since 2010-11, but they’re still the second-highest-ranked team in the Big Ten, behind only No. 5 Ohio State. Maryland also has November matchups against No. 4 South Carolina and unanimous No. 1 Connecticut.
The only other team in the AP Poll on Maryland’s schedule is No. 24 Michigan, who the Terps will face Feb. 22 in Ann Arbor. Three other Big Ten teams—Purdue, Michigan State and Indiana—received votes, as did non-conference opponents Virginia and Miami (which isn’t a guaranteed matchup, but it’s expected).
Maryland’s season unofficially started with a 69-point scrimmage win over Glenville State, and the Terps have another exhibition Friday evening against Bowie State. The regular season begins Nov. 10 against Albany.