Last year, Maryland women’s basketball head coach Brenda Frese signed the No. 5 recruiting class, according to ESPNw. That included the No. 4 overall prospect, Shakira Austin, as well as Nos. 33 and 34, Taylor Mikesell and Olivia Owens. Through two games in the 2018-19 season, that class has already shown its potential. Austin and Mikesell look like future stars, and Owens has flashed potential in limited playing time.
And as the National Letter of Intent early signing period has opened, the Terrapins have signed another elite class. Four of the nation’s top 10 prospects are still not committed, let alone signed, but as of now, Maryland holds the No. 1 recruiting class in the country. The Terrapins held four commitments heading into the Wednesday start to the signing period, and signed all four on the first possible day.
Head coach @BrendaFrese signs the No. 1️⃣ recruiting class in the country!— Maryland Women’s Basketball (@umdwbb) November 14, 2018
All 4️⃣ of the newest #Terps are ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ recruits!https://t.co/j59KEP628M #FearTheTurtle pic.twitter.com/YscqcJuOuQ
Headlining the class is Ashley Owusu, a 5’9 point guard from Woodbridge, Virginia, who is currently playing at Paul VI Catholic High School in Fairfax. She is ranked as the No. 5 overall prospect in the class and the top point guard in the country.
Owusu is praised for her strength and playmaking ability, as well as her proficiency at finishing at the rim. Channise Lewis is the only true point guard on the roster, so Owusu can have an impact immediately.
Somerset, New Jersey, shooting guard Diamond Miller is the No. 18 overall prospect, and she is ranked as the sixth-best player at her position. But at 6’1, Miller could find herself playing the three or four more often than not, especially if Frese decides to employ some smaller lineups next season.
Miller is most known for her athleticism and the ability to create mismatches on both sides of the floor due to her above-average size at the shooting guard position.
Zoe Young, the No. 30 prospect in the 2019 class, is listed as a guard without a set position because of her versatility, able to both run an offense and play off the ball. She hails from Des Moines, Iowa, coming a long way to play for Frese and the Terrapins.
Young’s game is very similar to that of Mikesell, who has made a smooth transition to the starting lineup as a shooting guard and as a backup point guard behind Lewis.
Rounding out the class is Faith Masonius, whom ESPN ranks as the No. 49 overall prospect and No. 10 wing player. Masonius is a offensive threat on the perimeter, but at 6’0, she can also attack and finish at the rim efficiently.
After bringing in Austin and Owens—who both figure to be staples in the Maryland frontcourt for the next few years—last year, it’s clear that Frese’s goal this time around was to add perimeter pieces who can take over once Kaila Charles and Blair Watson graduate in two years. We’ll have to wait nearly a full year to see what the next freshman class has in store, but if it’s anything like the one on full display right now, the future of the Terrapins is in great shape.