Maryland women’s basketball won the Big Ten regular season title two days ago, and with the conference awards being released on Monday, the Terrapins cleaned up.
Brenda Frese is one of the best coaches in all of women’s basketball, and after bringing the Terrapins to a 15-3 conference record and a 26-3 mark overall to finish the regular season, she was awarded the Big Ten Coach of the Year Award. It’s the third time she’s won the honor in the Big Ten (doing so in 2002 with Minnesota and 2015 with Maryland) and fifth time she’s been a conference Coach of the Year (ACC in 2013, MAC in 2000 with Ball State).
Kaila Charles has been Maryland’s leader, both on and off the court, all season long. The junior guard led the team with 16.0 points per game while shooting 49.3 percent from the field, and she was second on the squad with 6.4 rebounds a night. Charles also had 37 steals on the year, which led the defense. For her terrific season, she was named a unanimous selection to both the coaches’ and media’s All-Big Ten first team.
Taylor Mikesell also joined the media’s First Team All-Big Ten list and the coaches’ Second Team All-Big Ten list, and she was also a member of the conference’s All-Freshman team. However, the standout first-year sharpshooter received her biggest accolade in the form of Big Ten Freshman of the Year, as voted on by the coaches. Much of Mikesell’s success was due to her three-point shooting, as she led the conference in both three-pointers made (86, 3.0 per game) and three-point percentage (43 percent).
Shakira Austin had an up-and-down season, especially once conference play began, but her overall body of work was special enough to be named to the All-Freshman Team, the media’s honorable mention list and the conference’s All-Defensive Team. The 6’5 center finished tied for second in the league with 77 blocks (2.7 per game). She also averaged 8.4 points and 10.1 rebounds.
Stephanie Jones was a reliable leader in the post, and her consistency has been her biggest attribute. After scoring 13.0 points per game while shooting at a 57.5 percent clip, and helping on the glass with 6.2 rebounds per game, the media named the junior forward to the conference’s second team. She was also named an honorable mention on the coach’s list.
And while Sarah Myers may carry a small role with the team in terms of minutes, the junior is often one of the most animated players on the bench and was given a Big Ten Sportsmanship Award.