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MM 9.5: Maryland women’s basketball at No. 5 in early ESPN Top 25

This is the Maryland Minute, a short story followed by a roundup of Terps-related news.

NCAA Women’s Basketball Tournament - Second Round Photo by Mitchell Layton/Getty Images

It’s just about two months away from basketball season, and the expectations for Maryland women’s basketball continue to remain high.

In ESPN’s latest Way-Too-Early Preseason Top 25 released Thursday, the Terps were ranked as the No. 5 team in the nation, after previously checking in as the No. 4 team in April.

The men’s basketball team is also ranked high ahead of the season, coming in ranked as the No. 10 squad in ESPN’s Way-Too-Early Top 25, as well as showing up in the top five of many other major preseason lists. The university is one of just two schools that have both basketball programs within the preseason top 10 — with the other being the University of Louisville.

Maryland wasn’t the only team to remain at the peak of the college basketball preseason rankings, as No. 1 Oregon, No. 2 Baylor and No. 4 Stanford all retained a top five ranking.

However, the Terps were jumped by the UConn Huskies, who were previously ranked as the seventh best team in the nation in April. One of the reasons that the Huskies jumped Maryland is due to their addition of Tennessee transfer Evina Westbrook, who averaged 14.9 points and 5.3 assists per game last year with the Lady Vols. But her eligibility for this season is still up in the air.

For the 2019-20 season, Maryland will bring back the majority of its roster, including senior guards Kaila Charles and Blair Watson, sophomores Taylor Mikesell and Shakira Austin and senior forward Stephanie Jones. The Terps also added a stacked recruiting class, which features freshman guards Diamond Miller and Ashley Owusu, as well as Tennessee transfer Amira “Mimi” Collins, whose eligibility is still uncertain for the upcoming season.

Maryland finished with a 29-5 overall record last year, winning the Big Ten regular season title but losing to Iowa in the conference tournament championship. The Terps went on to beat Radford in the NCAA First Round but lost to UCLA two days later on their home court.

With such a deep team this year, Maryland and head coach Brenda Frese will look to make a much deeper run.

The Terps begin their season Nov. 6 against Wagner in College Park.

In other news

The latest FanPulse came out Wednesday, and Maryland fans still do not have much love for Texas.

After being outscored 9-0 in two matches over the weekend, Maryland women’s soccer will look to get back on track against George Mason on Thursday. Here is everything you need to know about the match.

As of Wednesday morning, Maryland is still a favorite to beat No. 21 Syracuse on Saturday.

Speaking of Maryland football, do any of these faces look familiar?

WWE superstar and former Maryland football player Dean Muhtadi made an appearance at practice on Wednesday.

Maryland’s field hockey team makes their first road trip of the season, traveling to Evanston, Illinois, for the B1G/ ACC Cup. They will take on No. 13 Boston College and No. 3 Duke this weekend.

After losing its first match of the season to No. 12 Virginia, Maryland men’s soccer is preparing for their next game against UCLA in Los Angeles.

Former Maryland lacrosse player Jake Bernhardt discusses his first season with the Premier Lacrosse League and the upcoming playoffs for the No. 2 seeded Whipsnakes.

This weekend, Maryland women’s basketball is hosting Angel Reese, who is the No. 2 overall prospect in the 2020 class.

The 6-foot-3 Baltimore native has previously described what she is looking for in her next destination, and it aligns pretty well with Brenda Frese’s coaching philosophy.

“I’m looking for a team that is family-oriented — a home away from home,” Reese told ESPNw in June.