Maryland women's basketball is back at it Wednesday night. The Terps, still ranked 6th in the Coaches Poll but up one spot to 8th by the AP Poll, look to improve to 2-0 against the High Point Panthers. The game is at the Xfinity Center at 7:00, but those of you who can't come out to College Park can stream it on BTN2Go.
The Terrapins started the season smoothly, with a 102-53 demolition of UMass Lowell. Shatori Walker-Kimbrough led the team out of the gate with 15 first-quarter points, while Brene Moseley recorded her first career double-double with 23 points and 10 assists. Maryland showed a little of everything, but there are still questions to be answered: How will the two point guards (Moseley and Chloe Pavlech) be splitting minutes by midseason? How quickly can phenomenal five-star freshman forwards Kiah Gillespie and Brianna Fraser mature into stars? Will Walker-Kimbrough and Brionna Jones take another leap forward in their junior years?
Well, we probably won't get those answers Wednesday night. High Point is projected to finish fourth in the Big South conference, which is drastically different from first in the Big Ten. The Panthers were 20-12 last year, but lost a bevy of key players to silly little things like graduation. Here's a little background info on what's left.
High Point Panthers (1-1)
DeUnna Hendrix: In her fourth season as Panthers head coach, Hendrix boasts a 60-37 record. High Point won the Big South regular season title in 2013-14, but the team has yet to win the conference tournament under her guidance. Last year, they reached the title game, where they lost to Liberty. Hendrix played basketball at Richmond under now-UVA coach Joanne Boyle.
Laura Harper (assistant): A former Maryland standout who was a key cog for the 2006 National Championship team. After graduating in 2008, she was drafted 10th overall by the Sacramento Monachs. She played two years in the WNBA and three years overseas before joining the Panthers as an assistant coach in 2014.
Players to know
Kaylah Keys, junior, guard, 5'5. The Panthers' top returning scorer averaged 13.7 points a season ago. She's second among active players in the whole conference with 1,020 career points—and yes, that's in just two years. She's on the preseason All-Big South team, and we may soon see why.
Aariel Allen, senior, forward, 5'11. The only senior on the team, Allen has tallied 13 rebounds in the first two games and should scrap for a few even against Maryland's low-post menaces.
Lindsey Edwards, freshman, guard, 5'10. Has only two games of college experience, scored 10 points off the bench in both of them and is an impressive 10 of 17 from the field. The foul shooting is an issue, though; she's taken 8 and made none. It's all part of the learning curve, I guess.
Depth. Twelve Panthers have appeared in both games this year. Granted, one was a lopsided win against Greensboro College and the other was a lopsided loss against N.C. State. This team isn't star-studded, but there shouldn't be a big drop-off when the subs come in.
Size. A common weakness among small-conference teams, but it's still worth noting that the Panthers have one rotation player (freshman Taylor McGlashan) taller than 6', while the Terps have five.
Thomas's Prediction: Maryland, 94-51.