Strong bond, chemistry story of Terps women's hoops so far

Posted at 2:28 PM, Oct 18, 2018
and last updated 2018-10-18 18:43:01-04

This season’s Terps are a close-knit bunch. 

“The thing that separates this team right now is their bond,” said Head Coach Brenda Frese. “Their chemistry is stronger than any team I’ve seen in a long time.”

Four starters return to a Maryland team that went 26-8 last season, including the leader, junior guard Kaila Charles.

“She’s really going to be someone we look to a lot,” said Frese. “We’re sliding her a little bit more. So, out on the perimeter, inside, really looking to utilize her versatility.”

“We’re very versatile so everything should be spread out evenly,” said Charles. “There’s not going to be one person. Everybody’s going to shoulder a load offensively, defensively. So, I feel like we’re going to be really good team because we’re going to be together, overall, better than we were last year.”

The Terps have been ranked as high as sixth in the nation in various preseason polls and they welcome in the No. 4 freshman class in the country. 

One of those first-year players is guard Taylor Mikesell, who led the team in scoring in their first scrimmage.

“I’m really excited, first off. I think my role is to be a leader from the one (position) and the two (position),” said Mikesell. “Coach B was big on me playing the one and the two, learning the positions.”

The Terps open the regular season on Friday, November 9, when they host Coppin State.

While Thursday was all about the current Terps, Head Coach Brenda Frese did take some time to mention one of her most accomplished former players who is making history down the road.

Kristi Toliver has been hired by the Washington Wizards as an assistant coach for player development. 

She was part of the Terps’ first National Championship team back in 2006, is a 10-year pro and two-time WNBA All-Star.

“Just thrilled for her,” said Frese. “It’s a natural transition for her, the success that she’s had in the WNBA, in her career. I think it’s a perfect fit.”

“It just shows that anything is possible. It doesn’t matter if you’re a woman or a man. You could still do the same thing. I really look up to her for that,” said Charles.

Toliver is the first woman to hold a coaching position in Wizards franchise history and fourth in NBA history.

Follow Shawn Stepner on Twitter @StepnerWMAR and Facebook