There is a new era in Big Ten women’s basketball, and arguably the toughest conference in college basketball got a whole lot tougher with the additions of national power programs Maryland and Rutgers. It didn’t take long for the newcomers to show their strength either, as the Terps were named the preseason favorite by the media at Big Ten media day on Thursday.
Maryland is coming off a 28-7 season that saw them got 12-4 in the ACC and make a run to the Final Four before bowing out to Notre Dame in the semifinals.
The pick is an interesting one, as the Terps lose three of five starters off last season’s team and also have just one senior on its roster. Maryland losses leading scorer Alyssa Thomas and her 19 points per game average, but does return the only other double-digit scorer from last season in Lexie Brown (10.1ppg).
Maryland is going to be a young team in 2014-15, but one that is full of talent and good recruiting pulls.
Joining the Terps as the top three teams in the media poll were Michigan State (No. 2) and Iowa (No. 3).
Minnesota senior guard Rachel Banham was tabbed the preseason Player of the Year, after finishing last season averaging 22.1 points per game and being a 1st team All-Big Ten selection. She was a finalist for the Wooden award and honorable mention All-American selection by the Associated Press and WBCA. Her 750 points and 93 three-point field goals were Gopher single-season records as well.
2014-15 MEDIA PRESEASON ALL-BIG TEN TEAM*
Samantha Logic, Sr., G, IOWA
Lexie Brown, So., G, MD
Rachel Banham, Sr., G, MINN
Amanda Zahui B., So., C, MINN
Rachel Theriot, Jr., G, NEB
Ameryst Alston, Jr., G, OSU
*Six players recognized due to a tie