Wednesday, April 05, 2006

Shell Yeah!

This is one of my favorite times of the year. Baseball is starting up, and College Basketball is winding down. I went to a small DIII school but on the DI stage, I am a Maryland boy. I was born in Silver Spring, and my father did his undergraduate work at UMD. I thought about going there, but it we too big to suit my tastes. A few years ago I had a great day with my best friend as we went to Orioles opening day, and then watched as the Maryland Men's team won the national title. Now I have to say to the Women's team, that's good work out of you.

In just her fourth year at the helm, Coach Brenda Frese has joined Billy Donovan as young National championship Coaches. Like Donovan and Florida, Frese has almost all young players on her squad, and should be able to take the Terrapin' s program to the top of the sport in the coming years.

I was very impressed with the poise and patience the Terps showed in the second half, after being badly out played for the first 20 minutes. In the second half it was all Maryland as they closed the gap and sent the game into overtime on a Kristi Toliver three pointer with less than 6 seconds left. In the OT the young Terps were perfect from the free throw line, and put Duke away for the first Woman's title in school history. Duke is now 0-2. Toliver, Shay Doron and Laura Harper each had 16 points to pace the Terps, but the box score belies a more important fact. Namely that this young group never stopped fighting. They were the only team to win against North Carolina this year, and with this win became the only team to take down Duke more than once. All four of the wins against UNC and Duke came late in the season as Maryland's Freshman and Sophomores came into their own.

For all of you people who say that Women's Basketball isn't as good or interesting as the Men's game you needed to watch this game. These players have tons of skill and just as much if not more heart than the guys. Today is the WNBA draft, and while there is good living to be made in that league, so many more young girls and women play for the love of the game, and that passion shows on the court. With so many of the young men you get a sense of entitlement that is apparent in how they carry themselves, and that is absent in the women's game. Once again I tip my hat to the Terps, and although you won't hear any of their names called at this year's draft, just wait. They are coming.

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