Maryland women’s basketball facing two ACC teams in 2024-25, including Duke

Maryland women’s basketball will face off against a pair of ACC teams in 2024-25 – and yes, that includes Duke.

On the newest episode of Women’s Hoops Network, Maryland women’s basketball head coach Brenda Frese announced that the Terps will face both Duke and Syracuse as part of their upcoming non-conference schedule, but not before the team makes the trip across the Atlantic. “We’ve got Duke that’s coming in to play non-conference-wise. We’ll return to Syracuse. They were a great team that we played this past year. We’re excited, we’re taking a trip over to Croatia this summer. We’ll get to start with our team early with practices and building that lineup with all the new faces this summer.”

Maryland announced its 11-day Croatian tour set to begin on June 24 where they’ll travel to Zagreb, the Istrian Coast, Split and Dubrovnik while playing in a pair of exhibition games. “Foreign trips provide such a unique opportunity for our student-athletes,” said head coach Brenda Frese. “Our goal is to give all of our student-athletes amazing life experiences during their time at Maryland. These trips are a great chance for us to bond, see part of the world and to prepare for the upcoming season.”

As for the upcoming nonconference matchups, the Maryland-Duke game will mark the first matchup for either the men’s or women’s team since Frese’s squad took down the Blue Devils to advance to the Elite Eight in 2015 – the first season after Maryland’s exit from the ACC. Maryland will look to also maintain its dominance over Syracuse after winning all three matchups, including a two-point win in the Xfinity Center last November.

While Maryland was among five considered in ESPN’s preseason top 25, Frese turned to the portal to offset offseason departures from Faith Masonius, Riley Nelson, Hawa Doumbouya and Summer Bostock. Maryland went out to sign seven players, including the reigning A-10 player of the year in Sarah Te-Biasu, reigning Big East co-defensive player of the year in Christina Dalce and all-SEC freshman team selection in Saylor Poffenbarger.

“Our staff has always been one of the hardest working staffs in the country,” Frese said this offseason. “I thought this year we did a much better job being able to adapt and trying to kind of find a better system for recruiting out of the portal. I’ve had some tough offseasons now that things have changed with the transfer portal. This one was the hardest I’ve ever been through.”

The Big Ten previously announced that Maryland will play a home-and-home series with Ohio State. The Terps will also host conference newcomers USC and UCLA, as well as Illinois, Michigan, Michigan State, Minnesota, Nebraska and Rutgers. The Terrapins will make road trips to Indiana, Iowa, Northwestern, Penn State, Purdue, Wisconsin, Washington and Oregon.

More from Frese

On Frese reflecting on her 22 seasons as Maryland’s head coach

“When you reflect back and 22 years has just blown by, I can’t believe it. It just feels like yesterday when I had arrived back in 2002. So many changes. I can sit here today and — as you alluded to now with the transfer portal and NIL and kind of where the game has changed to. But I am really, really proud of the fact of just the sustained level of excellence. It’s really hard to do in this game and to do it at a really high level and I just feel really fortunate and grateful to have been able to do it here at Maryland, just surrounded by so many wonderful people.”

On what was different about the 2023-24 team compared to the rest

“Last year’s team kind of faced a lot of adversity. First of all, our schedule probably front-loaded, was probably a little bit too ambitious given just all the changes. We had lost two first round draft picks with Diamond Miller and Abby Meyers that had graduated and then just adding the influx of new players, it took us longer than most teams to kind of get that chemistry together. Then it seemed like every time we would start really getting something going, we’d have an injury. We ended up losing three players this past season to ACL’s, which was really atypical to have so many injuries. So it really impacted our depth, but I can say I’m really most proud of that this group just continued to fight. They put their head down. They never gave up. And you really saw it pay off in March when they had to go .500 in conference to make the NCAAs and then beating the number one seed with Ohio State in the Big Ten tournament and dropping them out. And then making the NCAA Tournament. So just a lot of things, just given the adversity, just really proud of our group. A lot of teams would have hold it down and we really fought to be able to make them.”

On the impact of social media on coaching

“You really are under a microscope and. And you can take that just as we’ve watched in this offseason with. Tara VanDerveer and Lisa Bluder just retiring. You see that instantly within five minutes when it hits the wire. And I think that’s the thing, that instant impact for your team, your players. You say something incorrectly or just the opinions anymore. Even your student newspapers now feel like they have a voice on your team and your program and want to be heard. There’s a lot of factors that you really have to kind of keep your group insulated and really kind of have to work through because there’s just so many things that are influencing every individual player, every individual member and it kind of makes it harder to really keep that team connected. So we’re very intentional of just really working through that connectedness.”

On Frese’s increased social media usage

“Give the credit to our staff. I’m really fortunate with the people that I get to work with every single day and they’re the best of the best. I bring in bright people that are smarter than me. So they can help us in this day and age. I’ve always challenged our staff to really think outside the box and I credit our director of video, Joe Glowacki, our advanced scouting assistant coach, Jessica Imhof, they were talking about, the hashtag come party with Brenda was used during the season. And so that’s really where it took off. And with the video kind of having some fun through the portal commits this offseason. Boy, did it take off? I mean after we said that the first one, put it out, you could see the response even when I was out recruiting. There was a tremendous response.  And then it kind of became all hands-on deck. My boys now were 16, so they gave their input like, hey, you should add a couple of players and you should do this. And. Yeah, I love the fact that it makes me look like. I have really good dance moves.  And I dance that well, but it has been a fun engagement. It makes me really enjoy when you can kind of take that social media influence and really kind of turned some things for fun and for a really creative use.”

On what Maryland needed from the transfer portal this offseason

“The commitment came from our administration. I mean, I think. If people are asleep, if you don’t think it’s NIL and it’s having a collective. That’s what changed from a year ago because we’ve recruited no differently than what we’ve done in the past. It’s just now having that support out of the collective has been all the difference. We also have, you have some luck in the sense of the right positions became available this year that we needed. So that was huge. We had the room to be able to bring in more players. I think our staff really fine-tuned the second-year kind of how quickly things move out of the portal. We’ve got a lot tighter and quicker through all of that. So we really improved. I thought as a staff and really put like the right pieces together that we really needed to tune into. So I can’t say enough about just the work, but of our staff. And it’s relentless. You come off of a season making the tournament and what used to be kind of a chance for a sigh of, a reset in April no longer is there. It’s a very, very intense. It’s been the most intense off season from a workload that I’ve ever been through. My one son asked me the one night when I came through the door at 10:30 at night. He asked me if I was working longer hours now than I was during the season. And he had picked up on that from all the visits and the calls we had on campus. He’s 100% right. It goes into another level that you can’t really imagine. To sign the six or seven kids that we signed, you might be juggling 25 to 30 kids and families that out of that portal. And it’s in a three-to-four-week span. So, it’s accelerated at a level that you have to be on with these kids for a long time.”

On Maryland’s approach in the new-look Big Ten

“I think it’s really exciting. I’m glad we’re in the Big Ten. I think it’s the premier conference in the country. I’m glad that we got here ahead of it. We’re in a position of great stability and just leadership that we have top down. Again, never in my wildest dreams did I think the Big Ten, would you have told me we were going to be going out to Washington, Oregon, USC and UCLA. Never would have dreamt that but here we are. And, you know, what, you’ve got to adapt and be able to change. And so I think for us, you know, we’ll make it an exciting trip, you know, when we go do those swings out to UCLA, UCLA and Oregon and Washington. We’ll be able to enjoy those experiences. I saw a really interesting quote the other day, and it talked about how you have to embrace change or you’re going to be irrelevant. And it really is kind of a great mindset for me because there’s so much change going on right now. That’s the state of college athletics and if you’re not willing to, to adapt, you’re going to be left behind. Four great teams. They had a ton of success. I mean, most recently with USC and UCLA, the rosters that they have. Bring it on. We’re excited we get to play against more elite level competition that we’ve already had in conference played.”

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