The Terps won their first exhibition game last night by a very wide margin. With their highly touted freshman class, this year we’ll keep tabs on them separate from the regular game writeups. That said, it’s only fitting that this column makes it’s debut the same time as this class does.
Kaila Charles. The 6’1 guard showed her versatility on the defensive end, guarding 1’s-through-4s (Point guards- Power Forwards). On the offensive end, she let the game come to her and literally took what the defense gave her. She was as advertised in transition, easily seperating from defenders with her strides and her size allows her to be a good finisher. She finished with 7 points, 3 rebounds and 2 steals. It’ll be interesting to see how she’ll be utilized this season as her size and athleticism allows her to be plugged in no matter the lineup around her.
Blair Watson. She showed out, her entire game was on display. The 6′ guard did a little bit of everything on her way to stuffing the box score. Like Charles, she never seemed rushed and just played at her pace. She hit the offensive glass, used her vision to find open teammates and knocked down five triples along the way. What was most impressive was her ability to avoid stacking bad plays, if she missed a shot, she followed it. Sometimes getting a rebound, or a stop on the ensuing defensive possession. Like Charles, her size allows her to crash the boards and switch freely on the defensive end.
Jenna Staiti. In the first half, she had 10 points and 6 rebounds in just 7 minutes of play. She did a good job of establishing position in the low post, but a better job of crashing the weakside glass. She’s the only other big on the team with some girth and like Brionna Jones, she understands her size.
Sarah Meyers. In the first half, she took over some point guard duties and got the team into their sets and ran the offense. The second half she played a bit more off ball and found room to shoot. Sarah, like Blair did a little of everything on her way to 10 points and 5 rebounds. Both her and Watson have effortless releases, and fans got a chance to see both of them dialed in from long range.
Destiny Slocum. She’s a natural at the position, it didn’t take long to see why Maryland wanted her here. She plays as if she’s been on this stage before, doing the little things that most freshman point guards would fall prey to. Early on when Bluefield State was trying to trap, she didn’t use or waste dribbles to break down the trap. Instead choosing to move the ball first, breaking the press and it led to easy baskets. There were also times in which she was aware that there was a shooter open, but before passing, she’d move the defense away first with her eyes, giving that shooter even more space. She finished with 9 points, 9 assists, 4 rebounds, and 4 steals. She struggled a little from the line (1-for-4), but she only turned the ball over once.