Court Visionaries

By Jeff Lippman - November 20, 2007

Maryland's Visionary
Brenda Frese has pulled another top 10 recruiting class and that comes as very good news for Maryland because after three years with virtually the same lineup, the Terps will look drastically different next year.

Two years ago, when Maryland won its first national title, they did so with junior Shay Doron, sophomores Crystal Langhorne and Laura Harper and freshmen Marissa Coleman and Kristi Toliver leading the charge.

Fast forward to next season. Doron's been out of the picture and now the Terps are losing possible three-time All-American Langhorne and Final Four Most Outstanding Player Laura Harper, not to mention center Jade Perry and guards Sade Wiley-Gatewood and Ashleigh Newman.

Losing Perry, Lang and Harper hurts big-time because all three constituted the majority of the Terps' inside presence. Their tallest returning player will be 6-foot-2 Drey Mingo, just a freshman this year.

So with that being the case, we turn to the recruiting class. Already having signed two players, and leading the running for a few more, Maryland helped address their need in the post by signing two No. 1s.

First they went out and and re-signed the No. 1 JUCO forward in the nation in Gulf Coast Community College star, 6-foot-1 Demauria Liles, who committed to the Terps two years ago, but went the JUCO route to get her grades in order. Liles was the only finalist for the United States Under-19 World Championship team that isn't playing Division I basketball this season.

With Liles secured, the Terps needed a center to replace Langhorne, and they landed that in a big way, getting the No. 1 post recruit in the nation in 6-foot-3 Lynetta Kizer. Kizer, from Woodbridge, Va., is the No. 5-rated prep player in the country, as rated by, and led the state of Virginia in scoring. She once notched 42 points and 19 boards in a single game.

The two low post players make the Terps' recruiting class ranked No. 10 by the All-Star Girls Report.

Court Vision's Visionary
Monday, Nov. 26 is the scheduled launch date of's newest blog, Court Vision, featuring Central Michigan assistant coach Bill Ferrara's insights and thoughts from a coaches perspective.

For Ferrara's Chippewas, who are 2-1 after their 69-68 win over Chicago State Saturday and have defeated UIC and lost to Temple in Philly, they play their toughest game of the season tonight against No. 23 Notre Dame.

Most likely the only ranked opponent they will face, the Chippewas get the Fighting Irish on their home court. would like to wish coach Ferrara and the Chips good luck.

Dakota Illusions
Smoke and mirrors? Magic sneakers? How are the Jackrabbits - one of my absolute favorite nicknames, except aren't the women the Jillbunnies? - of South Dakota State doing it?

Coach Aaron Johnston's team has only been playing Division I basketball in the Summit League since 2004-05 when they went 21-7 in their opening season, and this season, after already defeating the Pac-10's Oregon in their house and coming off a victory over Missouri, are receiving AP votes.

Three votes to be exact for the Jackrabbits, who are also the nation's smartest basketball team, owning the nation's best GPA for two year's running. picked Oakland to win the Summit this season, and the media tabbed Oral Roberts as the team to beat, but thus far this season, no Summit team has been more impressive than SDSU.

And if the Jackrabbits can win their next game, the actual Top 25 awaits, because their next game is Friday, Nov. 23, against No. 17 George Washington in Washington, D.C. A victory would more than likely be enough to send them into the Top 25 for the first time in school history.

Posted by Jeff Lippman at 10:11 AM on November 20, 2007

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