Name a team in college basketball that has already beaten two top-ten teams this season while playing without their best player.
One: the Maryland Terrapins. And I'm not talking about the team that barely beat Hampton.
The Maryland women are 5-0, but that's not the impressive part. They've already beaten No. 25 Notre Dame, No. 6 Oklahoma and, last night, No. 4 LSU. The Lady Tigers got whipped last night, hardly seeming like a match of two top-five teams separated only by one in the rankings. Plus, this is an actual quote by LSU coach Van Chancellor:
"This team is capable of winning a national championship if they keep playing like this."
This presumes a couple of things:
- Chancellor is conceding that Maryland is simply a better team than LSU.
- He believes that Maryland is better than any other team when they play at their highest level, or at least the level at which they played last night.
- It implies that Maryland could beat LSU again if they meet in the NCAA tournament.
The Terps have officially arrived.
- Jade Perry helped win this one with a double-double in relief of All-American Crystal Langhorne, grabbing 11 boards and banging in the post for 14. Definitely one of the underrated players on a roster filled with talent.
- Kristi Toliver continued her stellar play, scoring 23 and dishing out 7 assists (We'll overlook the 9 turnovers). She is definitely reaching for that All-American team spot.
- Marah Strickland was 3-of-3 behind the arc. Yeah, No. 2 recruiting class last year. You go, girls. P.S.: Will you be my girlfriend?
- I'm not really sure how this happened, but Maryland had 18 turnovers - to LSU's 8 turnovers. And we won. Maryland did own a slight advantage in rebounds (50 to 34).
Seriously, I've said it before: Give these girls some respect. They are playing as well as anyone right now and the rest of the country needs to check their back.
Or don't check your back. I wouldn't mind seeing Maryland cruise to a championship Patriot-style (only with a soul; Celtic-style, really).
(Thanks to the Diamondback and Adam Fried for letting me borrow this picture.)