Maryland goalkeeper Ashley Oso enters the transfer window

Shockwaves passed through Maryland’s women’s basketball program on Tuesday with news of Angel Reese and Ashley Owusu – the Terrapins’ top scorers – entering the transfer window.

A person familiar with Reese’s decision confirmed the departure of a sophomore, the highest-ranking inductee in the program’s history, Tuesday night. Oso, the second team’s top scorer, tweeted about her plans to move on Tuesday morning.

Reese, a guard/forward from Baltimore, averaged 17.8 points for the Terrapins. Oso, a junior guard from Woodbridge, Virginia, averaged 14.3 points.

“We wish these student-athletes all the best as they continue their careers in basketball and education elsewhere,” coach Brenda Friese said in a statement to The Washington Post. “Every team has been touched by the transfer gate on both ends. Basketball in Maryland is bigger than any squad or one person. Our staff is committed to bringing the best student-athletes to Maryland.”

Terps also lost reserves Taisiya Kozlova and Channise Lewis to the transfer gate. Kozlova was the ninth player on the bench during her sophomore year, and Lewis played no game when she was a graduate student.

The departures came on the heels of a disappointing 2021-22 season for the Terrapins, who began their campaign with a national title hope but failed to win a Big Ten match and were knocked out by the NCAA Championship in Sweet 16 for the second consecutive season.

In a tweet announcing her move, Oso referred to “events that have taken place both on and off the court.”

“I never started anything that I didn’t finish, and finishing was the plan when I decided to come to College Park,” Oso wrote. “My goal was to have a great career here and win a National Championship alongside an amazing team. I can imagine my shirt hanging from the rafters at Xfinity Centre.

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“Unfortunately, events on and off the field this year have led to a very difficult but necessary decision to continue my education and footballing career elsewhere.”

Reese made no statement, but retweeted the news reports on Twitter. She was named to the 3rd All-American and 1st Big Ten team this season, when she averaged 10.6 rebounds. The Baltimore native entered the program as the No. 2 recruit in the Class of 2020. Having lost most of her rookie season to a broken foot, she has started all but one of the games this season and has been the number one choice in attack for Frees.

After the disappointing end to the season, Reese tweeted, “We’ll be back, I’ll be back, trust me..” Her brother Julian Reese had just finished his first year on the Maryland men’s basketball team.

Uso, who starred in Fairfax County’s Bowl VI, endured a junior season that was a step back after being named to the 3rd All-America and first-team Big Ten as a sophomore. She had at least a stake in the Big Ten being honored by the Most Valuable Player as a sophomore and sophomore and led the team with 17.9 points per game in her sophomore year. Oso’s numbers fell in every category except for the three-point percentage point, firing only 42.4 percent from the field.

The offense developed into using Reiss as the No. 1 choice in the post instead of playing through Osu, who had an ankle injury and missed five games late in the season. Owusu finished the regular season off the bench before returning to the starting line-up for the NCAA Championship. She averaged 22 points in the first two rounds of the championship before falling out of sync and scoring four in the season-ending loss to Stanford.

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Maryland falls to top-seeded Stanford, exiting the Sweet 16 for the second consecutive season

Friese must now replace four starters heading into next season with goalkeeper Katie Banzan and striker Chloe Pepe after their eligibility has been exhausted.

Oso made his way to Maryland and ranked the number one guard in the country according to ESPN and McDonald’s all-American. The change likely ensures that the Big Ten Sixth Player of the Year and all-new team selection Shyanne Sellers moves into the starting lineup. Guard Diamond Miller is the only other player expected to return.

The pair continues the trend of notable players to move out of the MD program. Fritz lost Taylor Mixel (Oregon, then Ohio State), Shakira Austin (Mississippi) and Olivia Owens (Kentucky) two seasons ago.

The transfer portal was a topic of discussion at the NCAA Final Four last week. Connecticut coach Gino Orima said he understands players leave all the time, but questioned some of the decisions made behind these moves. There were reportedly 850 players in the gate last week.

“Do you know those 850 people at the gate? Three hundred of them won’t find a school to go to because they will realize it’s not the school they just left,” Orima said. “Just like last year, right? A thousand children at the gate, 250 of them had nowhere to go, and the men who left them did not want to return. Whatever happened to go find out what the hell it was?

“Yes, sometimes you have to leave. Sometimes it’s the right thing to do. No doubt about it. But 800, 1,000 of them? There are only 365 schools from Division One. It’s like three in every school.”

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Dawn of an Era: Staley and South Carolina Set the Standard Now

South Carolina coach Don Staley, who became the first black coach on a men’s or women’s team to win two Division I National Championships Sunday, called the process “way, way, way, way out of control.” She admitted that some players did not register to sit on the bench for three seasons and wanted an opportunity to pursue collective or professional goals. However, there are many who are playing the big minutes and still getting ahead.

“The portal is a lot like social media,” Staley said last week. “It’s a fad. It’s a big fad that keeps going. There are more people in the portal than there are scholarships.”

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