The U-N-I women will take on the nation’s top ranked team for the first time this evening when the host defending national champion Maryland in the McCleod Center.
Panther coach Tony Dicecco says its a great opportunity to expose his players to something a little different. The game will mark the return of Maryland coach Brenda Freese who is a native of Cedar Rapids. Dicecco says one of the factors that made them say yes was they wanted to bring in that type of team as they try to expose what women’s basketball is about and is going to be about in the new McCleod Center on campus.
The Terrapins have all five starters back from the national title team and Dicecco says it is the most talented team the Panthers have ever faced. Dicecco says there’s a possibility that this may be one of the greatest women’s teams to ever play. Dicecco says Connecticut won three championships in a row, but were doing it as they graduated two or three kids.
The Terps have a 16 game winning streak and their average margin of victory has been 30 points. Diccecco says they talked with the players about giving the same effort no matter what the team they’re playing is ranked. He says the players have to give their best effort no matter who they play.