How Maryland women’s hoops players have learned to accept defeat
Posted On August 6, 2021
By ALEXEY FERREIRA | WASHINGTON, D.C. A year ago, Maryland women, in the wake of a humiliating defeat at home to Georgetown, announced a new direction.
In the months that followed, the Terrapins began the process of making a decision on who would coach their women’s program.
Now that the Terps have been named to the Horizon League, Maryland has begun a new path.
The Terrapin women’s team will play in the Horizon league next season.
The women’s men’s team has yet to be announced.
The Terrapiners will play at No. 10 seed Providence next season and host No. 4 seed Creighton in the NCAA Tournament.
Maryland women players have been the most vocal in the nation, and there’s no doubt they’re motivated to improve on the worst year of their career.
On the field, however, it’s hard to ignore the fact that the team has already been knocked out of the postseason three times.
That, in itself, is an accomplishment.
This team has been through it before, but it’s the first time they’ve been knocked off the floor.
So, what’s next?
This team will continue to improve.
There’s no denying that.
In fact, this team has played a lot of hard games and that’s a good thing.
But now it’s time for them to learn to accept the fact they’re not going to make the NCAA tournament.
It’s just a part of the process.
Maryland women coach John Grier has been a part-time coach for the past four seasons.
His first season with the team was one of the most challenging seasons in program history.
In his first year, Maryland lost five of its last six games.
They lost their third game in a row.
They were so upset they didn’t show up for practice.
They were so frustrated they didn, too.
They couldn’t do their jobs.
So Grier and his staff decided to take a hard look at what they were doing.
And that’s where they decided to go.
The decision to fire Grier came down to two things: A. Not having a program.
Being in the middle of the NCAA.
Grier’s first year in Maryland was a mixed bag, as Maryland won 12 games and made the NCAA tourney.
It was the first year that Maryland had a win in the tournament since 2007.
But Grier had been through this before.
He was hired to coach the women’s golf team after playing at Georgetown, but he also had a winning record as an assistant coach.
He also had two years as the men’s basketball coach at Eastern Kentucky.
He won at least one conference tournament with the men, including the NCAA title in 2006.
In his first season at Maryland, Grier also had his first losing season since 2006, and he also lost his first Big Ten tournament.
Maryland had never been to the NCAA Sweet 16 before Grier took over.
Griers first season in the Terpines first season was also the worst in program memory.
The previous year, he had the worst season of his tenure.
The last three years, Griers record at Maryland was 15-39.
In 2017-18, Gries best record was 10-23.
He started to show signs of improvement during his first two years.
He had a strong finish to the season, and Maryland went on a 17-3 run to finish second in the conference.
But it was not enough.
He went 0-16 in 2017-19, going 2-7 in 2018-19 and 2-10 in 2019-20.
He needed a turnaround.
Gries first two seasons at Maryland were also the most difficult in program lore.
He coached for two years at the University of Virginia.
In addition to the program’s national championship, Virginia had the nation’s No. 1-ranked defense and No. 3-ranked offense.
This season, Grieres defense was one reason Virginia finished second in KenPom’s poll for the first-ever Top 25 team.
The offense was one more reason Maryland finished fifth in Ken Pomeroy’s poll.
Grieers offense struggled, and the Terrors defense was a major reason why they were knocked out in the second round of the Horizon Tournament.
Grieres team struggled offensively, but they had a chance to make up ground in the standings.
The team was built with a lot on its shoulders, but Griers defense was also one of its biggest weaknesses.
It led to a lot more turnovers and poor shooting.
Maryland averaged only 38.5 points per game and was 28th in the country in offensive efficiency.
Griers defense was the reason that the Maryland women were not able to win a Big Ten championship.
After the season ended, Grellis team was put in a position where they had to make a decision.
Was Griees team the answer