Six female basketball players from Maryland win Big Ten honors
With the Big Ten tournament fast approaching, six female basketball players from Maryland received conference season honors on Tuesday afternoon.
The recognition of second-year forward/guard Angel Reese was the biggest news for Maryland on Tuesday, as his superstar season was rewarded with first-team All-Big Ten honors by coaches and media. . She was also named to the All-Big Ten Defensive Team.
Additionally, the Terps had four players named to the 12-man All-Big Ten Second Team. These included forward/grad student guard Chloe Bibby, graduate student guard Katie Benzan, junior guard Ashley Owusu, and junior guard Diamond Miller. Bibby, Owusu and Miller were selected to the second team by coaches and media, while Benzan’s selection was media-only. Benzan was an honorable mention All-Big Ten Second Team selection by the coaches.
Freshman guard Shyanne Sellers’ stellar freshman campaign has warranted All-Big Ten Freshman team honors from the media and coaches. Sellers was also named Big Ten Sixth Player of the Year for her contributions off the bench.
Reese, the former No. 2 recruit in the Class of 2020, has exploded this season after being limited by a foot injury to just 15 games last season.
The Baltimore native averaged a double-double, leading the Terps in points per game (17.6) and rebounds per game (10.7). Reese also ranks second in the nation with a remarkable 5.5 offensive rebounds per game. She has also become a force defensively, averaging 1.6 steals and 1.1 blocks per game.
Reese recorded 16 double-doubles during the regular season, including nine with at least 20 points.
There are potentially more accolades to come for Reese in the coming days. She is one of 10 players up for the Katarina McClain Award, which honors the nation’s top power forward. She is also a season-ending Wooden Award Top 20 and a semi-finalist for Naismith Women’s College Defensive Player of the Year.
Bibby is a player whose personal success has often translated into team success. Maryland has gone 15-3 this regular season in games where it has scored at least 10 points.
A player who can hurt the opposition from both the perimeter and the inside, Bibby was instrumental in Maryland’s 6-1 ‘February frenzy’, a term head coach Brenda Frese coined .
The Warracknabeal, Australia product has started all 28 games for Maryland this season, posting 12.6 points and 5.6 rebounds per game.
Benzan had another regular season for the Terps, averaging 11 points and 3.8 assists per game. Harvard’s transfer didn’t quite hit the 50% mark she shot from deep in her first season in a Maryland uniform in 2020-21, but she was impressive nonetheless shooting 44.1% from three points. Benzan also received the Big Ten Sportsmanship Award.
Owusu, who is coming off a great 2020-21 season where she won the Ann Meyers Drysdale award for the nation’s top shooting guard, has had another impressive season under Frese.
The Terps’ star ‘general on the ground’ has faced some challenges this season, missing five games – the first four with a sprained ankle and the last with illness – and seeing his assists and averages drop . Either way, Owusu was still a star when she played, and the Terps need her to be healthy for March.
In 23 regular season games played, Owusu averaged 13.7 points, 3.1 rebounds, and 3.9 assists per game. Along with Reese, she made the Season Ending Top 20 of the Wooden Award, a credit to what she means to this Maryland team.
Owusu’s backcourt partner, Miller, has also faced adversity this season. Possibly the Terps’ best pro prospect, Miller played just 15 minutes in the team’s first 12 games due to a knee injury.
Since officially returning to the rotation Dec. 21 at Coppin State, Miller has been playing again. His 12.6 ppg average ties Bibby for third-best scoring on the team, but Miller has been warming up lately. She’s averaged 14.8 points per game in Maryland’s last eight games, including seven wins.
Even if Owusu and Miller couldn’t repeat themselves as All-Big Ten first-team winners, the potential is there for them to play at that level in the coming month.
Maryland’s only rotational freshman player in the Sellers had an outstanding rookie run. She became the team’s primary defensive backstop, limiting players like Iowa guard and possible National Player of the Year recipient Caitlin Clark to well below their season average.
Playing in every regular season game, Sellers averaged 7.9 points, 3.6 rebounds and 2.7 assists per game. The Class of 2021 rookie No. 22 also led the Terps with 1.9 steals per game.