Sunday, May 01, 2011

Maryland Banquet 2011 . . . Au Revoir!

This year's Maryland Women's Basketball banquet had all the usual trappings that make the event so much fun: fan-friendly players having a good time . . . and looking fabulous! A few short skirts (naturally), but nobody this year, in the BCs' opinion, who even came close to knocking Marissa Coleman off the list of all-time shortest skirt in Maryland history.

And of course, it wouldn't be the annual banquet without a silent auction to raise money for the women's program. Lots of neat stuff to bid on. This year's offerings included not one, but two road trips with the team to big ACC games . . . which means that four lucky (and generous) fans will get to travel with the team this coming season.

Since the 2010-11 team had no seniors, we thought that this year, we'd be spared those sad goodbyes to departing players. But as Coach B worked though her introduction of the players, we soon learned that one player would not be returning to Maryland next season . . . Diandra T.

As our readers know, Diandra (or "Frenchie" as her teammates call her) tore her ACL in the 2nd round game of the NCAA Tourney in March. That injury, coupled with increasing homesickness for her family back in the Paris suburbs, helped Diandra reach the decision that it was time for her to return home and (when recovered from her injury) begin her pro career in Europe (as well as complete her studies at a university closer to home).

Diandra apparently had some trepidation before the banquet about how the Maryland fans would react to her decision. Any concerns were put to rest by the standing ovation she recieved after Coach B's announcement, by the scrapbook she was presented with by Rebounders Susan and Terri, and by all the personal good wishes showered on Diandra by the fans present. Diandra may have been in College Park only two years, but she will be part of the Maryland basketball family forever. Bonne chance, Diandra!

In other (happier) news: Coach B also informed us that both Alyssa Thomas and Lynetta Kizer have been invited to participate in the USA Basketball selection programs. In doing so, they will follow in the footsteps of Crystal Langhorne and Marissa Coleman, who also played with USA Basketball during their Maryland careers.

Of course, no banquet would be complete without awards. There were plenty handed out . . . for all sorts of special accomplishments and contributions. But for us, the one that really stood out was the presentation of the 2010-11 team's Most Valuable Player award . . . to super frosh Alyssa Thomas. While it's amazing (in a general sense) that a freshman could win the MVP, it didn't seem to surprise anybody in the banquet hall. We all knew she had earned that very special honor.

Alyssa also got to take home a rather impressive-looking ACC Rookie of the Year trophy, too.

* * * * * *

So while we will definitely miss Diandra, at least with (almost**) everyone else returning -- and Whitney Bays and incoming frosh PG Brene Mosely suiting up for the Terps -- we have a lot to look forward to in the season ahead.

Another great banquet; another great year of Terps basketball officially over. But it's not the end of WBB fun for the year . . . uhh, uhh. There's still the Mini-Golf FUNdraiser (sponsored by the Rebounders, but open to all) on the 14th of this month. If you miss out on this, you better have a good excuse!

Go Terps!

Photo Credits: DC BasketCases

**While there was no official announcement, reserve PG Dara Taylor's absence from the banquet was noted. Apparently, she has decided to transfer to Penn State for her remaining two years of eligibility.


At 9:37 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

OH wow...sad news to lose both DTs..they will surely be missed. Wish Diandra and Dara all the best!

Does anyone know what happened with Yemi? I know she finished her school year here and is now back in London...will she be back?

At 5:03 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

We keep losing players every year it feels like. I guess I understand, Dara Taylor wanted more playing time and she wasn't going to get it at MD apparently. It's too bad though. Hope Cloud can improve and hope the new incoming PG is good.

At 7:26 PM, Anonymous Sue/Durham said...

Diandra was already lost to next year's team. You won't miss her quite so much with having awesome froshie Alyssa Thomas coming back. She had my vote for ACC ROY, despite my love for Duke's Chelsea Gray. Having strong players in our league will help an ACC team win an NC.

At 10:46 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

It looks like Whitney is wearing a boot. Did she injure something besides her ACL?

At 12:56 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Can someone tell us what is going on with Yemi?

At 6:27 AM, Blogger BasketCases said...

Nothing to worry about re Whitney. Coach B explained that Whitney had a "stress reaction." It's not serious and she's expected to return to practice in a few weeks.

Yemi hasn't been on the team since the middle of the winter. She remained in school for the semester.

-- BC

At 10:06 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Great coverage as always BCs. Thanks for all you do. Good luck to both DTs.

At 9:36 AM, Blogger Roxie Smith Lindemann said...

We skipped the banquet this year and so missed all this big news. Thanks for filling us in. Very sorry to hear about Diandra, a little surprised to hear about Dara, though it always seemed to us she never quite clicked. Paws crossed that Cloud really steps up next year. We thought she showed awesome promise as PG.

At 1:35 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

The Post just printed this story this morning - May 6th. I turn to the Basketcases for all my news!!!

Good luck to Coach Gary as he says goodbye!

At 12:26 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

We miss your blog. It was about the only thing entertaining about being a Mystics fan nowadays.

Hope you'll be back.


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