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Slocum among three Terps set to transfer

Destiny Slocum was the first Terp in history to win the WBCA National Freshman of the Year award.

Maryland Terrapins women’s basketball coach Brenda Frese announced on Tuesday at three players have been granted permission to transfer. WBCA National Freshman of the Year Destiny Slocum, sophomore Kiah Gillespie, and freshman Jenna Staiti have all been released from their scholarships.

“We would like to thank these three student-athletes for their hard work during their careers at Maryland,” Frese said in a statement released by the school. “We appreciate their contributions to our program.

“I truly enjoyed coaching Destiny and her energy she brought every day. I had many long conversations with her over the season and we spent a lot of time together. Our staff is proud of the commitment we put into Destiny’s development and all the accomplishments she achieved this season from Big Ten Freshman of the Year to WBCA National Freshman of the Year. We appreciate Kiah’s work over the last two seasons and Jenna’s efforts this year. We wish all three of them nothing but success on and off the court as they move forward.”

Slocum, a native of Meridian, Idaho, seemed poised to be the next great Terps women’s basketball player after starting 34 of 35 games and averaging 11.5 points and 6.0 assists per game while serving as the point guard for the nation’s highest-scoring offense. Slocum was the WBCA National Freshman of the year, Big Ten Freshman of the Year and an All-Big Ten Second Team and Freshman Team selection.

Slocum shot 40.5-percent from the floor and 37.4-percent from 3-point range. She made 71 3-pointers this season, which ranked second on the team. She was also third on the team with 44 steals.

“I’m grateful for my time at Maryland and the opportunity,” Slocum said in a statement. “I want to thank my teammates and coaches and all the fans for their support this season. I’ve put a lot of thought and prayer into this decision. I’ve talked with my family and Coach B a great deal and have decided to continue my college career elsewhere.”

Gillespie, a native of Meriden, Connecticut, was a key post player off the bench. During her two seasons at Maryland, she played in 66 games, averaged 5.1 points, 3.2 rebounds and had 45 blocks and 24 steals. As a sophomore she had a big improvement in her field goal percentage, making 46.4-percent of her shots from the floor, including 60-percent during conference play. She also saw an increase to 80-percent from the foul line.

“I would like to thank Coach Frese, the staff, my teammates and the Maryland fans for the opportunity to win 90 percent of our games and two back-to-back Big Ten championships,” Gillespie said in the statement released by the school. “During these past two years, I have learned so much and have developed great bonds that go beyond basketball. I truly feel blessed to have had this opportunity. It pains me to leave, but I feel that it is best for me and my future to do so at this time.”

Staiti was playing behind senior All-American Brionna Jones but still managed to see time in 25 games as a freshman and scored 75 points and grabbed 51 rebounds and 14 blocks. The native of Cumming, Georgia made 50.7-percent of her shots from the floor.

“I would like to thank Coach B for the opportunity to get to play for a great coach like she is,” Staiti said in the statement. “It has been an honor to wear the Maryland uniform. I would like to thank all of the coaching and support staff for everything they have done for me this year. I would also like to thank my teammates for being the amazing support system and family away from home to me. They are my sisters. I have made a decision, due to personal family issues, that being closer to home is in the best interests of our family.”

With the graduations of Jones, both Gillespie and Staiti were expected to see bigger roles next season while Slocum was expected to take on an even bigger role in charge of the backcourt with the graduation of All-American Shatori Walker-Kimbrough.

Freshman Kaila Charles will be the team’s top returning scorer for next season after averaging 9.7 points and 5.6 rebounds during an All-Big Ten Freshman Team campaign. She shot 51.1-percent from the floor. Sophomore Brianna Fraser, who averaged 6.1 points per game, is the second-leading returning scorer.

Slocum and Staiti were both Top 20 recruits last year as rated by espnW and while the Terps do not have top 100 recruits on espnW‘s HoopGurlz list coming in next season, they will still return three top 53-recruits from last year’s class, including Charles (22), Blair Watson (29), and Stephanie Jones (53). Kristen Confroy took a step back from a scoring role as a junior but could be expected to step back into it as a senior. Ieshia Small, who completed in her first season at Maryland after transfering from Baylor, should also see a significantly increase role.

“It is always difficult to see young people leave your program, but after many years in coaching and life experiences, I have a much broader perspective on life and the challenges that come along the way,” Frese said in the statement. “We’re excited about the great depth and talent on our roster. We will continue to play at the Maryland standard we’ve set for our program.”

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Corey Johns

Editor in Chief
You could say Corey was born to become a sports journalist. His father won a national championship coaching college soccer. His mother is a baseball fanatic who hasn't missed seeing an Orioles game since 1983 (literally, sometimes it's annoying). His great uncle was a big-time boxing promoter and his maternal grandfather was once a department head at the Baltimore Sun. Basically, sports and journalism run through his blood. He played just about every little league sports there was when he was a kid and was a multi-sport athlete in high school; even playing in the first-ever high school sanction Rugby game in the country. Eventually he retired from sports as an undefeated Maryland state Rugby champion as a high school senior. Perhaps lack of athletic talent has more to do with the retirement, but he will tell you that it more had to do with a great desire to jump right into media. Upon his graduation from University of Maryland, Baltimore County as a triple communications major, Corey started the So Much Sports network and has continued to grow his websites and continues to work to make them premier sports media outlets.

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