After waiting almost a full calendar year on the bench for Maryland women’s basketball, Eleanna Christinaki finally got back on the court Wednesday.
The transfer from Florida arrived at College Park in January and had to sit out a full academic year before becoming eligible. Christinaki averaged 17.6 points per game in her last season with the Gators, but her Terps debut was even more impressive: The native of Greece dropped a career-high 32 points on 12-of-20 shooting from the field while burying six 3-pointers.
Her first game with the Terps was so impressive, it got us thinking: What are the best Maryland debuts of this decade?
Well, we ranked our top 5.
5. Destiny Slocum: 15 points, 6 assists, 5 rebounds
I apologize if it’s too soon to mention her name, but Slocum was absolutely incredible in her only season with Maryland, and she started that campaign with a stellar performance. On Nov. 13, 2016, the freshman point guard scored 15 points on 5-of-11 shooting and ran the Terps offense in her first collegiate game. She dished out six assists and set the tone in Maryland’s 100-44 win over UMass-Lowell.
4. Ty Johnson: 10 carries, 83 yards, TD
In his three years so far with Maryland, Ty Johnson has put up some absurd rushing statistics, and it all started on Sep. 5, 2015 against Richmond. Johnson averaged 8.3 yards per carry in that game, and his fourth-quarter touchdown put the cap on the Terps’ 50-21 season-opening victory.
3. Deon Long: 9 catches, 110 yards, TD
Although most of Deon Long’s fame may come from his stint on HBO’s “Hard Knocks”, the wide receiver also had a huge debut in his first season with Maryland. After transferring from Iowa Western (and from New Mexico before that), Long stepped in and made his case to be C.J. Brown’s No. 1 receiver on Aug. 31, 2013 versus Florida International. Long set a career high for receptions and yards and reeled in a long touchdown pass during Maryland’s 43-10 win.
2. Eleanna Christinaki: 32 points
Christinaki showed Wednesday that she has a chance to be Maryland’s leading scorer in Big Ten play this season. She showed she could score from everywhere on the court in the Terps’ 113-49 victory over Coppin State.
1. Kasim Hill: 3-for-3, 44 passing yards, 5 carries, 14 rushing yards, rushing TD
OK, so his numbers may not be the best on this list, but I think we all know why Kasim Hill is No. 1. The Terps were rolling with Tyrrell Pigrome at quarterback, holding a 37-27 lead on the road over No. 23 Texas. However, Pigrome went down with a knee injury, and it was time for the freshman phenom to step up.
Despite taking his first college snaps in such a high-pressure situation, Hill didn’t hesitate as he led the Terps down the field, and his three-yard touchdown run with less than eight minutes to play put Maryland back up by two scores after the Longhorns had cut the lead to 37-34.
Hill then led another touchdown drive that ended with a Jake Funk touchdown run, proving he could be the starting quarterback of the future for the Terps, and also proving Texas was ~not~ back.