After ACL tear, Maryland basketball’s Zoe Young is using this season as a “learning year”

Maryland women's basketball's freshman class — featuring (from left to right) Faith Masonius, Zoe Young, Ashley Owusu and Diamond Miller — at the team's Media Day on Oct. 17, 2019. (Gus Martin/For The Diamondback)

Zoe Young, the USA Today Player of the Year in Iowa, will miss the entire 2019-2020 Maryland women’s basketball season with a torn ACL suffered during a non-contact drill in early October.

The freshman guard is scheduled to have surgery on Oct. 28, head coach Brenda Frese said during the team’s media day. The 5-foot-10 Young, a two-time state champion, averaged 24.3 points per game as a senior and was the ninth-ranked guard out of high school, according to ESPN. She’s part of the Terps’ No. 3-ranked recruiting class, featuring three other players.

“It’s definitely disappointing, but allows her the opportunity to use this redshirt year and come back even stronger,” Frese said. “I’ve been so impressed with her mindset coming out of this and her preparation to move forward.”

[Read more: A talented freshman class is already making waves for Maryland women’s basketball]

Two seasons ago, senior guard Blair Watson tore her ACL during a January practice. Young is looking to her as a mentor for how to go about the long recovery process, as Watson recovered well enough to play all 34 games last season and says she’s now 100 percent healthy.

“She has helped me a lot throughout the process … just giving me little tips and little pieces of advice, even if it’s simple stuff like how you sit down,” Young said. “Just making sure that the process goes as smoothly as can be and just being a support system.”

Young describes herself as a competitor and says her game resembles a traditional, pass-first point guard capable of running an offense and getting everyone involved. Although she’ll be sidelined for the next several months, she says she’s talked to Frese about ways she can make an impact in the locker room and on the sidelines.

[Read more: Maryland women’s basketball releases 2019-20 Big Ten schedule]

“[Frese] talks a lot about bringing excitement and energy, even from the bench, and just being very attentive and using this year as a learning year,” Young said. “Even though I’m not physically on the court, I have a lot I can learn and a lot I can contribute while learning, just bringing a lot of positivity to our team.”

Her positive attitude was evident during the team’s media day, constantly joking with teammates and media members, grabbing microphones to interview her teammates and even showing off her singing chops for the world to see.

So even with a surgery on the horizon, Young looks to be a jolt of energy off the court if she can’t get on it quite yet.

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