The band is back together for coach Brenda Frese and Maryland women’s basketball, and the nation is expecting an impressive show.

The Terps rank No. 4 in the opening AP Top 25 poll for the new season, three steps higher than they were at the end of last season where they finished No. 7.

Maryland’s tough schedule to open the year features three of the other four teams joining them in the top 5, as they’ll play No. 1 South Carolina on Dec. 12, reigning champion No. 3 Stanford on Nov. 27 and No. 5 NC State on Nov. 25. Their challenging nonconference schedule also features No. 7 Baylor.

[Returning nearly everyone, Maryland women’s basketball eyes a national title]

The road doesn’t get any easier for the Terps when they reach Big Ten play. Maryland’s conference schedule features four ranked teams, No. 8 Indiana, No. 9 Iowa, No. 11 Michigan and No. 17 Ohio State. Michigan State, who Frese’s squad plays Feb. 3, also received votes in the preseason poll.

Maryland will play home and away matchups with the Hoosiers, the Wolverines and the Buckeyes but will only play the Spartans and the Hawkeyes once each on the road.

Last year, the Terps tore through the Big Ten, going 17-1 against conference opponents. This year, with 9 out of 11 players from that team returning along with student assistant Zoe Young for another go-around, Maryland hopes to continue the same success.

The Terps will have a pair of exhibition matchups against Fairmont State and Georgian Court on Oct. 29 and Nov. 4 before kicking off the regular season against Longwood on Nov. 9.