You have to reach out to a transfer within 48 hours to have a shot at getting them on your team, according to Brenda Frese.
The Maryland women’s basketball coach would know — she witnessed both sides of the transfer portal in a hectic stretch earlier this year when five players transferred out of the program and were summarily replaced by five new Terps.
Abby Meyers, Elisa Pinzan, Allie Kubek and Brinae Alexander and Lavender Briggs — who transferred in January but did not play due to an injury — join a Maryland team that’s flamed out in the Sweet 16 in consecutive years and brings back four players from last season.
“I’ll say it was one of the most intense two weeks I’ve experienced in quite some time,” Frese said in April. The two weeks turned into a month, culminating in the additions of Alexander and Kubek in early May.
Frese recalled her and the Terps staff having checked the transfer portal three to four times each day during that stretch. Once a name entered the portal, the team’s staff began by finding as much game tape as possible. They reviewed that film and paired it with analytics from Synergy Sports.
If they like what they see, they pounce, reaching out within that 48-hour window to make their pitch to the transfer. It’s a quick process but one Frese and her staff knew they’d have to go through to prepare accordingly and bring in an intriguing group of players.
6’0” graduate student
Frese said she and her staff targeted Meyers as early as October 2021, eyeing a move that’s a homecoming of sorts for the Potomac native.
Meyers played three seasons at Princeton, a run that culminated in being named the 2022 Ivy League Player of the Year after averaging 17.9 points and 5.8 rebounds per game. She excelled from deep, making 39.3 percent of her three-point shots on just under six attempts per game.
Meyers isn’t as accurate of a shooter as former Maryland player and Ivy Leaguer Katie Benzan, who made more than 44 percent of her three-pointers in both of her seasons at Maryland, but Meyers brings six more inches of height and the resulting scoring versatility.
“[Meyers] is a three-level scorer … she’s not going to shoot the three like Katie, but she’s going to give you the three and the pull-up and be able to get to the rim,” Frese said in April .
That height also gives Meyers the chance to impact the game as a defender and rebounder. She grabbed 175 rebounds last year, a mark that would’ve ranked No. 2 on the 2021 Terps.
In April, Frese said the team would not sport a traditional three-guard two-forward lineup because of its personnel. If the team does embrace a four-guard or five-guard lineup, Meyers’ size could prove pivotal to helping that unit survive on the defensive end.
“The fact that we’re going to have all this size … that is the perfect combination because of the way we play,” Frese said.
When Briggs steps on the court, she’s a volume scorer. In her sophomore season, the guard played 18 games and averaged 19.5 points per game on an inefficient 40.5 percent shooting.
That subpar shooting percentage could be explained by a 29.1 percent usage rate, a stat that shows how many of a team’s possessions end in a player’s hands. For comparison, last year’s Maryland team only had one player, Angel Reese, above 29 percent.
Briggs picked up the scoring load for a Florida team that only had one other double-digit scorer.
“Doesn’t miss,” Frese said. “She’s powerful, she put up a lot of points at Florida so she’s going to have a big impact when she’s cleared and healthy.”
Health has been the main issue for Briggs. She transferred to Maryland in January but missed the back half of last season with a left shin stress fracture. A left foot injury also ended her sophomore season.
After missing one game as a freshman, Briggs has only played 32 combined games in the past two seasons.
Frese indicated Briggs will be ready for the start of the Terps’ season. Briggs could be seen practicing with Diamond Miller and Meyers in a June Instagram video posted on the team’s account.
Ole Miss women’s basketball coach Yolett McPhee McCuin expressed joy that she no longer had to face the scoring guard in an April phone call with Frese, the Maryland coach said.
If healthy, Briggs could instill that same reverence into the hearts of Big Ten coaches.
5’8” graduate transfer
What number stood out when Brenda Frese looked over Pinzan’s statistical profile?
“Assist-to-turnover ratio, hands down,” the coach said, barely hesitating.
It should come as no surprise then that the point guard immediately caught Frese’s eye. She boasted an assist-to-turnover ratio of 2.25 last year and went as high as 3.04 during the 2020-21 campaign.
“I can’t wait to get her here,” Frese said in July. Now, the point guard’s made her way to College Park, where she’s sure to be tasked with orchestrating Maryland’s new look offense.
The point guard started 32 games last year for a University of South Florida squad that went 24-9. None of her individual stats jump off the screen, but she consistently improved her team’s offense on the floor.
Frese delivered high praise to her new point guard, comparing her to former Maryland national champion Shay Doron because of her personality.
“She’s very direct, very fiery, Italian, speaks her mind,” Frese said. “I like it, I love communicative point guards.”
She added Pinzan was “that perfect gift” who fell into the team’s lap, one who possesses the talent to score the basketball but can effortlessly fit in around talented pieces and find them in the right spots.
One of the most exciting parts about Maryland’s roster is its versatility, Frese said. Kubek adds to that, giving the coach another piece that has the range to shoot from behind the arc.
Kubek played at Towson for two years and made serious scoring strides. After averaging 8.4 points per game as a freshman, she scored 14.5 as a sophomore. She also made 34.4 percent of her three-point shots, earning All-CAA honors in the process.
She factors into Maryland’s rebounding mix, grabbing 6.1 boards per game a year ago.
“Allie is a dynamic front court player who can score in different ways,” Frese said in a news release. “She’ll be able to help us stretch the defense and space the floor. She can get her own shot, and she’s shown she can really be a factor rebounding the ball.”
6’0” graduate transfer
Fresesc thinks Brinae Alexander brings the ability to play all around the court, adding to the team’s options as they begin the painstaking process of crafting lineups. The coach said she’s willing to play on the perimeter and inside depending on the team’s needs.
The fourth-year player started 32 games for a mediocre Vanderbilt team last year, averaging 15.2 points on 40.9 percent shooting. Frese expects her to be a mid-range pull-up scorer.
The coach called Alexander an “experienced, veteran player” in the news release announcing her arrival.