Diamond Miller caught the basketball behind the arc and bounded into the paint, outpacing Ohio State defenders with ease. She swung her arm upward at the basket, collecting her eighth made-field goal in the paint.
Miller finished No. 8 Maryland women’s basketball’s demolition of Ohio State with 29 points, the majority of which came inside the paint.
“I was definitely getting pissed off. They were playing dirty,” Miller said of Ohio State’s third-quarter defense. “Not really dirty I guess, because people call me a dirty player, but they were very aggressive toward me, and I guess I just showed them what real aggression is.”
Miller is playing her best basketball yet in her senior season with the Terps. She’s been a key component of her team’s offense and led the Terps in scoring in 11 of their 24 games this season.
After reaching 1,000 career points during last year’s NCAA tournament, Miller is just 18 points away from the 1,500 mark with five regular season games remaining.
Miller is the Terps’ leading scorer on the year and is 25th in the nation with 19.4 points per game, but her play ascends to another level when playing ranked teams.
The senior guard notched a career-high 32 points in her first top 25 matchup of the season against then-No. 17 Baylor this November. She averages 25.4 points per game against ranked teams this season.
“You see how dynamic she is,” coach Brenda Frese said. “Senior Diamond now is on full display.”
Miller’s dynamic abilities were on full display against then-No. 13 Michigan. When her path to the basket was blocked by a Wolverines defender in the first quarter, Miller spun her body in the opposite direction and leaped forward before hoisting the ball into the net. She finished the game with 23 points, eight of which were scored in the paint.
Frese praised Miller for her work ethic over the summer to get herself back on track after undergoing surgery last April. Frese added that Miller’s also become a great leader for the team and sets the mentality that every game is important.
“She’s setting that tone for us,” Frese said. “When your best player is setting that, everyone is going to follow.”
Even opposing coaches give credit to Maryland’s star player for her ability to score and cause problems for their teams’ defenses.
“She’s so good that if you don’t have the right matchup for her, she’s going to make you pay about it unconditionally,” Ohio State coach Kevin McGuff said after his team’s loss to Maryland Sunday.
Miller’s success has drawn national attention. She’s been added to midseason lists for the Wade Trophy, the Wooden Award, the U.S. Basketball Writers Association’s Ann Meyers Drysdale Award, the Naismith Women’s Player of the Year team and the Ann Meyers Drysdale Award for one of the top 10 shooting guards.
If she declares for the 2023 Women’s National Basketball Association Draft, Miller is projected by The Athletic and ESPN to be drafted with the No. 2 or No. 3 overall pick, respectively.
“I think she’s, by far, the best player I’ve ever played with,” Abby Meyers said.