Maryland women’s basketball coach Brenda Frese has often cited a lack of depth as a root of her team’s struggles this year. On Tuesday, she was asked if she could repeat the offseason, would she have changed how she approached her roster management?

Her answer was telling.

“You’d always want more players, I think that was something coming off of an Elite Eight that we really tried to do and that run didn’t really impact anything,” Frese said. “We tried to get as many numbers in here, we tried to get more point guards in here and it wasn’t meant to be.

While Frese said her staff tried to acquire more contributors from the transfer portal, the Terps only added NC State transfer Jakia Brown-Turner. Bringing in only one player with three available scholarships remaining, whether by design or not, might have been a mistake.

Big Ten teams added an average of nearly two transfers each this offseason, but contenders such as Ohio State and Penn State brought in even more with three and five, respectively. Maryland could have benefited from an experienced guard such as Tania Mair, who committed to Duke over Maryland, or Celeste Taylor.

The Terps have not been averse to using the portal in the past, either. Frese grabbed five transfers in 2022.

[Maryland’s Shyanne Sellers day-to-day with a knee injury ahead of difficult week]

Now, a roster that was projected to be deep before the season is running awfully thin. Riley Nelson and Emma Chardon both suffered season-ending injuries while Lavender Briggs has also missed time with a lower body injury.

Beyond injuries, returning players have regressed in key areas. Veteran Brinae Alexander’s scoring and three-point efficiency has declined so far in conference play. Shyanne Sellers has shot just 11 percent from deep and turned the ball an average of more than 3.5 times per game against Big Ten opponents.

Maryland returned an All-Big Ten first team guard in Sellers and a majority of its roster from last season, but lost Abby Meyers and Diamond Miller — two WNBA first round picks.

Sellers and the rest of the Terps have struggled to grow into their new roles and replace the production of their do-it-all forward in Miller, a solid secondary scorer and shooter in Meyers and role players like Eliza Pinzan — who proved to be a bigger loss than expected.

The Terps’ turnover percentage has risen two percentage points since last year and their assist-to-turnover ratio has dropped. Maryland’s 17.3 percent turnover rate is its worst of the past five years.

“We don’t have a true point guard, no question,” Frese said, citing this fact as the biggest reason for the jump in turnovers.

[Maryland women’s basketball loses Sellers to injury, blown out by Penn State, 112-76]

Frese said the Terps tried to address the need this offseason, but failed. Having no true point guard on the roster has also forced Sellers to take on a larger on-ball responsibility. Frese might have expected Nelson to replace Pinzan’s minutes, but the freshman only averaged 10 minutes per game in Big Ten play and took two shots per contest before her injury.

While Maryland was connected to other big players in the transfer portal such as Aneesah Morrow and Mair, it didn’t land enough difference-makers and depth to create a top-end Big Ten roster.

Brown-Turner, the Terps’ only transfer addition, has turned a corner in the last few weeks, but struggled to start the season. She also hasn’t provided any of the much-needed shooting that has plagued Maryland this year — the Terps’ percentage of points from three-pointers is the lowest it’s been since 2016 and a four percentage point drop from last season, per Her Hoop Stats.

Despite their struggles in the portal and throughout early parts of the season, there still is room for the Terps to turn it around. The most intense stretch of the season awaits.

Maryland will host two games against top-10 opponents this week against No. 10 Indiana and No. 3 Iowa. The Terps could turn the corner and secure a clear postseason path with wins in both games. Losses would make that journey much more grueling.