The Washington Post

After another look, Fairfax forward Liz McNaughton picks UMBC

Once Liz McNaughton heard last week that one of her favorite schools, Quinnipiac, was looking at her as a backup plan in case its top-choice player didn’t commit to them, the rising Fairfax senior sprung into action.

“I was like, ‘You know what? I want to be somewhere the coach wants me 100 percent and I’m not the backup,’” she said.

So she scheduled a visit with UMBC coaches on August 3 — her second visit of the campus — spent more time with head coach Phil Stern and the players and realized that they were exactly what she wanted all along. She committed to the school a day later.

“I went back on a second visit and watched film and sat down with the coach and liked it,” she said. “It felt right.”

McNaughton, a 6-foot forward, enjoyed a breakout season last winter, averaging 15.6 points and earning first-team Virginia AAA Liberty District honors. In college, she projects as a wing player and as a result has been working diligently on improving her shooting range.

McNaughton, who also had offers from Central Connecticut State, Saint Francis and Manhattan, said she felt some pressure to commit because she did not want to lose any offers, such as UMBC, while waiting for other potential ones.

So she took another look at UMBC and realized that everything from the academics to the coach’s system felt comfortable.

“After watching film with the coach, I can see why he was so intent on me being there, because I fit,” she said.

James Wagner joined the Post in August 2010 and, prior to covering the Nationals, covered high school sports across the region.


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