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October 30, 2000 - Image 12

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The Michigan Daily, 2000-10-30

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4B -- The Michigan Daily - SportsMonday - October 30, 2000

PENN STATE
LAST YEAR'S RECORD: (15-1 Big Ten,
30.5 overall)
Key Returner: Maren Walseth (13.8
ppg, 5.8 rpg)
LAST YEAR VS. MICHIGAN: Jan. 27, PSU
85-71
Michigan won't be
the only Big Ten team
struggling to fill gaps.
on the defensive end.
Penn State lost guard Chrissy
Falcone to a career-ending knee injury
that changes the complexion of this
.team that played Final Four basketball
in Philadelphia last April.
Penn State should still be secure on
the offensive end. Guard Lisa Shepard
owns every Lady Lion 3-point record
and averaged 13.3 points per game last
season.
Forward Maren Walseth is also capa-
ble of producing huge offensive num-
bers. The All-Big Ten team member
never failed to contribute double-digit
point totals last season, including a
Bryce Jordan Center-record 35 points
against Michigan.
PURDUE
LAST YEAR'S RECORD: (11-5 Big Ten,
23-8 overall)
KEY RETURNERS: Katie Douglas (20.4
ppg, 6.5 rpg); Camille Cooper (15.3
ppg, 7.5 rpg)
LAST YEAR VS. MICHIGAN: Jan. 8, Mich.
74-67; Mar. 4, Purdue 74-59
Purdue won the
NCAA Tournament in
1999 and remains one
of the nation's top
teams.
Despite a third-place regular-season
finish last year, the Boilermakers took
charge at the Big Ten Tournament and
won it all.
The Wolverines managed a huge vic-
tory at home last year that was nation-
ally televised on CBS.
With a talented roster, second-year
coach Kristy Curry plans to use her
depth to mix up her lineup and try to
confuse opponents.
"We may not start 'the same five,
night-in and night-out," Curry said. "It
may depend on whom we are playing
and what we are facing."
ILLINOIS
LAST YEAR'S RECORD: (11-5 Big Ten,
23-10 overall)
KEY RETURNERS: Allison Curtin (17.7
ppg, 5.7 rpg)
LAST YEAR VS. MICHIGAN: Jan. 17, Mich.
86-69; Feb. 3, Mich. 70-59
Illinois returns one of
the best guards in the
.Big Ten in Allison
Curtin. She led the Illini
in scoring, was second
in assists and was the team's third lead-
ing rebounder.
Shavonna Hunter will join Curtin to
iform one of the top backcourt tandems
in the Big Ten.
The Illini's young and inexperienced
frontcourt will need to grow up quickly
to replace Tauja Catchings (15.4 ppg,
7.9 rpg) and Susan Blauser (14.5 ppg,
7.9 rpg). Illinois expects junior Cindy
IDallas to pick up some of the slack after
missing most of last season with a knee
-injury.
If Curtin can build on her All-Big Ten
season, Illinois could be right back in
the hunt for the Big Ten title.
MICHIGAN STATE
LAST YEAR'S RECORD: (8-8 Big Ten, 19-
12 overall)
KEY RETURNERS: Becky Cummings (15.1
ppg, 7.4 rpg)
LAST YEAR VS. MICHIGAN: Dec. 31,
Mich. 64-61; Feb. 20, Mich. 90-87

(20T)

2000-01 MICHIGAN WOMEN'S

COMING OFF ITS GREATEST SEASON EVER, MICHIGAN FINDS ITSELF FIGHTING FOR RESPECT, AGAIN. STACEY
THOMAS IS GONE, BUT MICHIGAN HOPES TO RIDE ITS STRONG BACKCOURT TO THE NCAA TOURNAMENT

4

ONCE AGAIN. THE WOLVERINES ARE PLANNING THEIR...

SNEAK
By David Horn
Daily Sports Writer
Ask Jay Fiedler, Jeff Garcia or Brian Griese about replac-
ing a superstar. It's no walk in the park. But for those three,
the responsibility of filling the hole left by a Hall of Fame
quarterback fell squarely on their shoulders.
For the women's basketball team, the replacement of
Stacey Thomas - one of the most prolific players in the
Wolverines' history - will be a team effort.
Last year, Thomas shined as the brightest star on a sur-
prisingly competitive Michigan squad.
She was honored as the school's first 2000,01
All-America candidate, and was a mem-
ber of the First-Team. All-Big Ten. Preview
Thomas' greatest asset was on the
defensive end of the court. She was the 1999-2000 Big Ten
Defensive Player of the Year.
But a team may succeed without the recognition from Big
Ten coaches and media. What they cannot succeed without,
however, are numbers, and Thomas' were extraordinary. The
departed forward ranks third in Michigan's history in scor-
ing (1,556 points), second in rebounding (851) and first in
games played (115) and steals (372). Her career steals tally-
is the highest in the history of the Big Ten.
Last year, Thomas averaged 7.7 rebounds per game, 14.4
points per game, and dealt 64 assists. Her 102 steals was a
team record. She led the team in points in 10 games, and
rebounding in 16.
All good things must come to an end, though. Thomas
was drafted last spring by the expansion Portland Fire of the
WNBA.
Gone too are starting center Allison Miller and forward
Kenisha Walker, including their combined 10 points per
game, 6.6 rebounds per game and 52 steals -- 30 of which
came from Walker off the bench.
So where does this leave the team? Not in such a bad spot.
if you ask them.
"We definitely lost a lot." senior captain Anne Thorius
said. "Each player that graduated had a lot to offer. You're
going to get those things from different players on the team
though."
Last year the Thomas-led Wolverines placed second in the
Big Ten and earned its first-ever appearance in the AP Top
25.
The best remedy for a depleted team is strong recruiting.
Michigan hopes that a new freshman class and their greater
depth will compensate for the departed seniors and earn

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them another trip to the NCAA Tournament.
There are four freshmen, each with something very dif-
ferent to offer. Forwards Stephanie Gandy or Christie
Schumacher would be the most likely to eventually take the
spot of Thomas.
But fifth-year coach Sue Guevara is not interested in
charging one of her players with the task of replacement.
"There's not one player who's going to come in and take
Stacey Thomas' place," Guevara said. "It's going to be a
total team of defense, of help, of boxing out. They're going
to have to talk when they're on defense. We may be seeing
some more zone.
Of the returning starters, only junior guard Alayne
Ingram averaged more than 10 points per game. Her 34
steals last season - highest among returnees- is but a
shadow of the omnipresent defense of Thomas. Look for the
shift to a zone defense to occur sooner rather than later.
Height is one thing that the Wolverines have not lost to
graduation. Despite the departed prescence of 6-foot-2
Miller and 6-foot Walker, the freshmen will provide greater
size than the graduating seniors. Jennifer Smith stands at 6-
foot-3, and Schumacher is 6-foot.
Schumacher's height can best be used via her play at the
2- or 3-spot. Smith is a center, but will most likely begin the
season behind starter LeeAnn Bies.
If help is to come in the play of an individual, it may be
via the sophomore Bies.
Last year, as a freshman, 6-foot-3 Bies came off the
bench to contribute 10.1 points per game, 169 assists and 30
blocks.
Michigan will need to have continued success from
behind the arc (it outshot opponents .347 to .279 last year
from 3-point land) if it hopes to maintain offensive balance.
Guevara hopes that defenses will be forced to collapse on
Bies in the middle, allowing her to distribute back outside.
Guevara has a plethora of possibilities in her lineup, par-
ticularly with her forwards. Defensively, their size will be
the biggest advantage that the Wolverines will have over
their opponents.
Part of the beauty of having continual success in a
college basketball program is that there is no "most
important" position, nor is there one way to run an
offense or defense.
Unlike replacing a quarterback or an ace pitch-
er, the five players that will take the court for the
Wolverines will share the responsibility of
duplicating or exceeding the successes of last
year.

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Marketing director hopes to improve Crisler attendance

The Spartans were WNIT
quarterfinalists for the sec-
Snd ear insa row, but will
be hard pressed to find even
that success this year

By Jeff Phillips
Daily Sports Writer
With an average attendance of 1,827,
Michigan's new assistant marketing director,
Christina Rende, doesn't think the women's
basketball team has been done justice.
"There just haven't been enough people
exposed to" women's basketball, Rende said.
Rende formerly worked with Iowa State's
women's basketball program and helped it
reach an average attendance of about 11,000.
She believes that Michigan's program isn't very
far away.
"We want to get the word out that they are a
good team," Rende said.
Coach Sue Guevara believes that there is a
strong core of players, but she still wants more.
"We might not have a lot of (fans), but
they're loud," Guevara said. "Can't we just dou-
ble that?"
The Wolverines are coming off three consec-
utive postseason appearances, including two
NCAA Tournament showings. Iowa State was

in a similar situation when Rende joined the
program. Coming off a 17-12 season and a
WNIT appearance, the Cyclones were also on
the verge of basketball's upper echelon.
One option that has been introduced this year
to fans is a season ticket package. While stu-
dents still receive free admission, season tickets
are available for 540 for adults and S20 for chil-
dren and senior citizens.
"We hope that the season tickets will give
fans a sense of ownership and value with the
team," Rende said. "We want to get the com-
munity involved."
The season-ticket offer is part of a plan to get
parents and children more excited about the
program. Rende also wants to get the faculty of
Michigan to feel like a part of the program.
Faculty and staff of the University are being
offered a "Go Blue" pass, which is valid for
free admission to various sporting events,
including women's basketball.
As far as students are concerned, Rende will
have some help in getting the word out from M-
Hoopla - a student-run organization founded

by women's practice squad member Matt
Schettenhelm - which shares the same goals
as Rende.
"It is a sport that hasn't gotten the support it
deserves," Schettenhelm said. "It was embar-
rassing to see that there were no students."
When Schettenhelm came to this realization,
he decided he wanted to do something about it.
But before Schettenhelm joined the practice
squad, he too was not a regular fan.
"Before I joined the practice team, I had
never seen a women's basketball game,"
Schettenhelm said. "But once I actually went to
the games, I realized how exciting they were."
For S10, the group gives students a T-shirt,
discounts to local businesses and perhaps most
importantly, premium seating reserved for M-
Hoopla members.
Additionally, the group will offer special
prize giveaways and in-game promotions.
The first promotion that M-Hoopla will offer
is a chance to meet and shoot with the players on
the Diag this Wendesday from noon to 4 p.m.
Both Schettenhelm and Rende believe that

Site
1. Purdue
2. Wisconsin
3. Ohio State
4. Illinois
5. Penn State
6. Iowa
7. Michigan
8. Michigan State
9. Minnesota
10. Northwestern
11. Indiana

Average
9,428
7,732
7,277
5,484
5,401
3,214
1,827
1,506
1,062
988
717

Good seating still available ~
Last year, the Wolverines played at home in ,
front of a crowd that was much less than those
of other Big Ten schools. Here is a breakdowns
of the attendance stats from last season:

Big Ten Finish
3
T-5
T-8
4
1
7
2
T-5
10
11
T-8

First-year coach Joanne McCallie
finds a returning backcourt, Donita
Johnson and Vnemina Reese, who fail to
score. They combined for onty 8.5 points
per game last season.
The frontcourt carried the team, but
two-thirds of it graduated. Maxann
Reese (16.0 ppg) and Kristen
Rasmussen (14.8 ppg) are gone. Only
forward Becky Cummings (15.1 ppg)
will be back to put points on the board.
McCallie, a former Northwestern
player, leaves Maine after taking them to
six-straight NCAA appearances which
included five conference titles.
WISCONSIN
LAST YEAR'S RECORD: (8-8 Big Ten, 21-
12 overall)
KEY RETURNERS: LaTonya Sims (14.6
ppg, 8.4 rpg); Tamara Moore (13.5
ppg, 5.1 rpg)
LAST YEAR VS. MICHIGAN: Jan. 20, Wisc.
72-69, Feb. 17, Mich. 78-73
While the shoe scan-
dal resonates through-.
-out the Wisconsin ath-
letic department, the
women's basketball

the key to more attendancei
out.

is getting the

wod

"We want to make it fun so fans will want to
come back," Rende said.

2000-2001 WOMEN'S BASKETBALL SCHEDULE

Date
Nov. 5
Nov. 13
Nov. 17
Nov. 19
Nov. 24
Nov. 25
Nov. 26
Dec. 1
Dec. 3
Dec. 7
Dec. 10
Dec. 16
Dec. 28
Dec. 30
Jan. 4
Jan. 7
Jan. 11.
Jan. 14
Jan. 18
Jan. 21
Jan. 25
Jan. 28
Feb. 1

Opponent
The Family Inc. (exhib.)
Gustino Powerbasket Weis (exhib.)
Louisiana Tech
Washington
Arkansas*
N.C. State or Northern Illinois *
Championship Round *
New Hampshire
Western Michigan !
Syrac usee
Marquette
Toledo
Illinois
Purdue (CBS)
Wisconsin
Iowa
Penn State
Ohio State
Northwestern
Ohio State
Michigan State
Northwestern
Minnesota
D ,-. -

Time
2 p.m.
7 p.m.
7 p.m.
2 p.m.
11:10 a.m.
9 or 3:30 p.m.
TBA
7 p.m.
4 p.m.
7 p.m.
4 p.m.
2 p.m.
7 p.m.
2 p.m.
7 p.m.
2 p.m.
7 p.m.
2 p.m.
7 p.m.
4 p.m.
8 p.m.
2p.m.
7 p.m.
1 n. m-

POSSIBLE LINEUPS
Three starters return, one veteran is in, but who will be the fifth player?

In some ways, the starting lineup is almost
set. In others, it's anybody's guess.
Because all the players capable of starting,
"assistant coaches tell me I'm in trouble,"
Guevara said. "It's a nice problem to have."
The backcourt has been solidified. Senior
point guard Anne Thorius has started all but
two games in her Michigan career. Junior
Alayne Ingram, also a starter since her fresh-
man days, is at shooting guard.
The third returning starter, junior Raina
Goodlow, will be back in the frontcourt
where she saw most of her time at power for-
ward.
A C-__ ... .--.. ._. .J t A

ward since she is a more
mobile athlete than Bies.
Goodlow would shift
to the No. 3 spot.
Such a move would
make every player in
the frontcourt over
six feet.
If Smith stays on
the bench, Goodlow
will likely stay at power
forward, meaning either
junior Heather Oesterle or
freshman Christie

said that Oesterle is the team's best defensive
player in the post.
With the backcourt already set, guard
Infini Robinson probably will come off the
bench. However, the sophomore may end
up in the mix somewhere. She has
impressed coaches so far in practice,
Guevara said, making for new option
i for her lineup.
"I could go with four guards and a big
kid inside," Guevara said, showing ho%
wide open the lineup is.
The freshman class as a whole is
Tmaking its case during practice.
mnating poiin.T ue

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