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The Michigan Daily - SportsMonday - October 30, 2000 - 5B
Notorius," the co-captain
4 more assists to
higan's all-time leader.
ked to for her leadership
run the point.
r starter has a career
ow percentage for sec-
at Michigan. She likes to
ters fly, with 81 to her
Michigan banks on experience as the backcourt returns for its third
year in a row
BY BENJAMIN SINGER DAILY SPORTS WRITER
F 6-2 Jr
A returning starter, Goodlo
ing percentage last year of
the fifth-highest in Michiga
She is also capable of hittir
pointers after going 12-of-2
ng the 3.
28 last year.
Heather Oesterle 3 0
G-F S-0 Jr
Guevara predicts that this will be the
year Gesterle breaks through as an
offensive force. After scoring 4.1
points a game, she averaged 8.0
\ points in three postseason games.
Anne Thorius and Alayne Ingram com-
plement each other well. Dont go so
far as to claim one is the yin to the
other's yang, or that they are polar opposites
with a magnetic attraction.
Rather, with guards Thorius and Ingram on
the court, it is more like connecting two puz-
zle pieces. Where one leaves off, the other
picks up. One thrives on assists and the other
on shooting. They join together to make one
Such has been the case for two years. The
prospect of starting side by side for a third year
in a row holds excitement for not only the two
individuals, but for the Michigan women's bas-
ketball team. The backcourt is back again.
A Horsholm, Denmark native, Thorius has
three years of running the point under her belt.
She brings in other international experiences,
such as a captain of the Danish National Team
at age 17.
At Michigan, she has racked up 389 assists,
13 behind all-time team leader Lori
Gnatkowski, whose record has stood since
1984. Thorius is the first Michigan player with
three consecutive 100-assist seasons.
"To accomplish that (record) will make me
feel good," Thorius said. "It's the one part of
my game that I am most complete in."
The junior, Ingram, plays the aptly named
position of shooting guard. She is sixth on
Michigan's career 3-point list with 81 and is
second in free-throw shooting percentage at
.848. Her 12.4 points per game last year is the
highest for returning players on the team.
She makes herself an inviting recipient for a
"Anne is very good at creating. Alayne loves
to take that big shot," Michigan coach Sue
Guevara said. "Anne knows when Alayne is
hot, you feed that fire."
Ingram has worked on her sweet stroke for
Being a prominent shooter is "what I want
to do," Ingram said. "But one of the things I
want to work on this year is my defense. I
know I can score, and so do my teammates."
Both hold a position of leadership for the
Wolveines. Thorius has the official title of
senior co-captain along with Katie Dykhouse.
Unofficially, she has been dubbed by team-
mates "the glue that holds Michigan together"'
"Age and international experience help me,"
Thorius said. "I know that when I'm not play-
ing well, it's not time for me to take over, it's
time for other people to take over and feed off
Though Ingram is a year younger, she is
anxious for a similar role. After two successful
seasons of reaching the postseason at
Michigan, the entire junior class has stepped
into a leadership position for the six under-
"It's all about how you impact your team-
mates, and I think that my class and myself, we
impact them in a positive way" Ingram said.
Their experience translates into more than
emotionally guiding the team. The guards are
comfortable next to each other on the floor,
where they have been the past two years.
"Over the years, we've gotten used to each
other," Ingram said. "We feed off each other so
well because we know what excites us."
Ingram set up a scenario. Thorius pushes the
ball up on a fastbreak. Ingram sits on the
perimeter. Thorius kicks it off to Ingram.
"For me to hit the shot from her pass is going
to get me excited;' Ingram said. "For her to
throw me the ball on the pass gets her excited."
Such situations are like a second nature now
for the Thorius-Ingram duo.
"We learned how to read each other's
games,"Thorius said. "I know exactly where to
Alayne Ingram and Anne Thorius lead the Michigan offense once again from the guard positions.
find Alayne when I'm out on the court"
"I know where to be," Ingram interjected.
"It's not always a matter of verbal commu-
nication,"Thorius continued. "It's just natural."
The interdependence the players display
during games gets disrupted for practices.
They can go from friends to foes once the
competitive juices start flowing.
"There have been times in practice when
we're on opposite teams and it gets heated
because we both want to win," Ingram said.
"Anne and me, we disagree more than any-
body. I disagree with her."
Ingram tried to think how often.
"All the time,"Thorius chimed in.
"One tite, we just kept talking back and
forth" Ingram recalled. "Coach finally said,
'Will you two just shut up'?"'
The trash-talking and disputes during
closed-door scrimmages are beneficial to the
growth of their relationship and the team.
"It brings a competitive drive you need to
have in practice,"Thorius said. "I think it's just
a friendship that develops into competitiveness
on the floor."
Thrown onto opposing teams in these
intrasquad matchups, absence makes the heart
"Not playing with each other- in practice
helps us iu see how good we are for each
other," Ingram said. "We can understand how
it is not to have each other on our team."
They rarely deal
with separation anxi- "We feed off ea
ety during games. well because W
Thorius started all excites us."
her games as a fresh-
man. Ingram joined
6 5.7 Jr
Jara saw limited time after walking on
the team her freshman year. Her min-
utes increased last year to 2.7 per
game in 10 games. She scored her
first points at Minnesota last year.
, . ;
number she knew without hesitation even two
years later - before she was a starter again.
Thorius has only seen two games at
Michigan without starting. Both came last
year. The second time she sat down was
because of a deep thigh bruise she suf-
fered at Indiana. But it was the first game
she didn't start that hurt more than any
"It was terrible" Thorius said of watching
the tipoff against Central Michigan from the
bench. "I was playing horrendous. I did not
have my head in the game at all"
Similar to Ingram, Guevara called Thorius
into her office and explained why she lost her
"Last year in the nonconference schedule,
Anne was struggling," Guevara said. "I
thought she was hurting the tearm more than
helping the team"
For the first time in her career, Thorius
entered into a game after it was already under-.
"For some reason it's such a different feeling
coming off the bench," Thorius said. "I
remember feeling more nervous than I've ever
been. It was a lack of confidence in myself. It
was a lack of confidence from the coaches, I
Her sixth-man role was short-lived as she
exhibited the ability Guevara. had expected
from her before.
"Once she got into that
ch other so game, the way she ran the
know what team - it was a kick in the
butt, Guevara said.
She was back in the line-
-A layne Ingrain up the next game in time for
the Big Ten season. In conference games, she
averaged 11.4 points and 5.1 assists.
Ingram and Thorius, like the Wolverines
themselves, find that no matter what they
accomplish, they are always underestimated by
"I know how badly they both want the,
respect as one of the best backcourts," Guevara
Michigan is counting on the past couple of
years to add up.
"We definitely build on the experiences year
after year,"' Thorius said. "Now we're coming
down to that third season. That's what is going
to give us an advantage against other back-
courts in the Big Ten."
LAST YEAR'S RECORD: (6-10 Big Ten, 9-
KEY RETURNERS: Lindsey Meder (19.1
ppg, 4.1rpg); Cara Consuegra (14.6
ppg, 3.7 rpg); Jerica Watson (8.5
ppg, 6.8 rpg)
LAST YEAR VS. MICHIGAN: Jan. 23, Mich.
82-78; Feb. 24, Mich. 78-61
Iowa didn't grad-
uate a single player
last year, but the
Hawkeyes have a
brand-new coaching staff.
"We obviously want to see
improvement, but we know we're a
new staff building from the ground
floor up," Iowa coach Lisa Bluder
Bluder's goal is to mesh the new
coaching staff with the players
before she scouts out her opponents.
She hasn't considered avenging two
losses to Michigan last year.
"We're concentrating on our own
team right now," Bluder said. "We're
not thinking ahead to who we haye
to play or playing in the Big Ten."
LAST YEAR'S RECORD: (5-11 Big Ten,
KEY RETURNERS: LaToya Turner (11.5
ppg, 5.9 rpg)
LAST YEAR VS. MIcHIGAN: Feb. 6, Mich.
Ohio State is com-
ing off a rebuilding
year after making an
appearance in 1998.
The Buckeyes have hope for the
future in 2000 Big Ten Freshman of
the Year, LaToya Turner.
Turner - the team's leading scor-
er, rebound, and shot-blocker - had
her season ended with a knee sprain
last year. She will once again have to
lead if the Buckeyes expect to make
it to a postseason tournament.
Ohio State also returns four
starters and 10 of 12 players from
last year's squad. Turner is joined by
fellow sophomores D'wan
Shackleford and Courtney Coleman
in one of the Big Ten's youngest
LAST YEAR'S RECORD: (5-11 Big Ten,
KEY RETURNERS: Jill Champman (16.1
ppg, 7.8 rpg); Heather Cassady
(15.2 ppg, 3. apg); Rainey Alting
(10.8 ppg, 1.8 spg)
LAST YEAR VS.MICHIGAN: Jan. 6, Ind.
77-72; Feb. 13, Mich. 85-58
The good news for the
Hoosiers is everyone is
back. The bad news is,
they finished near the cel-
lar last year.
A coaching change has been made
this year in the women's department at
Indiana as well. Kathi Bennett, daugh-
ter of Wisconsin's men's coach Dick
Bennett, takes over after rebuilding
Evansville's program in the Missouri
Valley Conference. Bennett also has a
Division Ill national championship to
her credit with Wisconsin-Oshkosh.
Vincennes junior-college transfer
Jelena Lazic averaged 14.4 points and
8.4 rebounds per game. At 6-foot-6,
she will challenge 6-foot-5 Jill
Chapman for the center position.
LAST YEAR'S REcORD: (3-13 Big Ten,
KEY RETURNERS: Lindsay Lieser (8.4
LAST YEAR VS. MIcHIGAN: Jan. 2, Mich.
77-53; Jan. 30, Mich. 73-55
The posters for the
Golden Gophers pro-
claim "The future is
now." Minnesota better
hope so with the underclassmen out-
numbering the upperclassmen 12
(eight freshmen, four sophomores)'to
five (four juniors, one senior).
Minnesota was hampered by injuries
last year, once having to hold practice
with just six healthy players. Kim Bell
and Jackie Tate are coming back from
injuries that hurt their performances.
Many freshmen will be forced to
step in right away with such a young
team. The Gophers expect the biggest
contributions from the new class to be
Tanisha Gilbert, whose best high-
school season was her junior year when
she averaged 22.3 points, 9.8 rebounds
and 5.0 steals.
LAST YEAR'S RECORD: (3-13 Big Ten, 7-
KEY RETURNERS: Tami Sears (11.9
ppg, 7.4 rpg); Dana Leonard (9.9
LAST YEAR vS. MICHIGAN: Feb. 27,
Mich. 70-46; Mar. 3, Mich. 72-39
Northwestern was tied for
last in the Big Ten in 1999-
2000, but coach June ,
Olkowski is hopeful about
this year's team.
The Wildcats are led by Tami Scars
.71% . -----i -t.L.n hnt
LeeAnn Bies 44
C 6-3 So
Bies made the Big Ten Coaches' all-
freshman team last year, scoring 10.1
points and 6.0 rebounds per game off
the bench. Bies should make her
mark as a starter this year.
Robinson had a career high of 10
points in a game twice in her first year
off the bench. She saw seven minutes
per game in 22 games, incliding a
start versus Central Michigan.
her in the backcourt in her freshman year.
Ingram found herself on the bench for the
"I had struggled," Ingram said. "I was start-
ing to think about it too much. Basketball is
just a game. You play it."
Her struggles meant she didn't get to play it
- at least not at the game's first whistle.
Guevara decided to use her offthe bench rather
than let her start.
"I was crushed, I was upset and I was
angry,' Ingram remembered. "But I told her
that was fine because I was going to be back in
the starting lineup. I worked hard for it and
giving it up wasn't something I wanted to do."
Ingram came off the bench six times - a
Christie Schumacher 41
F 511 Fr
Also capable of playingshooting
guard, Schumacher was runner-up as
Miss Basketbaball in Michigan. She
scored 29.2 points per game as a
senior in high school.
Women turn in best season ever
Jennifer Smith S 4
C 6-3 Fr
Smith joins Bies as the tallest on the
team. As a high school senior, Smith
*averaged 17.9 points and 9.2
rebounds per game. She played with
Schumacher on her AAU team.,
F 510 Fr
By David Roth
Daily Sports Writer
This year's Michigan women's basket-
ball record book needs plenty of time to
The Wolverines whited out previous
years' marks of mediocrity as the team's
unprecedented season toppled record after
The Wolverines had 1999-2000
their best run in histo-
ry, boasting a 22-8 Recap)
mark and finishing see-
oid in the Big Ten with a 13-3 conference
"Last season was obviously our most
successful one," Michigan coach Sue
Guevara said. "I think that one of the rea-
sois was experience.
"We graduated three seniors and they
had all been in the system - they knew
what we expected, what the Big Ten was
all about, the commitment that it took."
Seniors Alison Miller, Stacey Thomas
and Kenisha Walker all left Michigan at
Winning 22 regular-season games,
including 13 Big Ten contests
Michigan had a perfect 8-0 Big Ten
home record, and Crisler Arena was the
stage where the Wolverines upset '1999
NCAA champion Purdue.
"That was big because it was on nation-
al TV," Guevara said. "It was great win-
ning here at home on CBS, just proving
that we could play with one of the best
teams in the country."
Although beating Purdue showed that
the Wolverines were the real deal,
Michigan also got a chance to erase some
bad history when it traveled to Columbus
on Feb. 6.
Michigan avenged 17 losses in a row in
Buckeye country when they beat Ohio
State 65-61 in front of the largest crowd to
watch the Wolverines all season.
The story of Michigan's season was
Thomas. She led the team averaging 14.5
points, 7.7 rebounds, and 3.4 steals, and
was second on the team with 21 blocked
and third on the team with 64 assists.
Thomas set Michigan and Big Ten
I Y-9-2000 1G TE~N STNDINGS
1999-2000 MICHIGAN STATISTCS
Called the "Gandy Dancer," the
freshman had five quintuple-doubles
in her high school career. She also
boasts an excellent academic
ra record; graduating with a 4.0 GPA.
Stacey Thomas 14.5
Alayne Ingram 12.4
LeeAnn Bies 10.1
G 5-8 Fr
Nashua, N.H. -A
eies 6.O rn I