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November 16, 2001 - Image 10

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Publication:
The Michigan Daily, 2001-11-16

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10 - The Michigan Daily - Friday, November 16, 2001

FRIDAY Focus

I _____...

I

Blue's

leading ladies

welcome you to Crisler
Alayne has proven she can shoot. As the
Guard team's point guard, she will now be asked
5-7 to feed the ball to the girls in the post.
Senior Key Stat: 128 career 3-pointers is six shy
of the Michigan record but she is focused
on the single-season assist mark (156).
Say What? Was a varsity golfer in high
school.
Coach G: "What helps Alayne out is her
confidence. She is a very confident per-
son - when we need a basket, she wants
that basket to come from her."

Alvne

INGRAM

Guard
6-O
Senior

Heather ended last season with an ACL
tear in practice the week before the Big
Ten Tournament. Look for her to con-
tribute in every facet of the game.
Key Stat: Averaged 7.0 points a game and
finished third on the team with 71 assists
last season.
Say What? Oesterle loves Harry Potter
and is anticipating today's movie debut.
Coach G: "Nobody works harder on this
team than Heather. She is one of the
more versatile players on the team."

i

a
6

Heather

OESTERLE

Blue has potential; results to come

Forward
5-10
Soph.

By Allison Topp
Daily Sports Writer
This season the Michigan
women's basketball team wants
respect. After going to the NCAA
tournament the last two seasons,
the Wolverines are finally emerging
on the national scene.
Preseason polls have recognized
the strengths of this season's team.
The Associated Press ranked
Michigan No.. 17, its highest pre-
season ranking ever. With more
hype and attention than these
women have ever seen in their col-
legiate careers comes increased
pressure as well.
"I think it's important for future
teams since the writers and polls
High Hopes
in addition to beirg in the AP
Poll, four national publications
have picked the Wolverines as
one of the top 25 teams in the
country this season.
The rankings:>
PUBUCATION RANK
bNDY'S 10TH
STREET AND SwwH's 25TH
ATHLON 18TH
BASKETBALL JOURNAL 21ST

are giving us all this respect now,"
said senior co-captain Heather
Oesterle. "We don't want to blow it
and make people think twice about
giving Michigan respect again."
The Wolverines could use this
season to make a statement. Instead
of being the new kid on the block,
Michigan could become the neigh-
borhood bully, intimidating every
other team. But this new respect is
contingent on winning games, and
a tough early road schedule will
require certain individuals to step
up and to lead the team.
"This season depends on how
we're going to react to the tough
road schedule," senior forward
Raina Goodlow said. "They called
us the 'road warriors' last year. We
won more games on the road than
at home."
The Wolverines have only one
home game in the first 10. Four of
those away matches are against
Notre Dame, Washington,
Louisiana Tech and Louisiana State
- all ranked teams. If Michigan
can survive the games before the
Big Ten season begins, then it has a
great chance of going farther in the
postseason than it ever has gone
before.
The biggest problem Michigan
will have to overcome during con-
ference play is finding a way to

defeat last year's Big Ten champion
Purdue. The Wolverines have
dropped three in row to the Boiler-
makers, something that will need to
change if they hope to win the Big
Ten Conference.
Several players are poised to step
up against Purdue and the other
tough teams during the early road
schedule. Junior forward LeeAnn
Bies was an honorable mention All-
Big Ten selection last year. Over
the summer she traveled to Europe
with a team of Big Ten players. The
experience helped her improve her
footwork because many European
forwards she faced were small and
agile. But LeeAnn thinks she has to
take her defensive effort one step
farther this season.
"Right now they're (the Michi-
gan coaches) are telling me I need
to continually move my feet," Bies
said. "I also have to recognize,
offensively, that I have to go strong
to the hole and not fade away."
Bies weakness is compensated
by the aggressive demeanor of her
teammate, Goodlow. Extremely
agile for a forward, Goodlow's
quick first step to the basket can
beat almost any other forward in
the Big Ten to the hole. If Good-
low's perimeter game improves,
Goodlow could be another leader
on the team this year.

Stephanie made significant contributions
last year as a freshman. This year her role
will increase defensively and offensively.
Key Stat: Averaged 7.1 points per game
and tied for second on the team with 51
offensive rebounds.
Say What? She was class president in high
school.
Coach G: "Stephanie has to be our
defensive stopper. She is a very slashing
type of player and she has got to get
some easy baskets for us too."

-4

Stephan'

leGANDY

Raina is capable of playing inside and
Forward outside. That versatility allows her to be
Snorn the floor with any combination of
Seniorplayers.
Key Stat: Led the team in field goals
made last season with 132. She also started
28 games, tied for most on the team.
Say What? Her bathroom is decorated
with a Scooby Doo motif.
Coach G: "She's got a quick first step to
the basket, she's got a nice shot and can
j ~also post it up.2

I tmd

GOODLOW

Is i - - V 1

LeeAnn was one of Michigan's best play-
Center ers last year. Her presence in the post
6-3 gives Michigan an advantage over most
Junior teams.
Key Stat: Led team in points, rebounds,
blocks and steals per game last season.
Say What? Bies eats two Reese's peanut
butter cups before every game.
Coach G: "She was our leading scorer and
rebounder and I don't know why that
would change except for the fact that I
want more rebounds and more points."

Ingam points in new direction

By Jim Weber
Daily Sports Writer
This is the most anticipatedyseason
in the history of Michigan women's
basketball. The 17th-ranked Wolver-
ines are big, talented and well
coached - but you already know
that. So who will lead this team to a
new level of success?
Coach Sue Guevara is calling on
senior tri-captain Alayne Ingram to
answer that question.
Throughout her career, Ingram has
always been a leader. She motivates
her teammates with emotional play
and was described by Guevara as the
clear on-court leader.
In mid-September, Guevara asked
Ingram to lead in a new way. Gue-
vara moved Ingram from shooting
guard, where she started for three
years, to the point after the gradua-

tion of senior and team MVP Anne
Thorius. Neither Guevara nor Ingram
had another option. The NCAA had
just announced that incoming fresh-
man Mie Burlin, who was expected
to be the starting point guard, was
ineligible to play this season. The
Denmark native was three-fourths of
a credit short of replacing Thorius.
Six-foot-two forward Raina Good-
low and 6-foot-3 centers Jennifer
Smith and LeeAnn Bies will do most
of the scoring. But they will be crip-
pled if Ingram does not make a
smooth transition to her new position.
"I've asked (Ingram) to distribute
the basketball and get it into the
hands of the big kids," Guevara said.
Smith said she was impressed with
Ingram's performance in last Friday's
89-75 exhibition victory over RTU
Klondaika. Ingram scored a team-
high 24 points to go with four assists

and three rebounds.
Guevara loves defense and has
seen Ingram lead by example,
strengthening her on-ball defense,
communicating on the floor and
working hard to better understand the
fundamentals of defense. Ingram's
defensive efforts are even more
appreciated when compared to her
mentality as a freshman.
"(Her defense) has gotten better
over the years," Guevara said. "I
think she came in as a totally offen-
sive player. Defense was a side note."
Guevara sees similarities in the
way Ingram and Thorius play defense
and lead vocally and by example. But
Guevara noted that Thorius' tough-
ness made her special. Ingram's dura-
bility will be tested tonight against
Louisiana Tech after she sprained her
ankle in practice on Monday.
"The half-court line reached up
and grabbed my foot and tripped
me," said Ingram, who then insisted
that she will start in tonight's opener.
A leader must set high standards
for herself and her team, as Ingram
has done. Two of her team goals are
to win a Big Ten Championship and
to prompt fans to pack the lower
bowl at Crisler Arena.
She doesn't even think like a
shooting guard anymore. She used to
think about setting the school record
for three-pointers in a career. She is
within six of that mark, but her new
role has shifted her focus. Now her
goal is to break the Michigan single-
season assist record of 156 set by
Vonnie Thompson in 1987-88.
The respect, the crowd, the title
and the record that Alayne wants are
up to her. Voters, fans, Purdue and
the record books had better be ready.

____BIE

I

0

_--

ALYSSA WOOD/Daily
With Anne Thorius' departure, senior Alayne Ingram becomes the team leader.

I

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