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March 18, 2010 - Image 10

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The Michigan Daily, 2010-03-18

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10A - Thursday, March 18, 2010

The Michigan Daily - michigandaily.com

Borseth lifting Wolverines out of shadows

M ichigan women's
basketball has been
basement dweller for
most of its 36-year history. But
those years of obscurity appear to
be over. A
When
Michigan SCARANO
coach Kevin On Women's
Borseth took Basketball
the job inAnn
Arbor three years ago, the pro-
gram had seen six postseasons

and never advanced past the
second round ina national tour-
nament.
Borseth went to the WNIT in
his first year at the helm, and the
Wolverines wound up losing to
Michigan State. After going10-20
in his second year, the Wolverines
sat on the NCAA Tournament
bubble going into Monday's Selec-
tion Day. While they didn't make
the pool of 64, Michigan is poised
to make a deep run in the Nation-

al Invitational Tournament - and
that could be a blessing. If it had
made the NCAA, that would have
meant playing at one of a number
of sites spread throughout the
country against the best teams
in the nation. Advancing would
have been a tall task for a young
team with very little postseason
experience.
But Michigan can very realisti-
cally do some damage in the NIT,
and a championship could take

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the program out of the shadows.
And maybe next season they will
see the NCAA. After all, with
two starting freshmen and four
returning starters, having a num-
ber of familiar faces in the next
three years is only goingto play
to Michigan's advantage, helping
them alongthe road to becoming
a basketball powerhouse.
And Friday's first-round NIT
matchup against Kent State (20-
10 overall, 12-4 MAC) is just the
beginning.
"I'm just thrilled,
excited, anxious," fresh-
man guard Jenny Ryan
said. "I have no idea what
to expect. We're just so
excited because it's a new
thing for a lot of us. Half
the team has never seen
postseason play before, so
it's crazy."
As he has done on two
occasions in past coaching
jobs, Borsethlooks to turn
the program around. He
took Michigan Tech to the
NCAA Division II Tourna-
ment seven times in his 11
years as head coach before
coaching University of Wis-
consin-Green Bay to seven
NCAA tournament berths
in his nine years there.
This has been the first

year players recruited by Borseth
have seen significant minutes,
and with three graduating seniors
and only one junior, the program
will be almost entirely picked by
the veteran postseason tourna-
ment coach next year.
While Borseth didn't have
much of a choice in starting two
freshmen this season after six
seniors graduated lastyear - four
of whom started - not only has
it proved a success, but the expe-
rience freshman gaurds Ryan
and Dayeesha Hollins will have
gained going into their sopho-
more year could help the team
finish out those few extra games
they needed for a Tourney bid.
There is no question that before
the talented freshman class ledby
Ryan and Hollins complete their
careers at Michigan, the team, like
the others Borseth has taken to
new heights, will no longer be one
of anonymity.
"I think that anybody around
basketball that understands rec-
ognizes what we're going through
in trying to build our program,"
Borseth said on Big Ten Media
Day before the season. "I think
they can see that. It's going to
work. It's worked every other
place, and it's going to work here.
It's just the amount of time it's
going to take."

6

40

ARIEL BOND/Daily
Michigan coach Kevin Borseth led Green lay and
Michigan Tech to postseason appearances.

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