The Michigan Daily - michigandaily.com
Thursday, November 10, 2011 - 7A
New faces, old veterans will have Michigan
women's team ready to dance in March
It has been 3,887 days since
the Michigan women's bas-
ketball team last appeared
in the NCAA Tournament.
The current freshmen were
in third grade when the Wolver-
ines lost to
Notre Dame MICHAEL
on March 19, LAURILA
2001 in the
second round. On Women's
was under the
direction of then-coach Sue Gue-
More than 10 years later, there
are a lot of new faces in Ann
Arbor, but the Wolverines are
looking for similar success.
Instead of Guevara, Kevin
Borseth is the coach hoping to
get Michigan back to the Big
Borseth had an immediate
impact when he arrived in 2007,
posting a 16-14 record after five
consecutive losing seasons. Dur-
ing his tenure he has recorded
three winning seasons and
two WNIT appearances, but
no NCAA Tournament appear-
Two seasons ago he took the
Wolverines to the semifinals of
the WNIT, which was the deep-
est postseason finish in the pro-
But last year, entering the
WNIT as a title contender, they
suffered a devastating first-
round loss to the Eastern Michi-
Michigan returns four start-
ers and almost its entire roster
this season. The Wolverines did
lose key contributor Veronica
Hicks. The entire team now con-
sists of "Borseth players," as the
for a t
t seniors comprise the tom dwellers Minnesota and
cruiting class he had as Illinois, the selection committee
oach. didn't find a place for the Wol-
vhat does this mean? verines in the field of 64 teams.
neans that not only is One way to ensure a spot in the
an due to make the NCAA Big Dance is to win the Big Ten
ament, but it has the right Tournament and earn the auto-
ients to do so. The expec- matic bid that comes with that
is tourney or bust. As it championship. It would be the
be. first time in school history that
pefully we can learn from Michigan won a Big Ten Title.
ear) and this year we can It's not an unrealistic goal, but
orward because I think we the Big Ten is deep and a tough
o - I think we need to," conference to navigate.
h said at Michigan Media "We've been so close (to mak-
ing the tournament) these past
two years," said senior guard
Courtney Boylan. "It was really
hard for us last year not getting
e're inching in because we beat some really
good teams, but our win column
r way closer just wasn't big enough to get
winning that "We got third last year and
Ten we're inching our way closer to
g Ten title. winning that Big Ten title and I
definitely believe that this could
be our year to do it."
When the Wolverines kick off
hink our basketball com- their season on Friday against
rexpects that, and we feel Florida in Gainesville, they will
o we're going to try to do have 114 days until the conclu-
hing we can to make that sion of the Big Ten Tournament
to make a case for their NCAA
season was probably the Tournament berth.
the Wolverines have come With a roster filled with
king it to the Big Dance upperclassmen, Michigan has
Borseth. They went 10-6 the experience to dance in
Ten play, which was good March.
bird-place finish. Coinci- Returning four starters also
y, this third-place finish shows that the Wolverines have
e best finish Michigan has the necessary talent to do so.
nce 2001 - the year it last Borseth has done an excellent
ed in the NCAA Tourna- job turning the program around
without his own players since
after going 4-6 in the last he arrived four years ago, so it
of the season and suffer- seems they also have the right
gh losses to Big Ten bot- coach at the helm to lead this
Seniorforward Carmen Reynolds is hoping to have Michigan in the Big Dance in her final year in Ann Arbor.
seasoned Michigan team. No Name Pos Ht Yr Hometown
The question isn't whether
they can do it, but whether they 1 Brenae Harris G 5-10 Fr. Marion, Ohio
will do it. Will they stay focused 2 Courtney Boylan G 5-7 Sr. Chaska, Minn.
down the stretch? Will they win -
the games they should and win 4 Jamillya Hardley G-F 5-9 Sr. Grand Rapids, Mich.
some they shouldn't? 11 Sam Arnold F 6-4 Jr. Medinah, l l.
As the Wolverines have yet to 12 Kate Thompson G 6-4 Jr. Plymouth, Minn.
play a game, it remains to be seen
whether or not they will be danc- 14 Nicole Elmblad G 6-1 Fr. St. Ignace, Mich.
ing in March. 21 Nya Jordan F 6-0 Jr. Detroit
But if they're not dancing in --- -
March in the NCAA Tourna- 22 Cyesha Goree F 6-3 Fr. Grand RapidsMich.
ment, at least they'll still be able 23 Aquashia Anderson G 5-8 Fr. Meridian, Miss.
"We really get into dancing," 24 Jenny Ryan G 5-9 Jr. Saginaw, Mich.
senior forward Carmen Reyn- 33 Carmen Reynolds G-F 6-0 Sr. Hilliard Ohio
olds said about preseason team
activities. "It's really funny. 34 Val Driscoll C-F 6-4 So Stoughton, Mass.
We'll do like the Cupid shuffle 44 Rachel Sheffer C-F 6-1 Jr. Watervliet, Mich.
and other crazy dances as a team 54 Kendra Seto F-C 6-1 So. Oshawa Ontario
before tailgates. It's alot of fun."
The Daily women's basketball
writers do their best
to predict what will happen in
the world of college
basketball this season.
Michigan regular season record 20-9 16-13 22-7 20-9
BgTen Champion Purdue Penn Stale Purdue Purdoe
Big Ten second place Penn Stale Ohio Slate Michigan Penn Stale
Big Ten third place Michigan Purdue Penn State Ohio State
Big Ten MVP Lykendra Johnson. Michigan Stale Ales Bentley, Penn Stale Brittany tayhurn, Purdue Samantha Prahalis, Ohio Slate
BigTen Coach of the Year Coquese Washington. Penn State Sharon Versyp, Purdue Coquese Washingfon SharonVersyp
BigTen suprise team Illinois Wisconsin Wisconsin Michigan
Michigan MVP Courtney Boylan Carmen Reynolds Rachel Sheffer Courtney Boylan
National PlayerAof the Year rittney Griner, uaylor Brittney Griner Brittney Griner Brittney Griner
Michigan's season ends here NCAA Second Round NIT Second Round NCAA First Round NCAA Second Rsund
NCAA Final Four North Carolina Baylor Baylor Baylor
Connecticut Teoas A&M North Carolina Teoas A&M
Stanford Notre Dame Stanford Stanford
Louisville Stanford Connecticut Connecticut
'M ' owTHE NEW LINE CINESE CUISINE
Mopens season with test in GaineLIsville -
By MATT SPELICH
Daily Sports Writer
At Tuesday's practice - one of
the Michigan women's basketball
team's last before flying to Florida
for its season opener - sopho-
more center Val
going head- Michigan
to-head in the t
post with junior
forward Sam Matchup:
Arnold. Michigan 0-0;
Arnold was Florida 0-0
holding strong, When: Friday
batting down 4:30 P.M.
every pass Where:
she could get O'Connell
her hands on. Center
was screaming from the sideline,
"Two hands Val, two hands!"
At the other end of the court,
associate head coach Dawn Plit-
zuweit was running the guards
through a pick-and-roll drill, all
while screaming the same thing,
"Two hands, guys, two hands!"
The next moment Driscoll
grabbed the ball, faked up and
went under the high-flying Arnold
for the lay in - all with two hands.
"That's an area of ours that's a
concern," Borseth said. "We've
been working on blocking out and
driving by people, but most impor-
tantly we are looking to go after
the ball with two hands."
While going after the ball with
two hands may seem like far too
basic of a skill to be stressing at
this point in the season, Borseth
knows his team will need to be
strong on all its fundamentals,
even the most basic, if it hopes to
compete against the Gators - who
have their scaly eyes set on anoth-
er 20-win season.
"(Florida's) quick," Borseth
said. "I just got a scouting report
from one of the teams that played
them in the NIT. They put the let-
ters 'qq,'which means quick quick,
by the quick kids, and they got a
bunch of those. They also have
they got a big kid in the middle
who's about 6-foot-4. Very typical
of a southeast team, very athletic,
Playing a team of this caliber,
this early in the season is a dra-
matic change for Michigan whose
first opponents from the last
few seasons included the likes of
Akron, Alcorn State and Ball State.
Borseth refuses to waver on his
"You got to find out where
you're at at some point whether
it's the first game of the year or
the third," Borseth said. "A lot of
scheduling comes down to look-
ing for teams that can play you
when there's openings in your
schedule, it just happened to be
Florida this time. I told that to
(Michigan men's basketball coach
John) Beilein, and he said, 'You're
going to play Florida your first
game? Are you kidding me?' But
this is the way to get road tested
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Junior forward Sam Arnold and Michigan need to slow down Florida's quckness.