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January 28, 2014 - Image 8

Resource type:
The Michigan Daily, 2014-01-28

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8 - Tuesday, January 28, 2014

The Michigan Daily - michigandaily.com

8 ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~. -.usaJnay2,,04TeMcia aiy-mciadiyo

Thompson's hot
hand leads Blue
By LEV FACHER Angeles-area native. "But I
Daily Sports Writer know her dad trained her every
single day. They'd be in the park
When it comes to ... that was her summer job."
underclassmen with a nasty Opponents have begun to ret-
habit of taking over games at the ognize Thompson's long-range
Crisler Center by raining down abilities, meaning her presence
outside shots, Siera Thompson serves only to spread the defense
doesn't get much attention, wider for the Wolverines' ever-
But over the last few months, improving inside players, name-
the freshman guard has quietly ly junior forward Cyesha Goree.
climbed the ranks of the best The 3-point-shooting duties,
shooters in women's college interestingly, seem to have been
basketball. She currently sits passed from one Thompson to
in seventh place nationally in the next. Kate Thompson (no
3-point field-goal percentage relation) graduated in May after
- her conversion rate of 47.1 breaking Michigan's all-time
percent is best in the Big Ten. records for career 3-pointers
Thompson's consistency has made and 3-pointers made in a
been remarkable, particularly single season.
for a freshman. She also ranks Similarly, her efforts created
seventh in free-throw shoot- many low-post opportunities
ing, having missed only five of for Rachel Sheffer, another
her 57 attempts this year. While recent graduate, who ranks 12th
Penn State's Maggie Lucas and on Michigan's list of all-time
her next-to-perfect mark of 96.6 leading scorers.
percent on foul shots are beyond Thompson's success hasn't
untouchable, Thompson has gone without recognition -
also established herself as the she picked up her first Big Ten
nation's top Freshman
freshman free- of the Week
throw shooter, award on Jan,
On both "I was always 20. After her
lists, Thomp- rough outing
son is the only in the gym. I'd against the
freshman in Buckeyes, she
the top 10, a get as many recovered on
fact that may Sunday to pace
have played shots up as I the Wolverines
a role in her with 13 points
emergence as could before in their 60-44
Michigan's c d o n road win over
go-to sharp- condition g. Wisconsin.
shooter. While
"I think (the sophomore
gym) was kind guard Madison
of her place Ristovski
to come when she was getting shouldered the distribution
adjusted," said Michigan coach and free-throw shooting loads,
Kim Barnes Arico. "That's where Thompson took care of business
she would find her peace." from the outside, converting on
Having arrived in Ann Arbor all three of her triple attempts.
in early June, Thompson had 'She just has such a smooth
plenty of time to get acclimated stroke," Barnes Arico said.
before the start of the season. "It's a little unorthodox, maybe
But hoisting up hundreds of because she's smaller."
shots per day was hardly a new Barnes Arico was refer-
routine - if anything, it was ring to Thompson's tendency
the norm. to push the ball from the right
"I was always in the gym," she side, using both hands for power
said. "I'd get as many shots up as more than the typical youth bas-
I could before conditioning." ketball coach might like to see.
Thompson's only recent off But her stroke is working,
night came Thursday against and has become an integral
Ohio State, when she was far part of a remarkable Michigan
from the only Wolverine whose resurgence for a team that was
shots wouldn't fall. And despite expected by most to finish
going only 1-for-6 on 3-point- near the bottom of the Big Ten
ers, Thompson rose from 10th standings. But when Thompson
to seventh in the country in can connect from deep on a
3-point percentage. consistent basis - which is
"The move from California more often than not - the
was a big one for her," Barnes Wolverines can play with any
Arico said of Thompson, a Los team in the conference.

Sophomore forward Mitch McGary has developed a new rote asa vocal leader on the Michigan sideline, noteably last weekend, since his surgey in January.
MeGary's role on the ''sdln

Daily Sports Writer
While the Michigan
basketball team has mo
since losing Mitch R
to lower-back surger
sophomore forward
moved on from sup
the 10th-ranked Wolver
winners of nine straigh
he last played.
On Saturday, McGar
his presence
felt on the
(7-0 Big Ten, "It'
15-4 overall)
sideline, wa
encouraging ge
and keeping
histeammates pe
focused on
the game. the
"I'm Coach
McGary said
to reporters
after the game
Saturday. "It's
difficult just watching
get a different perspec
the game just by watch
telling them little thins
and there ... but I thinki
a lot."
Since having the
in the beginning of J
McGary said he's been1
to "normal day acti
With no start date for
yet, McGary has bee
to rest. The 6-foot-
man has no problem
following doctor's orde
that doesn't mean h
frustrated on the bench

IAN "(I'm) still not allowed to do
r much," he said. "It stinks when
I want to jump off the bench
men's and give a fist pump."
ved on Unable to raise his fist to
McGary pump it on Saturday, McGary
y, the tried to do the next-best thing
hasn't by holding up a whiteboard in
porting the second half of Michigan's
rines - 80-75 victory over Michigan
it since State that read "WIN THE
GAME!" Unfortunately for
y made McGary, though, he won't be
making any
more road
trips in the
s difficult just near future.
tching, but I Michigan
coach John
t a different Beilein said
rspective of wouldn't be
attending the
game just by game against
the Spartans
Watching." because
he was
would move
but I too much on the sideline in
tive of excitement.
ing and McGary, however, said he
gs here knew he would be attending
it helps the game from the beginning of
the week.
surgery "I made sure I would be at
anuary, (the Michigan State game),"
limited he said. "Earlier this week, I
vities." told him he could make sure
rehab I was coming to State. But I
n told probably won't be at any other
10 big road games."
s with Since McGary doesn't intend
ers, but to travel on anymore road trips
e's not anytime soon, like to Indiana
1. and Iowa, he will have to

resort to watching the games
and supporting his teammates
in spirit like he did after his
surgery - at his apartment.
McGary may not be there in
person, but that doesn't stop
him from having his voice
heard during games.
"I was texting a couple of the
guys onthebench," he said, "not
the players but the guys behind
the bench at halftime telling
the guys to stay motivated."
While being on the bench
has its advantages over being
at home, there are still some
instances where watching the
game from McGary's humble
abode may be better. Like, for
instance, when having to deal
with opposing teams fans.
"It was pretty bad still,"
McGary said about dealing
with hecklers at the Breslin
Center. "Not going to say what
they said, but it was pretty
Though it's known that
McGaryis out indefinitely, there
still remains the possibility of
him returning when the NCAA
Tournament starts in March.
While it remains too soon to
speculate, that doesn't mean
the Preseason All-American
hasn't thought about it.
"It's possible," he said. "I
would love to, but I don't want
to rush back into it."
Notes: Sophomore guard
Nik Stauskas was named the
Big Ten's Player of the Week
for the second straight week
after averaging 22.5 points,
3.5 rebounds and 4.5 assists
while shooting 60 percent from
beyond the arc in Michigan's

two games last week.
Additionally, CBSSports.com
and CollegeSportsMadness.
com named him Player of the
Freshman guard Derrick
Walton Jr. also racked up some
hardware after being named
the Big Ten Freshman of the
Week. The Detroit native
posted a career-high 19 points
against the Spartans to go
along with six rebounds and
four assists.
With Michigan's wins over
then-No. 10 Iowa and then-
No. 3 Michigan State, the
Wolverines moved up to No. 10
in the Associated Press top-25
poll. After holding down the
No. 21 spot in last week's poll,
Michigan now stands at its
second-highest ranking for the
season after beginning the year

Aren't we all?



_ I. I

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