The Wolverine

November 2011

The Wolverine: Covering University of Michigan Football and Sports

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2011-12 basketball preview sion we had as a group when the year started is, ���I have to take it upon myself. I make the difference.��� ���Basketball is a one-player sport in some respects. You look at Larry [Bird], Michael [Jordan], Magic [Johnson] and those guys single-handedly elevated their programs because they were so good at not only getting what they wanted, but they helped other players get what they wanted too. ���That���s what I told our players, ���You can���t spend all your energy just getting what you want, you have to make the other players around you better.��� ���So I think we���re a team in every sense of the word, without a superstar, waiting for someone to emerge. Sheffer is one of those kids that did it last year, but we probably need a lot more people to do it this year.��� The Potential Go-To Players In a number of instances a year ago, Boylan actually possessed the ball with seconds remaining on the shot clock. Though she is not quick off the dribble and has a difficult time getting to the hoop, the Chaska, Minn., native understands how to use ball screens to her advantage, freeing herself for an open shot. A year ago, the 5-7 guard averaged a career-high 6.8 points per game while shooting 38.9 percent from the floor. She averaged 8.8 points as a starter, and scored in double figures in 10 of the 17 games in which she started. ���Courtney is someone that has tons of confidence in herself, in the team, and the team has confidence in her,��� Sheffer said. ���We know she���s going to make a smart decision with the ball in crunch time.��� Sheffer averaged only 7.5 minutes per game in her rookie season, but she made huge strides last year, averaging 11.0 points per game and 3.7 rebounds in 30 games as a starter. The 6-1 forward scored in double figures in 15 contests, including four 20-point games, becoming one of U-M���s most consistent contributors. ���Does she have another level? I think she does,��� Borseth said. ���I think her mental aspect of taking it to a Senior point guard Courtney Boylan averaged a career-high 6.8 points per game while shooting 38.9 percent from the floor last season. photo by per kjeldsen 74��� the wolverine��� ������ November 2011 new level is there. And I think she���s prepared herself over the summer to get there. She has a chance to make another jump. She���s a really good athlete, and she has gotten a lot smarter in the process.��� A left-handed three-point specialist ��� exactly half (51) of her 102 field goals last season were from behind the arc ��� Reynolds has averaged double digits in each of her past two seasons. She slumped a little bit in 2011, shooting just 36.2 percent from the floor compared to 44.5 percent in 2010, but she is capable of rebounding. ���If you don���t guard her, she���s going to put it in the basket,��� Borseth said. ���She���s money. She���s a pool shark. She makes the first shot. ���Her confidence level shows in her ability to shoot. But she can put it on the floor, she can score left- and righthanded. ���The area that Carmen is concerned with is her defensive ability, and she worked hard on it last year, and she���s gotten a little bit better this year, which is good.��� Ryan may be Michigan���s best overall player, doing a little bit of everything. The 5-9 guard has plenty of offensive ability, but doesn���t look for her shot because it���s not the most important facet of her game. ���Jenny Ryan provides intangibles that you really can���t put on paper; she makes players around her better,��� Borseth said. ���Since she���s been here, she���s improved her shot. Is Jenny going to start looking to shoot? I don���t know. I really don���t. I don���t know that Jenny is going to be one of those kids that���s a 20-point-per-game average player. ���She just has one of those winner mentalities, but for me to say Jenny is going to change her game and be different than who she���s been in the past, I don���t think so, but I don���t know that. Another year makes a difference. I think her confidence level is extremely high.��� The wild card is junior Nya Jordan. The 6-0 forward from Detroit started 13 games before a season-ending knee injury. She averaged 7.2 points and 4.2 rebounds while shooting 39.3 percent from the floor. Jordan is a good ball handler and gets to the rim, albeit in a chaotic, unorthodox way in which her coaches and U-M fans might think, ���No, no, no, Yes!���

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