The Wolverine

November 2018

The Wolverine: Covering University of Michigan Football and Sports

Issue link:

Contents of this Issue


Page 55 of 83

56 THE WOLVERINE NOVEMBER 2018 2018-19 BASKETBALL PREVIEW BY ANDREW HUSSEY K atelynn Flaherty isn't walking through that door. Gone from the Wolver- ines roster is Michigan's all-time leading scorer in Flaherty, and with her goes 2,776 career points, which ranked 27th in NCAA history. Flaherty, who averaged 22.9 points per game as a senior, helped lead Michigan to the NCAA Tournament for the first time since 2013. Flaherty was undoubtedly one of the greatest players in program his- tory, but life goes on without her. While Flaherty's presence will be missed, the Wolverines are looking to build off their successful 2017-18 campaign. Seventh-year head coach Kim Barnes Arico knows that there will be questions about losing her star, but she believes her program is in a good spot, thanks to its depth and defense. Instead of relying on one single player, the Wolverines will turn to a group of talented players. "Katelynn Flaherty is a once-in-a- lifetime player. Her ability to score the basketball is like nothing I've ever seen, and I've been coaching for a long time," Barnes Arico said. "She's irreplaceable as a scorer. "I think the thing that we have that we haven't had since I've been here is a tremendous amount of depth." Gone is the bedrock of the past four years, but the Wolverines brought in one of their best-ever recruiting classes, a five-freshman group that made up the 12th-best class in college basketball, according to ESPN. Sophomore Hailey Brown is one of Michigan's three returning start- ers. The 6-1 forward, who started the first 27 games last campaign before suffering a season-ending injury, said the team is completely different from last year. "With the new additions that we have on our team, I think everyone on our team is a scorer," Brown said. "So the floor is spread more." Without Flaherty in the fold, oppo- nents will see a completely different attack when they face the Wolverines this time around. "I think it's more of a balanced at- tack," Barnes Arico said. "Our kids are excited about that. Last year, ev- eryone on the court was trying to get Katelynn Flaherty the ball at all times, and sometimes that stopped our offensive movement." One of the focal points of Michi- gan's tweaked offense this season will be senior center Hallie Thomas. The 6-5, two-time All-Big Ten first- team selection averaged 17.4 points and 7.0 rebounds last year, while shooting 61.6 percent from the field. "You don't have a 6-5 player that comes along every day that can do the things she's done," Barnes Arico said. "The WNBA is calling every day, and people are coming by and want to watch her. She's just been a really special player in our program." Senior guard Nicole Munger has played alongside Thome for the past three seasons. She has seen Thome grow into the player she is today. "There is no ceiling," Munger said. The way she's working on the court, off the court, her hunger to get better every day is just next level." More might be asked of Thome this season, but she said she isn't feeling the pressure of being the go-to scorer that Flaherty was. A NEW APPROACH Michigan Will Replace Its Departed All-Time Leading Scorer Through Depth And Defense Senior center Hallie Thome is Michigan's lead- ing returning scorer (17.4 points per game) and rebounder (7.0 per game). PHOTO BY PER KJELDSEN

Articles in this issue

Archives of this issue

view archives of The Wolverine - November 2018