The Wolverine

November 2018

The Wolverine: Covering University of Michigan Football and Sports

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58 THE WOLVERINE NOVEMBER 2018 2018-19 BASKETBALL PREVIEW in five talented fresh- men, the Wolverines also added graduate transfer Taylor Rooks from Harvard. The 6-0 guard/forward was a second-team All-Ivy selection last year after averaging 12.5 points and 7.3 re- bounds per game. T h a t i m p re s s i v e depth can help Michi- gan win games. "Once we translate it into games, it's go- ing to be so much harder for people to guard us," Munger said. "You look at teams last year like Nebraska, they had four or five kids that could score 10 points a g a m e , a n d y o u don't know which one is going to go off that day. I think that's what we're going to be like this year." The five freshmen are a major part of Michigan's depth, and Barnes Arico is happy with what she's seen so far from her first-year players. "They have not disappointed," the coach said. "I know we haven't played a game yet, but the energy, the enthusiasm, the intensity that they bring to the court every day is phenomenal." The most impressive of those fresh- men so far has been guard Amy Dilk. She has found herself al- ready in the starting lineup. With her smooth game, Dilk hasn't shown any fear in her first weeks of practice. "She was here in July and August, and she's really transitioned well," Barnes Arico said. "And since the start of practices, , she's taken off. She really has a tremendous presence and a calmness about her that point guards need to have. She has an in- credible feel for the game." Dilk was named the Indiana Gato- rade Player of the Year by USA Today and Indiana Miss Basketball, after she averaged 17.8 points, 6.7 assists and 5.6 rebounds as a senior and was ranked as ESPN's No. 40 recruit in the land. Even though she's just a freshman, Dilk is working on becoming a vocal leader at the point guard position. She attributes her ability to get up to speed so fast with her passion for basketball. "If I had to describe my game it's to get other players involved and better," Dilk said. "I'm just really fo- cused. I'm a hard worker. My work ethic, I'd like to think, is good. "I've played basketball my whole life, I love the game. I love the com- petitiveness. Coming here, I contin- ued with that mindset." Freshman forward Naz Hillmon, a four-star recruit ranked by ESPN as the nation's No. 58 prospect, wants to help the program continue to climb. "That's one of the big things of why I came here," Hillmon said. "I felt like every year, the team has been building to get to another level as far as the tournament. I think that we will use that fuel of making it to the second round and wanting to go farther, especially the seniors, They are re- ally harping on going further than we ever have before." I t i s n ' t j u s t t h e freshmen that are providing the depth for this team. Barnes Arico said her sopho- more class is playing with a lot of confi- dence. One of those s o p h o m o re s , D e j a Church, is sliding over to her natural position of shooting guard, with Dilk at point guard. Church averaged 7.0 points per game last year and shot 43.9 percent from the floor. Another one of the sophomores is Brown who averaged 9.0 points and 5.2 rebounds before the injury, along with shooting 45.9 percent from three and 46.0 percent overall. "She is back and better than ever," Barnes Arico said of Brown. "She's been more consistent in practice. We're go- ing to expect her to have a really con- sistent year for us. She's a face-up four player who does a great job of shooting the three but can also play with her back to basket." Another area where the team is different from last year is on the de- fensive end. With their increase in height, Barnes Arico hopes to see her team wreak havoc. "I think we are longer than we have ever been before," Barnes Arico explained. "I think that will give us an opportunity to affect the game on the defensive end and on Senior guard Nicole Munger is one of the best shooters in the country according to U-M head coach Kim Barnes Arico. PHOTO BY PER KJELDSEN Michigan head coach Kim Barnes Arico "[Graduated star] Katelynn Flaherty is a once-in-a-lifetime player. … 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."

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