The Wolverine

February 2013

The Wolverine: Covering University of Michigan Football and Sports

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Three-Headed Monster Kate Thompson, Jenny Ryan And Rachel Sheffer Have Carried The U-M Offense Thus Far C By Andy Reid oming into the 2012‑13 sea‑ son, the Michigan women's basketball team had a glar‑ ing question mark on the of‑ fensive end: If senior center Rachel Sheffer couldn't get her points, how would the Wolverines score? With the help of reliable offensive weapons Courtney Boylan and Car‑ men Reynolds, who both graduated after last season, Sheffer led the team in scoring (12.8 points per game) in 2011‑12. When teams inevitably crashed down on her in the paint, what other outlets did the Wolverines have? How could Sheffer, who spent the vast majority of her career posting up on the low block and scoring inside the paint, still impact the offense if opponents were determined to deny her inside and force unproven scor‑ ing threats to shoot the ball? So Michigan head coach Kim Barnes Arico made it an emphasis to bolster the other areas of Sheffer's offensive game. If she could help get other players involved, the rest would follow. "This year, she has become a great screener and passer," Barnes Arico said. "She has set some tremendous screens that help [senior guards] Kate Thompson and Jenny Ryan get open, and she really makes some great passes. She is really an all-around complete player. "For our team to have success, we need more than one person that can score. So when other teams try to lock her down, she knows, 'Okay, I can screen for this person and that will open things up for me.'" Sheffer, who stands just 6-1, has al‑ most always played the low block at a size disadvantage, though she has learned to use her superior athletic ability to gain the upper hand against bigger defenders. But now, she can move more freely across the court — and she likes how it has helped open up the offense, not only for her but also for those around her. "Last year, it was a lot of me be‑

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