The Wolverine

June-July 2012

The Wolverine: Covering University of Michigan Football and Sports

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a prime example. Once Lindsay fin- ished with the Red Storm, Barnes Arico helped her secure a graduate assistant position in the St. John's athletic department's academic ser- vices program, so Lindsay could con- tinue to study. Before last season, Barnes Arico New U-M Coach Kim Barnes Arico's Four Biggest Challenges called new Queens College coach Bet Naumovski and helped Lindsay get hired as an assistant, so she could begin her own career as a collegiate basketball coach. "She's always going to be there for you, even when your four years of basketball is over," Lindsay said. "I'm a living example of that. She's helped me so much." Barnes Arico helped St. John's 2006, and since then, 12 Michigan natives have cracked the top 100. Three have signed with Michigan State, two with Purdue and one each for Miami, Kansas, Indi- ana, Georgia Tech, Notre Dame, Temple and Central Michigan. Not one has chosen the Wolverines. In the 2012 class alone, Detroit Pershing guard 1. Establishing U-M As A Recruiting Destination HoopGurlz began ranking the best women's basketball recruits in the nation in Caprice Dennis, Detroit Cass Tech wing Branndais Agee, Westland John Glenn for- ward Joslyn Massey and Detroit Country Day wing Aerial Powers were all ranked in the top 100 and got away from Michigan. The Wolverines did manage to sign Gross Pointe University Liggett guard Madison Ristovski, who was spurned by the HoopGurlz rankings despite winning Michigan's Miss Basketball award. But it's clear the program needs to establish more of a strong- hold on local talent in order to be successful. New head coach Kim Barnes Arico comes in with very little experience recruiting reach unparalleled success. A pro- gram that had struggled since its inception, St. John's compiled five 20-win seasons under Barnes Arico, capped by last season's second-place finish in the tough Big East and an appearance in the Sweet 16. And now, she begins a new chapter the Midwest. But, at her introductory press conference, she stressed that one of her goals this summer is to make herself a visible and accessible member of the Michi- gan community, connecting with high school coaches and players from around the area. She has proven herself to be a capable recruiter, and with the new facilities, resources and commitment to women's basketball that Michigan has provided, Barnes Arico has the opportunity to exponentially increase the Wolverines' recruit- ing presence. in her still-young coaching career, away from the New York area where she's spent her entire life, profes- sional or otherwise, at another pro- gram with a history of mediocrity. When Gloria Soluk was hired as the Michigan women's basketball coach in 1977, the Wolverines' fledg- ling women's athletic programs had not yet had much success. Five years straight and 20 of the last 21 over the Wolverines. That's domination. "It's time, 2. Evening Out The Rivalry With Michigan State The Spartans hold a 59-18 advantage in the all-time series and have won 11 know they have a great program and a great tradition in women's basketball. I know they have a tremendous coach, but I think we have all those things, too. "I'm not saying it can happen tomorrow, but I've been there before. I've been in " said Barnes Arico, when asked about the rivalry. "I'm excited about it. I a program that kind of was down, and I've watched it turn, not only to get to the middle but to get to the top. Barnes Arico has some experience turning around a lopsided rivalry. St. John's big- gest rival, Rutgers, had won 10 of the last 11 contests before her arrival. Barnes Arico lost her first nine games against the Scarlet Knights before turning the tide in her last three years, winning four in a row. " the nation's top 30 in attendance for the 2011 season (numbers are not yet available for the 2012 sea- son). The Wolverines' official number — an average home-game attendance of 2,495 — ranked 55th. Crisler Arena is often a barren, lifeless place when 3. Piquing Fans' Interest The Big Ten had eight teams that ranked among the Wolverines play, and getting fans interested in the program will take more than just winning a few games. Barnes Arico's promise to become a visible member of the community is a start. women's basketball program is one of the least suc- cessful teams in Michigan history. Former head coach Kevin Borseth did a lot to 4. Changing The Program's Culture Having lost 57.7 percent of its all-time games, the U-M men's basketball head coach John Beilein and his wife, Kathleen, welcomed Barnes Arico to Ann Arbor and her new role as head coach of the women's team. PHOTO BY PER KJELDSEN 38 THE WOLVERINE JUNE/JULY 2012 gan State, competing for Big Ten championships on a regular basis and making runs in the NCAA Tournament. change the program's perception, but Barnes Arico will have to take the next step — by beating Michi- — Andy Reid

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