With Indiana women’s basketball set to travel to Ann Arbor for a matchup with Michigan, we reached out to our friends at Maize n Brew with a few questions about this year’s Wolverines team.
Here’s what Maize n Brew’s Kellen Voss had to say:
Michigan seems to just keep getting better as the years go on, what have you seen from their style of play? How are they able to be so consistent?
They don’t really have a specific style of play. They run a lot of ball screens, but their offense is pretty fluid and emphasizes on getting their best scorers the ball in space
Speaking of consistency, Michigan lost Naz Hillmon after last season. What has the process of replacing that production been like this season?
They really haven’t missed a beat since losing Hillmon, who is without question one of the best players in program history. I highly recommend this piece from Chantel Jennings at The Athletic, she did a great job capturing what has made this program so consistent over the last few years.
Don’t want to sound like a cliche factory, but this team being expected to regress in preseason (they started the year 25th in the AP) has probably fueled the fire they play with. There’s really no such thing as replacing Hillmon in the front court, but forward Emily Kiser is having an incredibly efficient season as a Grad Student, leading the team in scoring (17.6) and rebounding (6.8) while shooting 59.0% from the field. Junior Cameron Williams has also done a solid job as a rebounder who does a lot of the dirty work Naz did.
What are this team’s strengths and weaknesses? Which players should Indiana watch out for?
In terms of strengths, this team is incredibly well-rounded and I guess that their biggest strength is that a lot of the same contributors from last year. Laila Brown (16.7 ppg) and Leigha Brown (15.8 ppg) are reliable guards who can lead the team in scoring, and Brown is one of the best passers the program has ever had. Maddie Nolan’s three-point percentage is down from last year (40.5 to 33.7) but she shoots deep threes and makes a lot of them in big moments. I like what I’ve seen in short spurts off the bench from Greta Kampshroeder, the program’s first McDonald’s All-American transfer. Ultimately, this team’s offense can get a little stagnant at times, but they are well-rounded enough to make up for it.
What will the environment be like at the Crisler Center?
The Crisler Center is going to be LOUD for this one. People show out for the women’s team, especially in the last few seasons. Being that this is a top-15 match-up, I’d imagine it’ll be a crazy atmosphere.
What’s the most important thing to know about this Michigan team? (essentially anything not asked above)
The most important thing about this Michigan team is that it’s a veteran group that’s well-coached. Most of the playing rotation is juniors, seniors and grad students. Kim Barnes Arico has proven to be one of best coaches in the Big Ten, if not the entire sport. She’s the winningest coach in program history, she just picked up her 500th win as a head coach, she and is a big reason why this team has been as consistent as it’s been. Yes, Naz is gone, but with all the talent still on this roster and KBA at the helm, I’d be surprised if this team doesn’t make it to the second weekend of March Madness