The MSU women's basketball rivalry with Michigan has been lopsided to say the least, and it looks like the trend-line will continue on track for at least another season. The Spartans lead the all-time series by a margin of 62-16, with five players returning from a seven member playing group. We'll take a closer look at Michigan State next week.
Meanwhile, UM got that 16th win last season behind a six member playing group that featured five seniors. Those five have graduated, leaving Michigan Women's Basketball in a state of near-disarray under a second-year head coach. This year will be a gut-check for Kim Barnes Arico.
Then they traveled to Europe, ostensibly to play basketball, but they had only three games, winning by scores of 102-34, 117-15, and 112-37. The games were against two teams called "Stella Azzurra" and "AMW France" that do not appear to exist on the Internet, and a third team simply called the "Italian All-Stars". Wow, what great competition, I'm sure they felt like basketball goddesses the whole time.
They will soon be dropping off a cliff into the reality of the upcoming season. Those five departed seniors were accountable for the following portions of these overall team statistics:
- 68% of rebounds
- 73% of minutes played
- 75% of assists
- 76% of steals
- 77% of games started
- 84% of points scored
- 93% of three-pointers
- 91% of blocks
The key variables for Michigan will be three incoming freshmen, a transfer who is now eligible, and two players coming off of medical red-shirt seasons.
The injured players are Val Driscoll and Kendra Seto. Driscoll missed last year due to a knee injury. In two prior years, she played a total of 80 minutes, scoring 26 total career points. Seto is from Canada and transferred to UM from Vermont where she played as a freshman. She sat out a year, played one year in yellow-and-blue, then missed last year due to injury.
- To get a scholarship player taller than 6'1" on the court, they have either Driscoll (6-4), who didn't play last year, or Goree (6-3), who played only 24 minutes last year.
- They have seven players listed as guards, four of them in their first year at UM, while their only returning starter is a guard. This leaves six players to fill one position, or they play a three-guard lineup and concede the front-court on a regular basis.
- Plus the obvious problems listed above, such as losing 84% of their scoring and 77% of their starters, etc.
Just as last year was an "up season" for Michigan Women's Basketball, so will the upcoming season be a "down season" for the ladies in yellow and blue.