“We’re working, and I hope that we can move forward and start competitions in the fall,” athletic director Warde Manuel said in a Zoom call with reporters on Thursday. “I’m hopeful that the decision will come towards the end of this month or early July.”
Akienreh Johnson was sitting underneath the dryer in her hair salon when her phone rang. The name displayed on the screen was Kim Barnes Arico, Michigan’s coach. Immediately, she knew what the call was about — her petition to get a fifth year of eligibility from the NCAA had been granted.
After 32 games and five months on a beat, you learn a lot about a team. What plays they run, what the rotation is, what their strengths and weaknesses are and even who the mom of the team is — senior guard Akienreh Johnson.
This week in Michigan basketball is depressing. COVID-19 has forced the NCAA and Michigan to stop all athletic events for the rest of the year. There’s not much else to it, other than depressing. Seniors won’t see their season off the way they want to. Neither will coaches or fans or other players.
It brings a finality to the season that no one wanted, forcing us to reflect on an almost-done women’s basketball team far before anyone ever wanted.
Two-and-a-half weeks ago, Michigan coach Kim Barnes Arico laughed as she held out her hand, pretending it was in an icebox. She was acting out sophomore guard Danielle Rauch’s squats as she tried to prevent her left hand from sweating while staying in shape.
Rauch broke her hand a day before Michigan’s Feb. 6 matchup against Purdue and missed the game because of her surgery that day.
Bones take six to eight weeks to heal.
Last Thursday against Nebraska, Rauch returned after just four.