Forward Naz Hillmon will be bringing the same energy and leadership that made her the team’s leading scorer last season. In her first few practices of this season, Hillmon has made it a priority to develop as a leader among the team.
But the transition from the high school game to the college game can be tough. Sidor found herself intimidated. She had to learn a whole new offense and defense while adjusting to college life. Even for someone who averaged nearly 30 points a game her senior year of high school, this presented a lot of challenges.
Now, a year later, she can already see improvements in both her game and her confidence.
After their first full week of official practice, the Wolverines have put those weird circumstances behind them and are looking forward to just playing basketball with each other again, even if they have to do so wearing masks.
But in order to answer that question this season, the Wolverines will need a leader.
It’s clear what Michigan’s goals are. Ask any player on the team and they’ll say they want to win a Big Ten championship and an NCAA Tournament. “The hardest working team in America” is a common phrase to hear from any member of the program.
Then a freshman, Nolan had a breakout game against No. 11 Northwestern in the Big Ten Tournament last season, scoring 13 points and 8 rebounds — both career highs. Now that she has a better understanding of Big Ten competition, she has high expectations for her upcoming sophomore season.
Rauch hopes to build off of last season, in which she averaged just over 10 minutes per game, and continued to improve as a player. When senior forward Kayla Robbins suffered a season-ending knee injury, Rauch stepped up to fill in.