The nickname “Notorious” for Michigan usually means one thing Anne Thorius.
Thorius runs the point for the women”s basketball team, making the offense click, feeding the hot shooters and emotionally leading the Wolverines.
Last night in Michigan”s 69-51 home win over Minnesota, “Notorious” meant, quite literally, no Thorius.
For just the second time in her college career, the senior co-captain did not play as she sat with an ankle sprain she suffered in Michigan”s win over Northwestern Sunday. The only other time she missed an entire game was Jan. 6 of last year at Indiana when she suffered a bruised muscle.
“It”s definitely an awkward feeling,” said Thorius, who is day-to-day for Sunday”s game at Purdue. “You have to look at the game from a different angle, being more supportive off the bench.”
Michigan coach Sue Guevara said she was a little concerned coming into the game, especially without her point guard. The other Michigan guards answered the challenge.
Infini Robinson enjoyed her best game as a Wolverine, scoring 14 points. Alayne Ingram took over at the point and dished out eight assists in 40 minutes Thorius-like numbers.
Everyone else had to pick up their game while Thorius had to pick up her spirits.
“It”s not something I enjoy,” Thorius said. “It”s very difficult to walk out and see everyone warming up.”
Guevara positioned Thorius between young guards Michaela Leary and Robinson. By talking to the youth throughout the night and vocalizing her excitement with the same intensity as if in uniform, Thorius played a role in inspiring the Wolverines.
“I thought Anne did a really nice job on the bench tonight,” Guevara said. “She was very encouraging to the kids out on the floor. I don”t like seeing her sit there, but she did a nice job while sitting there.”
While Thorius fulfilled her duties as captain from the unfamiliar bench, Ingram took over out on the floor. The absence of Thorius gave way for the junior to really thrive in a role she relishes that of the leader.
“She ran the show and she ran it with confidence,” Thorius said. “She knows how to lead this team.”
Next year, Michigan is going to have to find a new point guard for the first time in four years, as well as a new “glue that holds Michigan together” as Thorius has been described by the team. The past couple of games, Guevara had Ingram play from the one-spot even with Thorius available. Last night, she had no choice.
“We said today, “We”re going to get a look at what our team is going to play like next year,” ” Guevara said. “I really liked how the team responded without Anne Thorius.”