The number is so close, yet so far away.
Senior guard Carmen Reynolds is just 23 points shy of joining the Michigan women’s basketball 1,000-point club. Reynolds will be just the 22nd player to accomplish the feat — former Michigan guard Veronica Hicks hitting four digits last year is the most recent.
But Reynolds has struggled lately. In the past three games, she has only scored six points — dropping her season average to 7.6 points per game.
Reynolds’ scored a season high of 15 points against Maryland on Nov. 30. After that game, she was averaging 9.7 points per game — just 0.3 less than her career average.
“(Reynolds scoring) is just a matter of getting enough shots,” said Michigan coach Kevin Borseth. “If she gets enough shots, she’ll make them. She is a money shooter.”
Reynolds is known primarily as a 3-point shooter. She is a career 40-percent 3-point shooter and is one of the best on the Wolverines’ roster. Against Maryland, Reynolds went 5-for-9 from behind the arc.
When Reynolds is able to get to the free-throw line, she is even better. She’s gone 11-for-12 from the charity stripe this year, the best percentage of any Michigan player.
But at 6 feet tall, Reynolds also has the capacity to score inside the paint. She’s listed as a forward/guard, but plays like more of a shooting guard. Even after her struggles as of late, Borseth isn’t going to do any tinkering.
“She’s one of those kids that makes it when she shoots it,” he said. “That’s the confidence we have in her.”
Junior forward Rachel Scheffer added: “(Carmen) is still going to come out and score points.”
Even though she’s been struggling, Reynolds is still clutch. Her three points in a victory against Detroit Mercy on Dec. 8 came late in the game, when Michigan needed a boost.
One reason for her recent struggles could be that teams are narrowing in on her. Her ability to score from all over the court poses various problems for opponents.
“If she’s going to come out there and they’re going to faceguard her, then she’s not going to be able to get the ball,” Scheffer said.
Borseth said that since Reynolds has been guarded closely by opponents, the court has opened up for other players — most notably junior guard Kate Thompson and senior guard Courtney Boylan.
Even if Reynolds’ struggles continue, Borseth has plans to get her back on track.
“We’ve put some things in offensively to give Carmen some opportunities on specific plays to give her better opportunities to score, but she’s being watched pretty closely at this point,” he said.
These plays have included trying to free her up around the perimeter. All of the attention she has been receiving this year has limited her ability to get open looks from behind the arc. In some cases she has been faceguarded for almost the entire game.
Only two games remain before the Wolverines start conference play against Illinois on Dec. 30.
When Big Ten play starts, Michigan will need their star senior to be producing if it’s going to find success in a conference that has four nationally ranked teams — No. 12 Ohio State, No. 16 Penn State, No. 22 Nebraska and No. 25 Nebraska.
When the Wolverines take on Indiana State at Crisler Arena this Saturday, she hopes to be one step closer to 1,000 points.