One of the goals for the Michigan women’s basketball team is to outrebound its opponent each night. So far, the Wolverines have to be pleased that they are meeting one of their major goals.

“We want that characteristic of being relentless (on the glass),” Michigan coach Sue Guevara said.

Through four games this season, the Wolverines have dominated the glass, pulling in 160 boards to their opponents’ 121. Guevara stresses rebounding in her practices, and spends a large amount of time teaching her players to anticipate where the ball will go after the shot.

“It starts with going after the ball, reading its bounce. We want to make contact and go get it,” Guevara said. “You have to be aggressive, tough and you have to really want it. We talk about how defense wins games and rebounding wins championships.”

A large portion of the rebounding has come on the offensive glass, as 52 boards have come on offense. This number might be larger had the Wolverines not shot 73 percent in the first half against Massachusetts. Only seven shots missed, but three were pulled down for the offensive boards regardless.

What may be most impressive is that post players are not the only ones rebounding. The guards have done their share of pulling down shots, as two Wolverines guards average more than two per game. Forward Raina Goodlow said that by keeping opponents from getting second chances, it makes rebounding easier.

“Part of our job is to keep (opponents) off the boards,” Goodlow said. “That is a big focus coming into each game.”

Share the wealth: This season has seen Guevara use her bench to rotate players throughout the game. Over the weekend, all 12 Wolverines saw action in both games. But more than playing all her players, Guevara allows them to stay in the game and accumulate significant minutes – against Massachusetts, 11 played double-digit minutes.

Not only are all the players getting into the game, they are all are scoring too. Both weekend games saw seven players with five points or more.

“Everyone got solid minutes (against Massachusetts),” Guevara said. “I love the fact that we have a strong bench, and our bench play will help us down the line. I think this is strongest team we’ve had in that time. Our depth is young, but we’re getting them experience early.”

Fast start: The Wolverines are 4-0 this season, the best start since the 1999-2000 season, when Michigan started 7-0, the best in program history. Last year saw the Wolverines start 0-1, before winning straight.

Despite the early success of this year’s team, Guevara doesn’t want to be compared to last year’s team, as after starting 10-1, the Wolverines finished the next 18 games 7-11.

“We don’t really talk about last year a whole lot,” Guevara said.

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