When the year began, the Michigan women”s basketball team could rely on two things senior point guard Anne Thorius was going to pass the ball and junior two-guard Alayne Ingram was going to shoot it. The two were set in their clearly defined roles on the team.
But coach Sue Guevara thought both were neglecting other aspects of their offensive game.
“I wanted Anne Thorius to be more aggressive offensively,” she said. “I wanted (Ingram) to pass the ball more.”
A letdown home loss to Ohio State put Michigan in the throes of a 1-4 slump. Guevara decided that was her cue to shake things up.
The next game in Evanston, Ingram, who had spelled Thorius in the past at point whenever she sat down, saw many more minutes at the one-spot. Thorius spent time over at the wing.
Thorius” statistics have risen slightly. But then an injury three games ago at home against Northwestern has prevented her from continuing to adjust to the new spot on the floor. She is still day-to-day.
Ingram”s numbers, on the other hand, have sky-rocketed at her new position and improved even more of late to make up for the loss of Thorius.
Over the past six games, she has shot 42 percent from the floor as opposed to the 34 percent she shot in the first 16 games from the shooting guard position.
Ingram also rediscovered her stroke from 3-point land it was supposed to be her specialty as she nailed 42 percent as opposed to the 28 percent she was struggling through earlier.
“It”s not a matter of where I feel comfortable, it”s what I have to do,” Ingram said. “Anne”s out, I”ve been playing the point a lot more. I just have to step in and do what coach “G” asks me to do.”
As well as finding her stroke, Ingram has shared the wealth by dishing the ball more, just as Guevara had envisioned. The past two games, Ingram set and reset her career best with eight and nine assists.
“I think she”s doing a better job of seeing people on the floor,” Guevara said.
Ingram”s success has translated into wins for Michigan. With Ingram as the main point guard, Michigan is 5-1. Its one loss came at No. 6 Purdue where Michigan was down by three with just over a minute left.
These past couple of games without Thorius, as Guevara has pointed out, may be a good indication of what the Wolverines will look like next year. They lose Thorius to graduation, meaning it is likely that Ingram will take over as the full-time point guard.
Before the season got underway, the blueprint for Michigan”s future showed freshman Michaela Leary would possibly emerge as the backup to Thorius and play point once she left.
But the experience and leadership from Ingram allowed her the opportunities to show what happens when she runs the offense, and it looks like both she and Michigan do better than before.