Junior point guard Katelynn Flaherty is probably the most familiar face on the Michigan women’s basketball team — and with good reason. She already holds program records in points, with 774, and field goals, with 280.
Those numbers have now gotten the attention of the rest of the Big Ten. Flaherty was named to the preseason All-Big Ten team, the first Wolverine to earn that distinction since LeeAnn Bies received the same honors 14 years ago. Flaherty was a unanimous pick for the All-Big Ten squad, one of just five players to earn that distinction this season.
But adulation for Flaherty has not been limited to those inside the Big Ten.
She was also put on the preseason watch list for the Nancy Lieberman Award, an honor given to the NCAA’s best point guard. Among returning players, Flaherty ranked third in the nation in scoring in 2015-16.
As if all of that weren’t enough, she was even picked as a preseason fourth-team All-American by Sporting News. Flaherty received an All-American honorable mention by the Women’s Basketball Coaches’ Association at the end of last year.
While she already has multiple Michigan team records under her belt, Flaherty appears poised to break more as she still has two years of eligibility remaining. She currently ranks third in Wolverine history in scoring average with 18 points, 10th in total points with 1273, fourth in 3-pointers with 183 and second in free-throw percentage at .879.
Flaherty will not be the only source of offensive firepower for Michigan, though.
Sophomore center Hallie Thome and senior guard Siera Thompson, who ranked second and third, respectively, in scoring for the Wolverines in 2015-16, will be back in action this season. Freshman guard Kysre Gondrezick also figures to factor into Michigan’s offense, as she scored a state-record 72 points in a game for Benton Harbor High School.
But even with that strong supporting cast, the Wolverines’ scoring will not live up to its potential without Flaherty’s outstanding offensive output.