Coming into the No. 25 Michigan women’s basketball team’s exhibition game on Saturday, uncertainty remained about what the team would look like on the court. Until tipoff, it wasn’t clear who would start and what its rotations would look like.
And one of the most glaring questions was how All-American transfer guard Greta Kampschroeder would fit in. Although her absence from the starting lineup wasn’t necessarily unexpected, her absence from the game until the two minute mark in the first quarter came as somewhat of a surprise.
Despite the late entrance though, she wasted no time showing what she can bring to this team. In doing so, she illustrated how she can be a valuable asset this season.
“Greta killed it today,” graduate forward Emily Kiser said. “… It’s awesome to see all the work everyone’s put in. But specifically Greta, to see it payoff was a lot of fun.”
After just one minute in the game, Kampschroeder displayed the shooting abilities that earned her All-American status, sinking a three-pointer on her first attempt. But her strength extends beyond that offensive prowess, and she proved that just as swiftly.
Hustling back after her first points as a Wolverine, she came through on the defensive end too, swatting away a Daemen layup attempt. She remained steadfast on the subsequent defensive possession to end the quarter, preventing the Wildcats from attempting a shot, something that she continued to do throughout the game.
“I think (Kampschroeder’s defense) is something that she really works incredibly hard at,” Michigan coach Kim Barnes Arico said. “She wants to be good on both ends of the floor and she prides herself in that. So I was so happy that she gave that kind of effort on the defensive end as well.”
Kampschroeder’s priority to create an impact on both ends was evident on Saturday. And in doing so, her abilities stood out overwhelmingly on the defensive end. Not only was that true on the statsheet with two blocks and two steals she tallied, but also with constant pressure that prevented Daemen from several open looks.
Although Kampschroeder has only practiced with the Wolverines for about a month, she made sure it didn’t appear that way.
“(Kampschroeder) works incredibly hard, is in the gym nonstop, and for her to have a shooting performance like she did tonight was awesome,” Barnes Arico said.
Transferring into an unfamiliar program is no easy task, but Kampschroeder has been embraced by Michigan’s program. As it transitions away from a playstyle dominated by now-graduated forward Naz Hillmon in the post, Kampschroeder’s shooting abilities are a welcome — and needed — addition.
Despite only playing 17 minutes, Kampschroeder established and maintained her presence as a shooting threat. She went 5-for-7, including four from deep — the most by any Wolverines player on Saturday — in her 16 point performance.
“(Greta) was great,” Barnes Arico said. “… We knew when she wanted to get back closer to home and when she chose Michigan she was going to be a great fit for our program.”
If Kampschroeder can continue to convert her intensity into success on each end of the court, she’ll become ever more critical to the Wolverines’ success.
Based on Kampschroeder’s smooth transition and impact in her first game with Michigan, the time to lean on her might come sooner than expected.