The Michigan women’s basketball team just finished celebrating its victory in the championship game of the Women’s National Invitation Tournament. Beginning next season, the Wolverines will be able to look up at the rafters in Crisler Center and see a banner of their very own.
“We got the banner for that senior class,” said Michigan coach Kim Barnes Arico. “It’s just incredible. They deserve it. They’ve meant so much to our program.”
But even though the offseason just started for Michigan, there has already been a departure from and an addition to the Wolverine family.
Megan Duffy Hired at Miami (Ohio):
Just two days after winning the WNIT, Barnes Arico is officially looking for a new assistant coach.
After three seasons coaching the Wolverines’ guards, Megan Duffy has accepted the head coaching job at Miami (Ohio). The job will be a homecoming of sorts for Duffy, who grew up in Dayton, Ohio, just 40 miles from Miami’s campus.
Duffy’s presence will certainly be missed by Michigan, as she was responsible for coaching junior guard Katelynn Flaherty to 2,019 career points, All-Big Ten honors and the Most Valuable Player award in the 2017 WNIT.
Duffy is a longtime veteran of Barnes Arico’s staff — dating back to Barnes Arico’s time at St. Johns. Duffy’s first coaching job after her three-year WNBA career was on Barnes Arico’s Red Storm staff.
During Barnes Arico’s time with St. John’s, Duffy served as recruiting coordinator while also working with guards, game planning, scouting and scheduling. Her efforts paid off, as the Red Storm earned a No. 3 seed in the 2012 NCAA Tournament and advanced to the Sweet 16.
The Redhawks hope that Duffy’s magic as an assistant coach will translate to head-coaching prowess. Miami’s record under former head coach Cleve Wright was a dismal 35-87, including an 11-27 showing this season.
Michigan gets a new recruit:
Back in Nov. 2016, three-star wing Priscilla Smeenge of Carroll High School in Southlake, Texas committed to the University of Florida. Smeenge, the 38th-highest ranked wing in the country according to ESPN, earned a spot in the 2017 McDonald’s All-American Game as one of the nation’s top prep players.
But the Gators will not be getting her services. On Monday, she announced her decommitment from Florida and will instead be signing with the Wolverines. She joins forward Hailey Brown and guard Deja Church in Michigan’s 2017 recruiting class.
Still no word on Gondrezick situation:
Speaking of recruits, Barnes Arico’s biggest accomplishment on the recruiting trail last year was Benton Harbor, Mich. guard Kysre Gondrezick, who scored 72 points in a high-school playoff game in 2016. She lived up to her billing this season, averaging 14.9 points and 3.6 rebounds and a spot on the Big Ten All-Freshman Team.
But prior to the Wolverines’ third-round WNIT game against St. John’s, they announced that Gondrezick was taking an indefinite leave of absence for “personal reasons.” Michigan has remained mum as to why Gondrezick has been absent, and the Wolverines have not released any information on when — or if — she will return.