Was Michigan University really picked to finish last in the Big 10 Conference preseason women’s basketball poll?
“They’re not playing like they’re 11th,” Kansas coach Bonnie Henrickson said. “They’re pretty good.”
Three straight wins, all by substantial margins, are making Michigan coach Kevin Borseth sound like a prophet when he reacted to the prediction his team would finish in the Big 10 basement.
“Let the games begin and see what happens,” Borseth said. “Talk is cheap.”
All three of Michigan’s victories, including Thursday night’s 91-54 pounding of Southern Mississippi, have been at home. Now the Wolverines have to play their first game on the road and it will be against No. 19-ranked Kansas.
Tipoff will be at 2 p.m. today in Allen Fieldhouse. Sunflower Broadband 6 will carry a live telecast.
Michigan drew little respect from league coaches primarily because Borseth has four new starters, including a pair of freshmen — Dayeesha Hollins and Jenny Ryan — in the backcourt.
Hollins has been an early sensation, however, leading the Wolverines in both scoring (15.7) and assists (4.0).
On the inside, Michigan boasts Krista Phillips, a 6-foot-6 senior who once played on the Canadian Junior Team with 6-5 KU junior Krysten Boogaard. Both are from Saskatchewan, Phillips from Saskatoon and Boogaard from Regina.
“She’s a lot bigger than Krysten,” Henrickson said. “She may not run the floor as well as Krysten, but she’ll step out and shoot a three.”
In the Wolverines’ win over Southern Miss, all five starters scored in double figures. Coincidentally, on the night before, all five KU starters were in double figures in a 66-55 win at Iowa — a team tapped for fifth place, incidentally, in the Big 10 preseason poll.
In the past, when Kansas has been able to eke out a win on the road, the Jayhawks have needed 30 or more points from Danielle McCray. Not this time. McCray had 20 in Iowa City. Aishah Sutherland scored 12, Boogaard 11 and Sade Morris and Angel Goodrich 10 apiece.
“It was good to watch different kids step up,” Henrickson said.
Kansas will spend the Thanksgiving holidays in the Bahamas. The Jayhawks will meet No. 9-ranked Xavier on Thursday, then tangle with either TCU or Minnesota on Saturday.