December 7, 2022 

Locked on Women’s Basketball: How Michigan head coach Kim Barnes Arico has her team winning once more 

Howard and coach Kim Barnes Arico chat about Naz Hillmon and how her Wolverines are as dangerous as ever

It’s time for another episode of the Locked on Women’s Basketball podcast. This episode features host Howard Megdal who is joined by Kim Barnes Arico, Michigan’s head coach, to discuss how her Wolverines are as dangerous as ever following a visit to the Elite Eight last year. No Hillmon, no more slowdown halfcourt sets and the up-tempo Wolverines are still as ferocious on the boards as ever.

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Coach Kim Barnes Arico talks about post Naz Hillmon era and how they are moving forward and striving:

“Coming into this year, when you lose Naz Hillmon, arguably the greatest player in Michigan basketball history, I would say men’s or women’s. I know there’ll be many people that would argue that, but I think a lot of people would agree. I think a lot of folks out there we’re not sure about the direction of our program and where we would go. I mean, we finished last year seventh in the country. And in most preseason rankings, we weren’t even in the top 25. So I think that right there bothered the returning players in our program. So I think when you’re a player and you decide to come to the University of Michigan, you decide that you want to create history and you want to be a part of something that hasn’t been done before.

And I think when you have Emily Kiser and Leigha Brown returning as fifth-year players with that kind of experience and that kind of understanding of the culture. They don’t want anything to drop. So there’s a certain standard that they practice with every single day. And we always talk about that doesn’t always relate to wins and losses. It really doesn’t; it relates to the process, though. The process of building something and the process of improving. So I think our upperclassmen have set that example for everyone else in the program.”

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Kim Barnes Arico talks about rebound percentage being the key to Michigan’s success and how it improved from last year’s team:

“Yeah, I think you hit on a bunch of things. And I had another conversation yesterday and spoke a lot about the different things inside our program. I think we have these core values and these staples that are non-negotiables. We practice our rebounding every single day. We knew that when you lose Naz Hillmon and she was probably one of the best rebounders in the country last year, that was going to be an area where we were really going to need some help.

And that’s something that we do every single day is rebounding drills and emphasizing that and talking about a motor to the ball and really emphasizing that and showing what that looks like. I think we say that we want to be the hardest working team in America.”

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Here at The Next, in addition to the 24/7/365 written content our staff provides, we also host the daily Locked On Women’s Basketball podcast. Join us Monday through Saturday each week as we discuss all things WNBA, collegiate basketball, basketball history and much more. Listen wherever you find podcasts or watch on YouTube.

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