Just like last year, WBB is collapsing.

Submitted by massblue on February 11th, 2018 at 4:46 PM

Coach Barnes Arico has to change something.  This team was rolling and now has lost 3 of the last 4 to lesser teams and is probably going to miss the NCAA again.  The same thing happened last year.  Something is missing.  Perhaps she does not prepare them for the tough end of the year stretches that require mental toughness.  Good but not great coaching from KBA so far.



February 11th, 2018 at 4:49 PM ^

I haven't followed too closely, but it seems like we've been on the brink of busting through as a program for about 20 years, but we never get over that hump.  I don't get it.


February 11th, 2018 at 4:53 PM ^

So, Maizen massblue, how would you better prepare them for the tough end-of-the-year stretches against lesser teams that require mental toughness not required at other times of the year?

I mean, disappointing that they've lost 3 of 4, but... teams lose games sometimes. Perhaps I'm still a little snippy after the way some people absolutely murdered the WBB team after last year's loss to MSU, as if they had invested heart in soul into the whole season.

Wolverine Devotee

February 11th, 2018 at 4:59 PM ^

Those types suck. 

They hop on when the game is on an ESPN network or against a rival and pretend to know things about the program and season when they haven't watched a game prior to the one they were bitching about.

Happens every single year when softball is in the NCAA Tournament, all these expert critics mysteriously pop up who were absent all season. 

Shop Smart Sho…

February 11th, 2018 at 8:41 PM ^

What's your definition of casual? Because at the beginning of softball season we have WCBB, MCBB, NBA, NHL, and all sorts of soccer going on. The chance that a "casual" softball fan doesn't watch at least one of those other, much more popular sports, seems super slim. So is a casual fan really going to go out of their way to find a softball game and watch it? Especially when over the last several years, the softball season has been a few months of Michigan slaughtering far inferior teams before we get to the exciting part with the World Series.


February 11th, 2018 at 6:32 PM ^

Not an expert on WBB, but the latest ESPN bracket (http://www.espn.com/womens-college-basketball/bracketology), as imperfect as it may be, has Rutgers as a 7 seed and Purdue as a 9 seed. MSU is a bad team, yes, but rivalry games are always wonky. So while we were favored to win all of them, I don't think these are the-sky-is-falling losses, especially since all of these were by single digits.

matty blue

February 11th, 2018 at 7:01 PM ^

rutgers has literally never had a losing record at any point this season and were ranked as recently as three weeks ago.  they started out 17-3.  their coach is one of the all-time greats, making four final fours and two finals.  losing at rutgers in the women's game is not like losing there in the men's game.

what other bullshit you got in there?


February 11th, 2018 at 5:07 PM ^

You're kinda joining the pile-on of last year with the thread title that says "Just like last year..."

You may not have been involved in the pile-on last year, but the tone of the post is very negative, goes into the feelingsball "mental toughness" angle, and doesn't seem to provide any helpful information about the why or how. Observing that this is a bad stretch is, of course, entirely in-bounds and if WBB gets over the hump some hand-wringing over such stretches should be expected and welcomed as a sign of a wise fanbase. 

But this is not that, yet. It seems like they've been taken for granted until something hasn't gone totally right.

Wolverine Devotee

February 11th, 2018 at 4:56 PM ^

RPI is 35

Record is 20-7.

Win at #13 OSU

Projected as a 6 seed right now

Tell me again how this team "is in danger of missing the tournament".

Also, pretty sure winning 6 games including a 2OT game in the WNIT Championship required mental toughness. 


February 11th, 2018 at 5:18 PM ^

Poor shooting. Turnovers. Team weaknesses (ie, switching or FT shooting on the men's team) exposed and exploited. Defensive failure. Foul trouble.

You tell me. "Mental toughness" is usually promulgated by fans and analysts who lack enough knowledge of a sport to discern any other cause. I think you're capable of more than that, even here in this thread; you demonstrated as much in this comment just a couple of months ago. If you've watched the WBB team consistently, what has changed? Has there been a statistical flaw in these losses? Have opponents changed offenses and/or defenses with corresponding changes in Michigan performance? Are they just losing close games that they were winning earlier in the year?

The info is out there for someone who wants to know. 


February 11th, 2018 at 5:27 PM ^

From watching a lot, I'd say it's just a mental thing right now. They had a taste of success and then Purdue came in here in the fourth quarter (finishing regulation on a 16-0 run) and that was a gut punch. They just have to get their confidence back and that starts with Flaherty. She can do it, though. Everyone seems to be trying too hard, and veteran leadership can fix that. A good performance against Maryland at home and they'll be back to where they were.


February 11th, 2018 at 7:14 PM ^

Turnovers have been one of their biggest problems lately, and that's tied in with them not having a true point guard on the roster this season. Flaherty's been forced to play the point quite a bit, and that's just not her game. She had 9 TOs in today's game and 10 in another recent loss.

Hailey Brown went down late in today's game with a possible knee injury. If she's out for the next game(s), that could be a big loss.

Regarding their NCAA resume, their RPI is now down to 44, after the loss to MSU. They do have 2 top-50 wins (last year they had 0). Right now, they'd probably get a bid. But it's entirely possible they could lose their last two regular-season games (@ Minnesota, vs. Maryland), which would put them squarely on the bubble (and could also place them as low as an 8 seed in the Big Ten Tournament).


February 11th, 2018 at 5:17 PM ^

It's hard to say they haven't all but wrapped up their tournament bid. Unfortunately, they've had some bad results in the last two weeks and likely lost their opportunity to host the first two rounds of the NCAA tournament.

That also means a first-ever Sweet 16 in program history is a long shot. I really would have liked to see that because it is Katelynn Flaherty's senior year and she's accomplished so much. You look at her performance today, and it seems like she feels the entire world is on her shoulders. That's too bad. They're getting away from what got them to #13 and had people so excited.

I feel differently about the non-revenue teams. I took classes with players; they're all students who are there to get a degree and have a career. Recruiting is very different. There isn't the professional atmosphere you have with the revenue teams. Which isn't to say they don't work hard at the sport, too. Just that I'm less comfortable criticizing them as harshly. It's more true amateur sport - kids who really do represent their fellow students.

So I know they're more disappointed with themselves for the Purdue, Rutgers and State losses than we could ever be.

KBA is fine. She made some mistakes late today, but she's a terrific coach and it's clear she's making progress and building a better program. Every now and then any team takes a step backward, but I have confidence she'll soon have them taking two more steps forward. And, again, I'd really like to see Flaherty lead this team further than it's gone before.


February 11th, 2018 at 7:45 PM ^

The truth that they have gone 2-3 in their last 5 games?  I think people recognize that they have lost some games recently that you'd hope they wouldn't.  But the premise of this whole post in the impending collapse of the women's basketball team, which this OP hasn't really outlined beyond "they lost some games last year as well at the end, they must be mentally unfit and the coach is bad."  That's the same crap guys like Maizen used to peddle around here about the basketball team, then when it was proven to not be the case they'd just move on to complain about something else.


matty blue

February 11th, 2018 at 6:54 PM ^

yet another dude that has literally never shown interest in this team but becomes a sudden expert when they hit a rough patch.

welcome to boringville.  population you.


February 11th, 2018 at 7:24 PM ^

at Minnesota and home against Maryland.  Michigan is 1-3 in the last four games.  Lose those final two and they would finish the season on a 1-5 stretch.  

Hope they can get an upset win in these last two games, or they will be on the bubble heading into the BIG tourney.  (same as last year). 


February 11th, 2018 at 7:35 PM ^

Watch it.  I posted this after the Purdue collapse and got negged into eternity.  People around here don't want to hear when our teams fail.



February 11th, 2018 at 10:22 PM ^

Ok you're right.  Nothing to see here.  WBB team is playing great.  They will probably win the NCAA tournament.   Sorry to bring up the discussion of a UM sports team on a chat room dedicated to UM sports.

matty blue

February 12th, 2018 at 3:21 PM ^

i didn't go back to read what you got negged for after the purdue loss...i assumed from your "careful, you'll get negged" post here that your purdue post was similar in tone to the "just like last year we're collapsing" original post above.

and you're 100% right - your purdue post was...not neggable, in my opinion.  my apologies for not checking back before writing my 'idiot then idiot now' comment.