Basketball

Women’s basketball positional breakdown: Forwards


Michigan women’s basketball will kick off its 2022-23 season in just a few weeks, so here is our second (and final) installment of the positional breakdown. A few weeks ago, we outlined the guards, and now, we’ll take a deep dive into the forwards.

Emily Kiser

Kiser was one of the most dependable players on Kim Barnes Arico’s squad last season. The 6-foot-3 forward started in all 32 of the team’s games, and averaged 9.3 points as part of a stellar front court with Naz Hillmon.

She played the third-most minutes on the team, only behind Danielle Rauch and Hillmon, and she led the team in blocks with 30. On Dec. 31, 2021, Kiser had a career day with an 18-point, 15-rebound double-double against Ohio State.

Now, with the absence of Hillmon, Kiser will be asked to step up her production even more in a front court that could experience some growing pains early on in the season.

Cameron Williams 

Williams didn’t start in any games for the Wolverines last season, but she did appear in 30 of the team’s 32 games. The 6-foot-3 forward averaged 2.7 points and 1.4 rebounds during her sophomore campaign in which she saw the floor an average of 6.7 minutes per game.

Her highest scoring game of the season came on Jan. 20 against Wisconsin when she tallied 10 points in a very efficient 5-6 from the field. High field goal percentage wasn’t just something Williams had success with against Wisconsin, but the forward led the team in field goal percentage. She shot 36-51 from the floor, which was good for a .706 field goal percentage.

Williams will have to maintain that efficiency early in her junior season if the Wolverines want to succeed. She will likely see a drastic increase in minutes per game, so she will be counted on even more to be a force down low.

Elise Stuck

Stuck played in 26 games last season, which included two starts. She averaged 1.6 points and 1.8 rebounds per game in her time on the floor. Stat-wise, her best game of her sophomore year came on Nov. 20 with a four-point, seven-rebound performance against the Central Michigan Chippewas.

The 6-foot-1 junior, who is technically listed as a guard/forward, was the team’s second-leading player in terms of field goal percentage, right behind the aforementioned Williams. Although her attempts were quite limited compared to others, Stuck converted on 15 of her 24 shots, which was good for a .625 field goal percentage.

Now, as a junior, Stuck will likely be the first forward off the bench behind Kiser and Williams. She will see a drastic increase in minutes, and since Kiser and Williams can’t play all 40 minutes, Stuck will need to be ready when her name is called upon.

Izabel Varejão

Varejão is listed as a center on the roster, but she’s the only player on the team listed as such, so we included her here in the breakdown of the forwards. She played in only 11 games last season after playing in 32 games as a freshman in 2019-20.

She averaged 1.9 points per game, including 9-22 from the field on the season. Her stats may have been extremely limited, but Varejão will need to make a ginormous leap if Michigan plans on having success again in 2022-23.

Others

No other forward on Michigan’s roster scored more than 10 total points last season. Junior Whitney Sollom saw very limited minutes, and freshmen Chyra Evans and Alyssa Crockett will look to make immediate impacts in their first seasons as Wolverines.

Crockett was graded as a 94 overall by ESPN coming out of high school, and she was the 10th-ranked forward in her class. For reference, Michigan sophomore Laila Phelia, who started in 14 games and averaged 8.8 points in her freshman campaign, was also given a grade of 94 coming out of high school.

Stay tuned at M&BR for news and updates throughout the entire women’s basketball season, which begins on Nov. 9.

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