April 24, 2013
ANN ARBOR, Mich. -- Senior Jenny Ryan (Saginaw, Mich./Saginaw Nouvel Catholic Central) was named the Most Valuable Player to highlight nine awards given out as the University of Michigan women's basketball team celebrated the 2012-13 season at its awards banquet on Wednesday night (April 24) at the Junge Family Champions Center.
In addition to her MVP award, Ryan also won the Heart and Hustle Award for receiving the most stickers for the number of charges taken and loose balls recovered during games. Ryan, who averaged a career-best 10.2 points per game, set a new Michigan single-season record with 167 assists in her final campaign in the Maize and Blue. She was named All-Big Ten third team by the coaches and media and earned Big Ten Player of the Week honors on Feb. 19.
Senior Kate Thompson (Plymouth, Minn./Wayzata) was the recipient of the Most Improved Player Award and the Diane Dietz Michigan Way Award, given to honor the student-athlete who best embodies the values and work ethic of a Michigan women's basketball player. It is named in honor of three-time Academic All-American and scoring leader Diane Dietz (1979-82). Thompson set a new school record with 110 three-pointers this season, averaging 14.3 points per game en route to All-Big Ten second team laurels from both the coaches and media. She finished her career with 1,001 points, becoming the 24th player in school history to eclipse the 1,000-point mark.
Senior Rachel Sheffer (Watervliet, Mich./Watervliet) picked up the Leaders and Best Award, given to the player who accumulated the most practice points in categories established by the coaching staff. On the season, Sheffer averaged 12.6 points and 6.0 rebounds. She finished her career ranked 12th in career scoring (1,197) and 20th in rebounding (500) and became the 14th Wolverine to have at least 1,000 points and 500 rebounds in a career.
Senior Nya Jordan (Detroit, Mich./Detroit Community) was awarded the Samantha Provenzano Perseverance Award, given to the player who overcame adversity to contribute to the team's success. Jordan switched positions and after a slow start to the season, averaged 8.4 points and a team-leading 7.3 rebounds per game. She recorded seven double-doubles on the season and ranks eighth on Michigan's single-season rebounds list (242).
Senior Sam Arnold (Medinah, Ill./Lake Park) was chosen as the Academic Excellence honoree, given to the player who achieved not only on the court but in the classroom as well. It is given to a graduating student-athlete who plans on pursuing a graduate degree. A three-time Academic All-Big Ten award winner, Arnold averaged 5.2 points and 2.0 rebounds per game this season. She plans on attending Loyola (Chicago) for graduate school.
Sophomore Nicole Elmblad (St. Ignace, Mich./LaSalle) was given the Unsung Hero Award, given to the player whose contributions might not always appear in a box score but are invaluable to the team. Elmblad appeared in all 33 games, starting 32 times and playing all 40 minutes in three games. She recorded her first career double-double in the Big Ten Tournament against Indiana (March 7), setting new career highs in points (14) and rebounds (10). She averaged 4.3 points and 5.4 rebounds on the year, often defending the other team's best player.
The senior class of Ryan, Sheffer, Thompson, Jordan and Arnold shared the "The Time is Now" Award, given to the player or players who bought into the program's 2012-13 theme of "The Time is Now" and have come the furthest in embracing the culture. The quintet is the winningest class in program history, winning 80 games during its tenure and is the only class to have three 20-win seasons.
The Wolverines went 22-11 in 2012-13, tying the program record for wins in a season under first-year head coach Kim Barnes Arico. U-M secured its second consecutive NCAA Tournament bid, advancing to the second round for the first time since 2001 with a first-round win over Villanova. The Maize and Blue secured its first top-25 ranking since the 2002-03 season, earning a spot in the poll for two weeks in January.
Contact: Sarah VanMetre (734) 763-4423