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Wednesday, April 25, 2012
WolverineNation Mailbag

By Chantel Jennings

Kim Barnes Arico
Kim Barnes Arico comes to Michigan with a successful resume, but then again, so did the Wolverines' past two women's basketball coaches.

Summer is a time for student-athletes to recharge and prepare for their next season. But for fans, it's a solid few months where their questions pile up and turn to torment if they can’t be answered.

Well, good thing we're here with the Wednesday mailbag.

We love hearing from our readers, so send in your questions. Next week Mike will be taking care of the mailbag so email questions to michaelrothsteinespn@gmail.com or tweet them to @mikerothstein.

But, now, on to this week's questions.

FT33 via Twitter: Did [John] Beilein panic by giving a scholarship to Spike [Albrecht]? Spike's not even averaging double digits in high school!

CJ: I wouldn't alert the authorities quite so quickly. Beilein has an eye for talent -- this, we know. Four years ago people were saying he was insane for bringing two nobodies out of Indiana to play for Michigan. Now Stu Douglass and Zack Novak are the faces of the program. I haven't seen Albrecht play in person yet, but everyone I’ve spoken to has said he'll be a great true point guard in Beilein's offense. Personally, Beilein could recruit a 5-foot-4 player and I would still think he has something up his sleeve. He has proven himself as a coach and recruiter (and he has great recruiters around him). And I don't think Beilein does anything on a whim. He gave an offer to Albrecht because he believes he’ll do well at Michigan and Michigan will do well with him.

Josh Friedman, New York, NY: With Joey Bosa committed to Ohio State, whom would you expect Michigan to focus on in terms of DL recruiting? Considering all of the focus and talk about strengthening the middle of the field, and the fact that [Michigan has] three veritable DL coaches on the staff, our interior line recruiting seems to be lagging a bit.

CJ: I think the top two targets at this point (no surprises here) are Henry Poggi and Joe Mathis. Both would add depth to the D-line and I think the coaching staff could try to pick up a fourth, as well, though I don’t think it’s necessary. The defensive line isn’t a huge area of need for 2013 so I wouldn’t be too alarmed yet, just because between Ondre Pipkins, Chris Wormley, Mario Ojemudia, Matt Godin and Tom Strobel, you would have five great choices to put together a really good line in the 2012 class. So, if Michigan can pick up some players to complement Taco Charlton, the Wolverines will be in good position.

Sue Smith, Ann Arbor: What's your take on the new women’s basketball coach?

CJ: It'll be interesting to see what Kim Barnes Arico does at Michigan. Yes, she turned around St. John's from a bottom dweller (or, as Dave Brandon said Monday, a final resting place for college coaches) to a team that could hang with and beat the U-Conn’s and other top-tier schools. But here’s the thing: so did Kevin Borseth (Michigan Tech, Green Bay) and Cheryl Burnett (Southwest Missouri State) and neither had great success in turning around Michigan.

So we'll see if Barnes Arico can do what her predecessors haven't been able to do. I think they'll have a pretty good team next year (they have the No. 1 recruit in the state coming to Michigan) and they’re returning a solid group of contributors. If they win next year, it’ll be with Borseth's players, but it will be remembered as Barnes' Arico’s first season. But as far as the success she will have at Michigan, only time will tell.