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Kim Barnes-Arico wins Big Ten Coach of the Year, other Wolverines recognized

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The women’s head ball coach gets the recognition she deserves.

Michigan State v Michigan Photo by Aaron J. Thornton/Getty Images

The awards are rolling in for the Michigan Wolverines women’s basketball team. The success starts with the best coach in program history, Kim Barnes-Arico, who was named the Big Ten Coach of the Year for the second time in her career at Michigan.

She led Michigan to within half game of a Big Ten Championship and are among the best teams in the country heading into the Big Ten and NCAA tournaments.

To nobody’s surprise, Naz Hillmon was named First-Team All-Big Ten once again. Hillmon was a first-team honor for the third straight season and led the Wolverines in scoring with 21.3 points per game. This season, Hillmon became the first Wolverine in men’s and women’s basketball to record 2,000 points and 1,000 rebounds in a career.

Leigha Brown was named Second-Team All-Big Ten after averaging 14.3 points per game, 3.3 rebounds per game and 3.4 assists per game. Brown was second in points scored for the Wolverines despite missing eight games due to injury. She is back in the starting lineup and will be key to Michigan’s tournament success.

Newcomer Laila Phelia made quite the splash this season for the Wolverines, working her way into the starting lineup and starting nine games. She was voted to the Freshman All-Big Ten team by both the coaches and media. Phelia averaged 8.5 points per game, with most of those coming in the second half of the season.

On the All-Big Ten Honorable Mention list are Maddie Nolan and Emily Kiser. Kiser started every game for Michigan and averaged 9.7 points and 8.2 rebounds per game. Nolan led the team in three-point shooting with 44.1% and averaged 9.4 points per game.

Senior Danielle Rauch was named the Wolverines’ sportsmanship honoree after starting all 27 games for Michigan and averaging six points per game.