Avoiding WBB Withdrawal Over the Holiday
Check out these women’s basketball docuseries while games aren’t being played
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There aren’t any women’s basketball games scheduled over the next few days, but that doesn’t mean there will be a void of women’s basketball content out there. This season, several teams have created docuseries that provide behind-the-scenes looks at their programs and players, and they’re definitely worth checking out. Regardless of whether you’re a current fan of these specific programs, the series offer intriguing looks at what Division I women’s basketball players and coaches go through. Getting to know players and coaches better also makes watching the games more engaging and helps grow the sport. Below we provide a brief summary of each docuseries, note how the teams’ preseason goals have translated to their performance, and share the links to the full episodes.
Michigan Made, Michigan
Described as an all-access documentary series that provides an unparalleled look into the Wolverines’ 2022-23 season, Michigan Made showcases the mindset and work ethic of a team that made it to the Elite Eight last season but now has a little more to prove after losing one of its best players in program history to the WNBA.
The players and coaches appear more determined than ever during their mic’d up practices and interviews. Their goals are high, but the intensity they’re bringing is on par to meet them. During one of their practices, head coach Kim Barnes Arico was recorded as she spoke with the players, and it was clear she felt confident in the team as an underdog.
“There is no Michigan in the preseason poll,” Barnes Arico said. “So we finished last year number seven in the country. Seven. This year, they don’t even have us mentioned. Well, that’s what other people think. So starting today, it’s about us proving people wrong again.”
And so far, they are doing just that. Michigan has an 11-1 record and is ranked No. 19 in the latest AP Poll, and with their latest win against No. 6 ranked North Carolina, that should only improve.
You can find the first episode of Michigan Made here.
The Standard, UConn
The Standard is a four-episode series that goes behind the scenes with the UConn women's basketball team as they prepare for the 2022-23 season. The interviews with the players and coaches illustrate the constant pressure, high expectations, and adversity the team has faced. And the mic’d up moments during training and practices show the team’s determination to still perform at their best regardless.
In the first episode, junior guard Nika Mühl discussed the challenges, ups, and downs of last season, how it made the team more resilient and prepared them for this year, and how the high expectations never waver.
“Every year, the standard is always the same, like the highest possible,” Mühl said. “And everybody has to live up to that standard. And if you’re not, you can’t be here.”
This season, the Huskies continue to face adversity with several players already being sidelined with injuries. But they continue to rise to the challenge, holding onto an 9-2 record, with eight of their 11 games played against Her Hoop Stats top-35 opponents, and ranking No. 9 in the latest AP Poll.
You can view the first episode of The Standard here.
Under the Shell, Maryland
This is the 19th season of this docuseries that offers a compelling inside look at the Terrapins. The first 10-minute episode is a fantastic summary of the initial couple of months of their season. It shows a little bit of everything, including strategizing, team-building, goal-setting, and it includes both coach and player interviews as well as footage from practices, games, and press conferences. One of the main takeaways from the initial episode is how hard this team works. Maryland head coach Brenda Frese noted it was one of her first impressions of the group.
“We’re going to be a really hard-working team,” Frese said. “They love to be on the floor and compete against one another, and they really love to be challenged.”
So far, that hard work seems to be paying off. Even with all the new faces and a very tough schedule, Maryland holds a 10-3 record, including wins against Notre Dame, UConn, and Baylor, and is ranked No. 15 in the most recent AP Poll.
You can find the latest episode of Under the Shell here.
The Hunt, Columbia
The Hunt is a monthly docuseries that captures the Columbia women’s basketball team’s journey through the 2022-23 season. The first two episodes feature snippets of the Lions’ practices and games as well as several interviews and mic’d up moments with players and coaches. Throughout the episodes, there is an emphasis on team culture and relationship building. During one of senior guard Jaida Patrick’s interviews, she noted it was one of the main reasons she transferred to Columbia.
“That personable aspect between the coaching staff and the players…that overall relationship, how they make you feel as a player, a person, and a woman,” Patrick said. “They just allow you to be who you want to be.”
All that relationship-building appears to be working. The Lions are currently 10-2, lead the Ivy League in 3-pointers—averaging 10.8 makes per game—and are currently ranked No. 2 in the Mid-Major Top 25 poll.
You can catch both episodes of The Hunt here.
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