Whether it is how the Lions should repeat as Big Ten Champions or making a run to the Final Four in New Orleans, the expectations of this season have overshadowed the questions surrounding the team.
One major question is how the team will replace the absence of graduated 5-foot-8 guard Zhaque Gray. Gray is the only starter from 2011 not returning.
Gray finished her collegiate career with a bang. She averaged 10.6 points a game, third-best on the team, and shot 137 three-pointers, second most on the team by 74, to earn an All-Big Ten Honorable Mention.
At the team's media day Monday, assistant coach Kia Damon said the team will rely on a committee to replace Gray. She named redshirt-junior guard Dara Taylor, junior guard/forward Ariel Edwards, and senior guard Gizelle Studevent, as that committee.
"I don't know that our team will look exactly the same, but we will definitely be able to take advantage of some of the strengths that these guys will provide for us," said Damon.
Until the season starts, the numbers will aid the debate of who will ultimately replace Gray.
2 Dara Taylor
Background Information: 5-foot-8 redshirt-junior guard. Did not play in 2011-12 due to NCAA transfer rules. Transferred from Maryland.
Career Statistics from Maryland:
Statistic to Know: 214 turnovers in 1355 minutes
What Kia Said : "Dara is lightning fast. She will continue to enhance our transition game and help us to attack." - Kia Damon
#23 Ariel Edwards
Background Information: 6-foot-3 junior guard/forward. Co-winner of team's Most Improved Player Award last season.
Statistic to Know: Improved her FG% by eight percent from 2010-11 to 2011-12
What Kia Said: "We want her to be a stat stuffer. Across the board we expect Ariel to put up positive numbers in each column." - Kia Damon
#25 Gizelle Studevent
Background Information: 5-foot-11 senior guard. 2011-12 Academic All-Big Ten
Statistic to Know: Career minutes per game average is 8.5 minutes
What Kia Said: "We'll have Gizelle Studevent, we'll have Ariel [Edwards] and we'll have Dara [Taylor] come in and play opposite on the wing and they all offer something a little bit different." - Kia Damon