The Michigan Shock program expects to enjoy considerable success on the road this spring, and the future for the club is very, very bright. The Shock will be powered by a trio of 2016 prospects and one special player from the Class of 2017.
“We think we will have a very, very strong team this year,” said Coach Mark Williams. “We have a talented group coming back, but the big thing will be our depth. That’s what makes this team impressive. We basically have two starting lineups.”
The young, deep Shock will face its first serious challenge at the Deep South Classic, which will be played in Raleigh, NC, on April 25-27. Now in its 17th year, the Deep South Classic annually hosts many of the nation’s elite travel teams in a field that will eclipse 200 squads, and hundreds of collegiate coaches will be on hand searching for talent. The 2014 event will mark the second year that the Deep South Classic has been held at the Raleigh Convention Center. The venue was a tremendous success in its debut last year, with all games played at one site on 18 courts, and it is in a convenient central location.
The Shock will be directed on the floor by point guard Antoinette Miller (2016, 5-6), and she will be supported by a group with family ties. Shooting guard Imari Williams (5-8, 2016) is the coach’s daughter, and forwards Bailey (2016, 5-8, SF) and Samantha (2017, 6-0, PF) are sisters. Samantha is currently rated as the No. 24 recruit in the Class of 2017 by the All Star Girls Report.
“Antoinette is a dynamic point guard. She isn’t really tall, but she has an all-around game — she handles the ball well, she can shoot it, and she is a great defender,” Coach Williams said. “Bailey and Samantha are very intelligent players. Their father is a coach (former D-I men’s assistant), and they play that way. Bailey plays the three for us, but she could play any of the perimeter spots. She can shoot it, but she is more of an attacking player, and she will rebound, defend, and chase down loose balls. Samantha is just a very, very good player with an all-around game. Imari is one of the best pure shooters I’ve seen in a long time. She has worked hard, and if she has an open three, she doesn’t miss.”
Bret McCormick, the analyst for the All Star Girls Report, gave his perspective on the Shock stars:
Antoinette Miller: “Miller knows the game and has a nice skill set.”
Bailey Thomas: “She is a smart player who can put the ball on the floor and she can shoot the three.”
Samantha Thomas: “Samantha is a multi-position player with a very good skill set. Very fundamental, kind of like Alyssa Thomas from Maryland.”
Imari Williams: “Imari is a good athlete, but her forte is her perimeter shooting.”