Big Ten Player Spotlight: Naz Hillmon, Michigan


Michigan’s Naz Hillmon is playing beyond her years.

After convincing wins over LIU Brooklyn and Oakland, Michigan welcomed Morgan State to Ann Arbor for a Saturday matchup. In the second of just three games between Dec. 6 and Dec. 20, the Wolverines looked to freshman Naz Hillmon to have a big game off the bench.

She didn’t disappoint.

The 6’2’’ forward from Cleveland, Ohio played 27 minutes, made eight of her 12 shots and added 11 rebounds, raising her average to 6.9 rebounds per game. Her 11 boards, three assists, one block and 27 minutes were all new or tied season highs, while 17 points were her fourth-highest total of the season. It was also the second double-double for Hillmon in the team’s last three games. The Wolverines as a team outrebounded Morgan State 47-20 and are now 8-3 on the season with one game remaining vs. Southern before the Big Ten schedule gets underway.

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Although just a freshman, other Big Ten teams know of the dominating presence Hillmon can have inside. She was recently named Big Ten women’s basketball Freshman of the Week and if her stat lines continue on the current pace, her accolades are sure to follow, including a potential starting spot under head coach Kim Barnes Arico. 

On the season, Hillmon is shooting an astonishing 74.7-percent from the field, making 62 of her 83 shots in 218 minutes. She has 43 offensive rebounds to go with 33 on the defensive end and has hit double figures in seven games this season, including the last four. Her 13.0 points per game are currently T-17th in the Big Ten with Jaelynn Penn of Indiana.

The Wolverines will continue to need Hillmon as the team heads into the tough early part of their Big Ten Schedule. While Michigan starts off against a 5-5 Nebraska squad, other games include a matchup with No. 13 Minnesota on Dec. 31 and a battle on the road vs. No. 6 Maryland on Jan. 12. Other big games in January include a battle with the Hawkeyes on Jan. 17 and one vs. Indiana on Jan 24, also both on the road.