Merchant adds a Rainbow Warrior


Charlotte Steinberg, Women's Basketball Beat Reporter

Are we even surprised anymore that Michigan State head coach Suzy Merchant is adding more depth? Lauren Rewers, the 6-foot-4 center from the University of Hawaiʻi at Mānoa, is officially transferring to Michigan State, announced via Twitter yesterday. 

Rewers is no stranger to the basketball world, as her father Brian played basketball at the University of Wyoming before going on to play professionally overseas for the Shanghai Sharks. 

In the 2017-18 season as a freshman for Hawai’i, Rewers appeared in 27 games with limited action until early February. Though Rewers did start seven games, she averaged 2.4 points and 1.9 rebounds in 11.5 minutes per game. On Nov. 25, Rewers and the Rainbow Warriors faced a Big Ten opponent in Purdue, and she scored a career-high eight points. She followed up with eight points again against UC Davis on Feb. 17. 

Production started to pick up for the junior from Coeur d’Alene, Idaho last season. She was named academic All-Big West and started 21 games. Rewers appeared in 31 games and averaged 4.6 points and 3.8 rebounds per game. 

Something that Rewers could help Michigan State with is free throw shooting. The Spartans shot 66.4% from the free throw line on 530 attempts in 2019-20. Luckily for Michigan State, Rewers shot 70.6% (24-34) and led the team in blocks with 21. In the last four games before the season ended, Rewers averaged 8.3 points and 7.8 rebounds.   

Merchant and her staff of Dean Lockwood, Maria Fantanarosa and former player Kristin Haynie will have lots of new faces on the team next year. With three new transfers, Matilda Ekh and true freshman Kendall Bostic, the Spartans will look to compete this year in the Big Ten. Post play for the 2020-21 season will be much more reliable with all different styles of play and playing abilities. 

The Spartans will have a completely different lineup and bench pieces. With Moira Joiner and Nia Clouden looking to be two probable starters of the five, the Spartans have lots of options at three through five. As always, it will depend on how each player performs in preseason, but regardless, the Spartans will be much improved. Teams across the country will need a completely different scouting report if they want to defeat Michigan State.

Charlotte Steinberg is a beat reporter for Impact 89FM WDBM who primarily covers women’s basketball. You can follow her on Twitter at @sportstalksbycs.