Holmes ready to expand game as sophomore

It’s hard to imagine a much better offensive season than Mackenzie Holmes had in her freshman year with Indiana women’s basketball.

The 6-foot-3 Holmes was sixth in minutes, fourth in field goal attempts, third in field goal makes and first in field-goal percentage for the Hoosiers, setting a new school record at 63.4 percent (144-of-227).

So what does she do for an encore?

“Mac has completely added another element to her game,” IU coach Teri Moren said. “She’s really stretching it out and being able to knock down the long ball with consistency, which is just going to add to her game.”

Holmes did not attempt a single 3-pointer in her freshman season and rarely stepped out beyond 10 feet. She dabbled with the long ball in high school, going 12-of-32 from beyond the arc as a senior. But during a spring and summer of quarantine, Holmes found herself revisiting this one neglected aspect.

“One thing COVID did do is give me a lot of time to kind of extend my game,” she said. “I could work on post moves every day, but we had so much time in the day to keep on working on things I wouldn’t usually work on. An outside shot was definitely up there on my list, because it was something I did a little bit last year but not as consistently as I would’ve liked to, so yeah, getting a lot of reps up and continuing to expand that part of my game was really important to me.”

It wasn’t so much a matter of adjusting her form as simply getting enough shots up to get comfortable, and not just on 3s either.

“I think it was definitely just the consistency of working on it,” Holmes said. “In high school, I worked on it a little bit. I just shot them in games because I could and on my high school team, I had the range to do that. (Freshman) year it wasn’t necessary for me to do that, but after losing Brenna (Wise), it kind of misses that 3-pointer piece she had. Those are big shoes to fill, obviously, but I had to try to be consistent with it and get a lot of reps up.

“I didn’t just go and start shooting 3s. I got really consistent from the 15- to 17-foot range and extended it from there — a lot of reps for sure.”

If Holmes can successfully add even those mid-range jumpers to her repertoire, it bodes well for an already potent Hoosier offense that ranked 38th in scoring offense and 13th in field-goal percentage a year ago despite shooting just 30.3 percent from 3, 220th in the nation.

“We still have a lot of big offensive pieces this year as well,” she said. “Not much has changed in the dynamic of our offense, but I think last year when I started to see double teams, I was more likely to pass out to get a wide-open look for Ali (Patberg) or Grace Berger, so I think that hopefully expanding my game will make that tougher to do, because they can’t double team from 17 feet or beyond the arc, so having the opportunity to be out there I think will extend the defense a lot.”

However, Holmes is not planning to abandon her inside role anytime soon. As a matter of fact, she will likely move into the starting lineup at the five with Aleksa Gulbe shifting to replace Wise at the four. And having a year of Big Ten experience will help immensely.

“I definitely feel a lot more prepared,” Holmes said. “Not only the competition we see every night, it’s the grind of the Big Ten season where turnarounds are short and there’s not a lot of time to recover. I felt like toward the end of conference play, my body was finally getting adjusted to it at the level I was playing at. It was hard that we stopped at that point. Getting used to the grind of it all was the biggest adjustment for me.”

If she can expand her game, the upcoming season will see the Hoosiers’ opponents doing the adjusting.


  1. How true t.
    But, I hate to think about a season with no IU fans at games. 🙁
    Suspect it is very unlikely even season ticket holders will be allowed to attend in person.
    I hope that IU will figure out a way to at least stream all the IU Women’s games. I’ll pay.
    Mackenzie is just like every IU women’s player. Working hard, even in the off season, to help IU get better.
    Thanks Jeremy. Good work.

    1. Hey Jeremy….Good question from Nat. Have you heard anything from IU related to streaming all games? I have no problem with coverage provided by the students. ???

  2. Mack has the kind of drive and work ethic to be as good as she can be that coaches only dream about especially from a big. And it doesnt hurt that she has the talent to back it up.

  3. If fans are not allowed there will be no advantage to home court, wonder if they are working on some kind of bubble like they are in Mohegan.

  4. No reason not to have at least 2500 fans. For those who are well and alive at game time let them have choice to live while alive.
    If someone drops dead in parking lot so be it.

    1. What if they drop dead in The Hall and 250 more are infected? What if you or your family are among those 250? I know what you want. Delay that for one year! Everyone needs to be patient and smart.

  5. You can be both safe and smart while attending a game that limits the amount of fans. Its a personal choice to go or not. If you choose to go, play by the rules. Spread-out and wear a mask. If you are fearful of the virus or have health issues, stay at home. Nothing wrong with that either.

    1. As long as there is major enforcement and major fines if certain fans abandon distancing rules and wearing masks. If you get caught with the mask off, then your ticket privileges are banned for two seasons. If you don’t wear the mask or don’t distance, you’ll be asked to leave by law enforcement.
      Live and let live? Fine. But don’t spread the virus with reckless behavior and reckless attitudes which contain zero civic decency. When you “super-spread” and super-spreader events, your actions will eventually find a vulnerable person via your heartless disregard.

      1. When you “super-spread” and [at] super-spreader events…..

        BeatPurdue talks reason along with some semblance of civic responsibility. The country is spiking in cases like never before. ICUs are soon to be busting at the seams.

  6. In support of Kramer’s comments above, and in response to those who advocate locking our society down indefinitely, I find the following quote from Ben Franklin particularly appropriate. “Those who would give up essential Liberty, to purchase a little temporary Safety, deserve neither Liberty nor Safety.”

    I don’t know of anyone who is arguing that everything is o.k., that stadiums should be full of fans, that there is no longer any risk, or that people should not take all reasonable precautions to protect themselves and others. But I object to those who advocate that government should act as an all powerful nanny and restrict everyone’s basic freedoms. Reasonably intelligent people can find ways to maintain our freedom while protecting ourselves and others. The data coming out of Europe proves that locking down an entire country doesn’t work, and that the only thing worse than fighting this virus is fighting it while simultaneously destroying your country’s economy and economically devastating millions of people.

    1. Locking up the virus via smart protocols which follow the science ….does not equate to locking down all activity and communities.

      Respect your neighbors rights and freedoms to not be infected via your recklessness. We have smoke-free buildings and no longer allow chain smokers to fill your lungs with secondhand smoke, but we can’t ask you to not spit Covid-19 into my face…simply because you believe it won’t kill you or anyone in your supremely fit circle? Not everyone gets the Trump & Christie healthcare plan, dunces.

      1. Nobody will spit in your face, if you don’t go to the game. It’s your right to stay home. Respect my right to go out and abide by the rules. If an establishment says wear a mask, I do. Not a problem. If it doesn’t, I will evaluate the situation. This doesn’t seem that complicated, if people would use a little common sense.

  7. CHOICE. Responsible choice of individuals in each sub group pertaining to each of his or her life‘s. Government officials, scientists, doctors and whoever don’t know everything either. They are biased in thinking according to each of their life experiences, education, knowledge. Experts are also biased and grow old, get twisted and perverted. Some others may be younger but are twisted and perverse before they get old. Nevertheless, I want freedom of choice. Responsible, Respectful Choice. I don’t want the twisted perverse decisions forced upon society (picking and choosing to force decisions on others, selective punishment, selective limitation of individual freedoms and make a living. I have witnessed beyond enough.

    1. I also want “freedom of choice”…So get your Right Wing extremism out of a women’s choice.

      Recklessly spreading Covid is no different than a father who impregnates a women and then runs for the hills. Spread a seed of disease and take zero responsibility. And then tell everyone else what to do with your reckless behavior…Translated: Society pays for your irresponsible actions.

      1. Who is to say who is going to drop dead next or become seriously ill, injured with or without serious lasting effects and consequences?

        1. Live alive vs Live dead. However, quite allowing, picking, choosing who gets to live alive vs live dead.
          Goal: freedom to live alive smartly and wisely.

  8. Anyway, the 2020-2021 IU women basketball team has a lot to look forward to. For them, it the hope is forward.

  9. Along the same lines I noticed that mooresville girls basketball must have some covid going on as they canceled/ppone their first 4 games but are not giving those games up as they re-scheduled. The same kind of thing can happen at IU , hopefully not.

  10. Have you seen Mackenzie’s new pic on her twitter account , not the face pic but from her hips up. Looks like a whole new person from last year. Some of it photo shopped but you get the idea.

  11. What’s ironic is that Trump hasn’t even put forth a healthcare plan. His super-spreader events/rallies are the closest thing he’s put forth to starting a healthcare plan. It’s called ‘The Donald Trump No Care for Health Bankruptcy Plan.’ The seeds of Covid-19 infection planted in all those communities amassing the brainwashed cult of the rallying maskless, are going to bankrupt hospitals and bankrupt many sick people from receiving adequate care for all illnesses.
    Hell of a plan…..Most couldn’t even get or afford adequate healthcare. What’s the answer? Have no plan and dust cities with Covid. Might as well be dropping mustard gas from Air Force One upon the crowds of the zombie spreaders.

  12. Regardless, any credit to Trump or not…under Trump there has been research and development for treatments and vaccines. Who could have done any better? …And even before November 3 much work towards corona 19 as already been accomplished. Reality vs who will get the credit?

  13. No ACC/BIG TEN challenge for the women this year, but the men is still on. Thats a shame as I know they were looking forward to it.

  14. I just listened to the “hoosier hysterics” podcast with Teri Moren. Its about damn time someone gave her the time not some little 10-15 min interview but an in depth 2 hr interview . Its the whole story from beginning to end and worth your time. Teri Moren comes in at about the 30 min mark in the podcast and goes from that point on. So if you hunger for more of IU women’s basketball this is your fix.

  15. Thank You, Steve. Great interview of which a small part I was familiar with. I always thought she was a great hire by Fred Glass. T. Moren, is so much more in depth than what one might observe from the outside. It is interesting how
    she identified and carved out her way plus continues carving her and the IU ladies way to their destination. She is very relationship oriented with high expectations and standards for herself and IU Ladies basketball program. For those who join and are willing…IU Ladies basketball, T. Moren provides family relationships and opportunities that are tremendous amounts of fun that incorporates a value system into a self image. Pretty big love development regarding what T. Moren, Staff, IU Ladies, and Bloomington community have. Yes, T. Moren is the right person to lead IU Ladies basketball program.

    1. Thanks t & Steve, I was searching ‘hysteria’ & getting nowhere. Interesting interview with Coach Moren and would enjoy hearing more from here.

  16. Ive listened to it twice already. I do wish she had mentioned the weight loss of Mack, as its obvious.

  17. As long as weight loss is all healthy and her outside shot improved that could make her more Larry Birdness type player. That wouldn’t be bad. Then, Norveroski could play some inside if she’s improved. Patterson could play inside. Both, Gulbe and Holmes could play inside out. Wisne can play some inside; maybe or maybe not.

  18. Reason T. Moren recruited Holmes was not only her work ethic but also her skill set and Holmes could run the floor. Wisne parents were athletes at ND.

  19. Im also curious to see what Browne and McNeil can add to the team, time will give us all those answers.

  20. I don’t look for freshman McNeil and Brown (they may play a little bit) to play that much this year. Players are ahead of them. Wisne will play behind Norveroski who will play behind Holmes. Since Norveroski looks trimmed down and had good high school stats she may play some minutes (could be a pleasant surprise). Just speculation on my part.

  21. Moren has already commented on McNeil saying she has great range. If that is what has been seen at IU practice well and good , but if its just what they know from high school not so much. But I think she will get an opportunity to get on the floor , Moren does like players with some length which Chloe has at 6′.

  22. She is now on a top 20 probable top 10 or at least 12 to 15 major college team in the country and who is she going to play in front of but no more than a couple minutes. She may be a good outside shooter but I question her ball handling, because of freshman decision making, and quickness and speed of college game. My opinion.

  23. As for Noveroski high school stats will mean little, what she could give IU is her size bulk and the ability hopefully to body up against some of the better bigs she might face. Because there wont be any easy opponents this season it will make it tough for some players to get on the floor. Moren will only trust those who have shown promise in practice.

  24. I agree to a good extent but the high school or pre college games are how players are recruited. Nor had a good all star game. She was a Xavier recruit initially. I think of Marchase vs Norveroski and I think Nor fits in better regarding IU.

  25. Nor could develop into a good big ten big player with Holmes and others getting her the ball in scoring positions…when Nor is playing to go along with rebounding.

  26. Ron- glad you were able to find the interview and listen to it and Im surprised more on here havent done that , at least it appears so.

    t- I have watched video of Chloe and think there is a lot of potential there. Her step-father commented that some have commented that she dont seem to be doing much but she gets it done, also said that she sees the floor better than most at her age,, I would not discount her ability.
    On ther other side of the coin she is a freshman.

  27. Steve. I know Chloe has ability. I think it will take her some time as in a year because of quality of team she is playing on. Chloe May start for some mid majors or a lower quality major. She may play some for IU her freshman year. I watched film on her and to play very much now I think she would have to speed her game up quite a bit. Maybe, upon practicing she is doing that.

  28. The latest “way too early” Poll update has IU at 13th up 4 spots from previous. One spot ahead of Maryland and ahead of NW. That shows at least what some people think IU could do, but still you have to be able to show that you can best the terps who have shown themselves to be the Alpha over and over again in the conf.

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