IU women set for tip-off against Valparaiso

The Curt Miller era officially tips off in a little more than an hour when the Indiana women open their season at Valparaiso.

The Hoosiers will likely start true freshman Nicole Bell at point guard in place of Andrea Newbauer, who continues her recovery from off-season ankle surgery. Miller said earlier this week that Newbauer’s availability off the bench tonight will be a gametime decision.

“She’s clearly not 100 percent,” Miller said. “Her conditioning is less than 100 percent because she hasn’t been able to practice a full practice yet. But she can lead off the floor in so many ways and provide a calming influence on some of our unproven point play.”

Last weekend’s closed scrimmage against Illinois State was canceled when a flu bug took down most of Illinois State’s team, preventing travel to Bloomington on Sunday. That means Indiana enters play tonight without having played another team since its scrimmage with Kentucky State on Oct. 30.

In the meantime, Miller said the team has worked on expanding its playbook. Although it’s still a rather basic playbook, the first-year coach said the Hoosiers have enough plays to get by the early, non-conference portion of it schedule.

“We know we’ll be a better team in January or February than we are in November,” he said, “but we’re excited about the journey, excited to see where we are. This season isn’t all about wins and losses. It’s about creating a culture and establishing things that can’t always be measured by wins and losses. We’re excited to start that and create that culture.”

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