IUWBB: Tayra Bugler and more

Being a Division I basketball coach is hard. Recruiting, gameplanning, motivating players – there is a whole list of things.

One under-appreciated aspect of the job: Keeping straight your player nicknames.

We learned sitting down with Indiana women’s basketball coach Teri Moren that Amanda Cahill isn’t just Amanda or Cahill. One day in the summer, Cahill notified Moren that people actually call her “B,” because of her middle name, Brooke.

Of course they do.

Jess Walter is nicknamed J.J. “I don’t know if she has a middle name that is a J,” Moren said. “I’ve never asked.” Maura Muensterman is “Moo,” for whatever reason.

One point of confusion in the huddle is whether Moren is referring to Taylor Agler or Tyra Buss, because she has a habit of calling them both “T.”

“So I go Tay, Ty,” Moren said.

Then again, Tay and Ty have taken to calling themselves “Tayra” now, according to some tweets, or as assistant coach Todd Starkey has come to call the pair, Tayra Bugler.

The challenges of a coach are never-ending.

Developing players

In other news, Buss is a seriously good player. But heading into Big Ten season, Moren anticipates opposing teams will be ready for her compliment of drives and outside 3-pointers.

After the IUPUI game, Moren talked with Buss about developing a midrange game.

“One or two hard dribbles and pull up before you get into the trees,” Moren said. “That will be a part of her development as a player here to make sure we are expanding her game and not just limiting it to her being exclusively on the attack.”

At times, Buss has a tendency to cradle the ball as she drives the lane, trying to brace for contact. Moren is also trying to weed out that bad habit, so if she attacks, she attacks strong to the basket. Surprisingly, Moren said the team’s biggest player, Jenn Anderson, tends to shy away from contact, too.

Other goals for individual players include more drives and subsequent free throws attempts for Larryn Brooks, who is averaging 1.6 per game. Jess Walter, who Moren likes on the defensive end because of her athleticism, has a tendency to run into screens. And while Amanda Cahill has been the Hoosiers most consistent player, Moren has been somewhat concerned about her shooting stroke as of late.

“She can fill it up. But she hasn’t — for the last three or four games, I’d say. She’s been broke from the outside,” Moren said. “We have to get her back on track.”

More from Moren on Cahill

If you have been following the team, you know that Moren has been infatuated with Cahill, or “B,” as a basketball player.

It was hard for her to first lay eyes on Cahill, the tips of her toes angled apart as she runs, and see a great athlete. “Her gait is weird, to watch her run,” Moren said, “but you watch her play, she has that innate sense for where the ball is. She has been, by far, our most consistent kid. We are happy and grateful that she is just a freshman, because she is, she is going to be important to our success.”

Cahill has been vital, as well, because of IU’s lack of depth in the post. Moren admitted that she has played Cahill even when she is tired, because she trusts her not to err when fatigued. The addition of two post players as part of next year’s freshman class will only help Cahill, and get her some rest, Moren said.

What she likes most about Cahill is how she is a coach’s kid that admits to her mistakes. She missed a key rebound in the loss to Indiana State, which resulted in a kick out for a game-tying 3-pointer late.

Moren remembers Cahill came back to the huddle and said, “That’s my fault you guys, my fault.”

“That’s what we appreciate, that she owns up to every mistake that she makes,” Moren said. “Not every kid does that. They want to hide and pretend that didn’t happen. She is not that kid.

“There are some kids, you have to remind them, ‘Next play, move on, move on.’ She’s next play, that happened, I have to move on.’ If I hold that with me, I’m not going to be productive.”

Jakubicek remains out

Speaking of post depth, Claire Jakubicek remains out following an arthroscopic knee procedure in early November. Her initial prognosis was 4-6 weeks, but she should be out another couple of weeks, Moren said.

Jakubicek’s name came up in the context of IU’s lack of post depth and how that will affect what kind of defense the Hoosiers employ come Big Ten play. IU has yet to consistently use a zone defense, despite a lack of size, because Moren has not been satisfied with her team’s level of play in man-to-man, which she considers the foundation of a good zone team.

“I don’t know how that will translate once the Big Ten gets here. I now defensively we won’t be able to be creative,” Moren said. “We won’t be able to sit in a man for 40 minutes.”

3 comments

  1. As good as the guard play is on this team, the back bone of the team has become Cahill. Her incredible versatility and intelligence has become so important to this young team. When you consider our lack of size, Cahill has become irreplaceble for us. She plays beyond her years averaging a double-double.

    The Jakubicek injury, I think really effects this team heading into conference play especially because of our lack of depth up front. She was a very good player her freshman year at Northern Illinois when she was named freshman of the year in the MAC.

    Teri Moren has proven to be a very good coach coming from Indiana St. Her emphasis on defense was much needed. I agree with “t” in touting our new coach. Watching her post-game press conferences so far this year has been very comforting in proving to me that we are without a doubt in good hands! Go Hoosiers!

  2. In Teri Moren we’ve got an honest-to-God real Hoosier coach. Her pressers are very informing and she is
    building a great womens team for Indiana.

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