IUWBB: Agler’s minutes in flux

Five games into the conference season, Taylor Agler was out of the starting lineup.

Five games later, the sophomore guard went her first game without a single minute of play.

“Just a game decision. Karlee (McBride) came in and gave us such great minutes. We had a pretty sound and solid rotation, we liked it and we just stuck with it,” IU head coach Teri Moren said after practice Wednesday. “It wasn’t a matter of Taylor doing anything wrong. Jess (Walter) struggled. Karlee was just really, really good.”

An injured ankle opened the door for Alexis Gassion to start over Agler against Wisconsin Jan. 11. There were questions at the time about what a bench role might look like for Agler, being that Gassion proved valuable as a reserve because of her ability to play the four — not a fit for a more slight Agler.

Coming off the bench, Agler projected more as a sub for a backcourt piece, unless the Hoosiers wanted to forfeit even more size than they did with Gassion at forward. And where the Hoosiers’ front court is thin, its backcourt is deep, which has been part of the struggle finding minutes for Indiana’s Miss Basketball runner-up, freshman Maura Muensterman.

That conflict seemed to be at play Monday versus Purdue. With McBride providing positive minutes at guard, and Lyndsay Leikem eating up time at the four — allowing Gassion to play more as a guard/wing — there weren’t minutes left over for Agler.

“That’s kind of what Taylor got caught up in. (Gassion) is playing more at the 3, Karlee is playing great. We had (Tyra Buss) and Larryn (Brooks), and then we gave some of those minutes to Jess. But the difference in that Purdue game, the rotation part of it, was Leikem, the minutes she gave us, not only offensively but defensively.”

Moren made it sound like Agler’s minutes could differ from now on, depending on matchups.

It’s not completely shocking to see Agler’s minutes reduce, given her struggles this Big Ten season. She averaged 1.8 points per game on 17.9 percent shooting, including 20 percent from 3.

“Big Ten, it’s always about matchups,” Moren said. “It’s about who matches up better in the course of a game. Like Jess — Jess wasn’t that good against Purdue. Jess wasn’t very good against Michigan State. But Jess was really good against Penn State. It’s a matter of which kid is going to show up, which kid is going to be sound defensively and, the other part of that, are they going to contribute and be productive and give us something on the offensive end.”

4 comments

  1. So does this mean Agler still has a chance to see quality playing time this season, or is she going to be sitting next to Muensterman at the end of the bench for the remainder of the season?

  2. Taylor also injured her ankle earlier this season. Not sure how/if that is affecting her play & minutes.

  3. They will all get plenty of minutes next year. Whoever hasn’t quit by then. Muensterman asked to be redshirted this year and the coaching staff told her no. ( true story guys). And look what they did for her this year. Literally stole a whole year of basketball eligibility from her. This coaching staff is a hot mess and going to have a lot of trouble recruiting quality players I guarantee it. Good luck to agler, hopefully things improve for her but i doubt it.

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