IUWBB: Jess Walter leaving IU

The day after Indiana was eliminated from the NCAA tournament, sophomore guard Jess Walter announced via Twitter she is leaving the program.

Walter, from Midland, Mich., averaged 2.8 points in 16.4 minutes per game. Her exit is the second from the 2014 recruiting class assembled by former coach Curt Miller. Maura Muensterman, a 6-foot wing from Evansville, was one of four players to leave IU after last season.

Tyra Buss and Amanda Cahill remain as solid building blocks for the Hoosiers, having each earned All-Big Ten recognition in 2015-16.

“Hoosier Nation. Over my time here, I have built some life long bonds and have met some incredible people. I am very proud of the growth of this team and will continue to wish the rest of my teammates the utmost success,” Walter wrote. “However, after much consideration and prayer, I have decided to continue my career elsewhere. Thank you for the past two years.”

IU won a regular-season record 20 games this season, and the program won its first NCAA tournament game since 1983. But Walter’s season was derailed early on by a concussion in the preseason. After Tyshee Towner started the first 11 games of the season, Walter was given an opportunity to start for five games, but lost that spot to Karlee McBride, who started the final 17.

After hitting 41 percent of her 3s as a freshman — a Big Ten best for players in her class — her shots did not fall as often as a sophomore. She hit 28.1 percent from the field and 26.7 percent from 3.

β€œThe entire staff and I want to thank Jess Walter for her hard work and dedication over the last two seasons,” IU head coach Teri Moren said in a statement. “We accomplished so much this year with her as part of this program and we wish her nothing but the best going forward. We will continue to build off of the successes we experienced this season.”

The backcourt picture was only going to get more crowded in 2016-17. Tia Elbert, a transfer from Marquette, will be a redshirt sophomore next season. Moren has also recruited 5-foot-10 guard Ria Gulley from San Antonio, Texas. Alexis Gassion, Towner and McBride will be seniors next season.

Buss, the Hoosiers’ first-team All-Big Ten point guard, took to Twitter after Walter made her announcement.

“Heartbroken,” Buss wrote. “I love you Jessica Rose Walter. You will forever be my best friend.”

7 comments

  1. Really hate to see this but I can’t say that I’m completely surprised given how little playing time she had this year. With the emergence of Karlee McBride this season, you had to wonder if this was a definite possibility.

    Walter is a very good player and due to unfortunate injuries earlier this year, her chances to solidify her role with the team was jeopardized.

    She was a class act and I wish her the best of luck wherever she lands.

  2. Truly sorry to hear Jess Walter is leaving always liked her and her game . This often happens if players are not happy with diminished playing time for whatever reason. I suspect this is not the end and there will be more but I hope not. Seems to be the nature of the beast.

  3. It’s the nature of today’s game. There is no blame to assign. Coaching changes, priorities change. A player perfect for one system doesn’t fit in another. So, they look for a better fit.

    Best of luck to her in her move to potentially greener pastures.

  4. Tyra, Amanda, and Jess are very close friends and in the early season were the public face of the team.
    This is just really sad.
    I think her early season injury was far worse than we all knew.
    I wish Jess the best.

  5. There is no doubt that her concussion early in the year dramatically effected her play this year. She never did regain her shooting touch which she exhibited during her freshman year when she lead the team in 3 point percentage. She had many opportunities this year to hit open shots and they just simply didn’t go in. I also agree with a point stated in the article expressed in the “Daily Student” this morning about her transfer. The article suggested that her playing time would be drastically reduced next year due to the incoming freshmen who play her position and the eligibility of Tia Elbert. As Steve W and Chet state above, yes, it is the nature of the beast in today’s game. It is only logical that a girl would want to go where she may be assured of more playing time. It’s a shame but, understandable. As NatHillV states, this had to be an incredibly hard decision for Jess since her, Amanda and Tyra are room mates and best friends. I certainly hope that Jess finds what she is looking for at her next location. Good luck Jess!

  6. Once again I wish Jess the best wherever she decides to play ball. Yes she was in the recruitment class with Maura Muensterman and still hate the fact Maura had to leave. So next year I will have my eye on Belmont where she will be joining fellow hoosier Darby Maggard who just happened to go to the state finals 4 years in a row winning 2 state championships with F.W. Canterbury and the mental attitude award and a spot on the all star team. At Belmont she was awarded freshman of the year along with newcomer of the year in the OVC. She avg. 12 pts 4 reb not bad for little pint sized self as a freshman. It would not surprise me in the least if Muensterman makes the same kind of splash for the bruins as she will be available to play in the upcoming season. Good luck to all.

  7. Hate to see Jess go but probably what’s best for her. Disappointed that coach didn’t get all the girls in at the end of the Notre Dame game when the Irish had their subs in. realize Tyra didn’t have double figures yet but all the girls deserve the thrill of playing in the tournament game if possible. Thank God Coach Moren called a play with 20 seconds Left for Tyra to get a wide open 3 and keep her streak alive. I also found it kind of creepy when one of our male assistant coach’s was rubbing tyra’s back during a stoppage of play during the Georgia game. More appropriate in this day and age for the trainer to do it.

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