IUWBB: Penn explains decision to attend IU

Indiana claimed a statement recruiting win on Sunday, nabbing five-star guard Jaelynn Penn in a head-to-head battle with South Carolina.

Penn, considered the No. 39 recruit in 2017, according to ESPN, explained Monday why she chose IU over a program consistently ranked top 5 in the country.

“I felt more of a priority to them,” Penn said of IU. “They have McDonald’s All-Americans on the bench over (at South Carolina). Indiana’s closer to home. I want my parents to come to my games and stuff, that’s important. But mostly the education.”

It wasn’t just about basketball for Penn, who wants to be a doctor someday and likes IU’s medical school. But in terms of the Hoosiers’ basketball program, Penn said she feels it’s ascending after last year’s NCAA tournament appearance.

“I feel like they are on the come up,” Penn said. “Getting to the NCAA tournament was a big thing for them. Just because they are not established as one of the top schools in the nation, that doesn’t mean we can’t get there, you know?”

Penn, a 5-foot-10 guard, figures to be a valuable piece next to point guard Tyra Buss, who will be a senior in 2017-18. The Hoosiers will also have graduated current seniors Alexis Gassion, Karlee McBride and Amber Deane from the backcourt.

With a backcourt of Buss, Penn and possibly Ria Gulley, the Hoosiers will have three athletic guards who can run the floor and attack the basket. Penn was also a 40 percent shooter from 3 last season for Butler High School in Louisville.

IU’s pace of play definitely intrigues Penn. She also likes the fact that head coach Teri Moren doesn’t take kindly to losing.

“I heard she’s not a great loser at all,” Penn said. “I think they take pride in that and that’s what I take pride in now as a high schooler.”

Having made her decision, Penn can now return her focus to her final season at Butler. Penn may have averaged 14.2 points per game as a junior, but that’s because she plays on a state championship team with other Division I prospects.

Being a part of Butler’s program has shown Penn how to play a role, rather than always looking to score. That should serve her well at the next level.

It’s taught me not to really be worried about dropping 30 a game or getting yours, not really caring who has the big game,” Penn said. “As long as we get the W, share the ball — it’s more fun when everyone’s scoring and having a good time.”


  1. I watched a video on youtube of Penn and besides all the top stats her personal claim to fame is her defense . She claims that is what she loves to do most and does it well.

  2. As T hinted at you just have to love Penn’s outlook. Rather than automatically go to a top 5 team why not go to a team on the rise and beat teams like SC. Thats not the only reason she chose IU but I really like her attitude and reasoning.

  3. It’s interesting that Butler has multiple future DI players in women’s hoops when the Bluegrass State doesn’t produce many men’s DI players at all for a state with a couple major powers within its borders.

  4. I love her attitude, she is obviously a girl that wants a challenge and will attack it with all she has. That is what I get from her words. Steve W, you are all over it, she could have joined a national power very easily but, she wants to challenge the national powers! That speaks volumes about her approach to the game! H attitude will fit very nicely into our program. These are the type of players that you want, this will only make our program stronger! Go Hoosiers!

  5. This is where Prospect Nation has our 2017 Recruits

    2017 F Alexis Johnson Texas 6′ 1″ Indiana ( 3 1/2 stars )
    2017 48 10 G Jaelynn Penn Kentucky 5′ 9″ Indiana..48 overall , 10 Position ( 4 Stars )
    2017 81 14 P Linsey Marchese Georgia 6′ 3″ Indiana..81 overall, 14 Position ( 4 Stars )
    2017 86 19 G Keyanna Warthen Florida 5′ 10″ Indiana.. 86 overall, 19 Position ( 4 Stars )

  6. In watching the first day of practice vids with coach Moren , the one here watching Ria Gulley in the background and on hoosier scoop watching Darby Foresman in background both working out with the coaches , was much more interested in watching them work out than the actual interview.

  7. It wasn’t so long ago that Coach Moren’s critics were all over this forum denouncing her as incompetent in pretty much all phases of coaching and life in general. Haven’t heard much from them in a while. I’m sure if the Hoosiers stumble they’ll find their way back, unfortunately.

  8. I just finished watching the kentucky state championship game from 2014 , ky still has single class basketball. Butler beat Elisabethtown for the state title. Jaelynn Penn started for this team as a freshman. The interesting part is they list Penn at 5’6″ so it appears she has gone thru quite a growing spurt if she is 5’10” now and I believe she is . Follow this link and you can see a photo taken of Penn standing with Moren during her visit to IU and you will see what I mean.

  9. Yes Chet, you are right, some of “those people” have crawled back into their basements after the recent recruiting sucess of the coaching staff. I really don’t know what it will take for some of them to get on board? Archer’s post on the recent recruits is quite uplifting to say the least. 4 star and 5 star recruits is what we are looking for to get us where we want to go! People who are critical of coach Moren and her recruiting ( and there were more than one of them last year) need to shut up! This current class that will be coming in next year speaks for it’s self if you take a look at Chet’s post. What more can you say? Go Hoosiers!

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