IUWBB: Former Miss Basketball Ali Patberg to transfer to Indiana

Former Notre Dame guard Ali Patberg chose Indiana as her transfer destination Sunday night, making the Hoosiers one of the big winners of transfer season.

Patberg, who was Indiana’s Miss Basketball in 2015, is a McDonald’s All-American, Gatorade Player of the Year and has been a part of Team USA’s development program. Patberg’s father, Ron, confirmed her intentions to transfer to IU.

It’s a great fit for both the Hoosiers and Patberg. IU coach Teri Moren is in need of a point guard for 2018-19, because this coming season will be the final campaign for All-Big Ten honoree Tyra Buss. Patberg, who will have to sit out next season, will be able to take the reins of the Hoosiers’ offense when Buss graduates.

Patberg also gets a fresh start in Bloomington, an hour west of her hometown of Columbus. She was limited by both injury and illness during her two years at Notre Dame. Her freshman season was lost to a knee injury. Then as a sophomore, she played in 22 contests, averaging 7.7 minutes per outing.

But as a high school senior, Patberg was rated as a five-star prospect by ESPN. She was considered the No. 13 prospect in the country and the No. 1 point guard in the class. Columbus North posted a 28-1 record during her senior season, leading the Bull Dogs to a Class 4A state championship.

“Our success is attributed to our players,” Columbus North coach Pat McKee said, “and Ali is foremost among them.”

At Coumbus North, Patberg averaged 18.9 points per game as a four-year starter, including 25.9 per outing as a senior. But she can also be more of a distributor than a scorer. She averaged seven rebounds and five assists per contest. At 5-foot-10, Patberg also set a school record for triple doubles in a season (four) as a senior.

“She brings a combination of qualities. She’s a hard-worker, athletically blessed and really skilled, high basketball IQ — a combination of factors not a lot of people have,” McKee said. “Hopefully the fresh start she gets at IU will allow her to maximize what she has and she’ll do well for herself and the program.”

After announcing her transfer from Notre Dame, Patberg narrowed her final list down to four Big Ten schools: IU, Michigan, Michigan State and Northwestern. Michigan was a top contender because of her relationship with Kim Barnes-Arico, who coached with USA basketball. But her family spent all weekend in Bloomington, and now Patberg will be returning this summer for classes.

Patberg will have at least two years of eligibility with the Hoosiers. There is a chance Patberg could have three years, if she is granted a medical redshirt by the NCAA, but the chances of that are unknown.

Either way, her presence could help sustain momentum for the Hoosiers after Buss and fellow All-Big Ten player Amanda Cahill leave the program. IU has posted 20-plus wins in back-to-back seasons for the first time in school history, but will have an influx of youth with five freshmen arriving in the summer.

During a recent interview, Moren expressed optimism about the young crop of guards coming in. Jaelynn Penn (Louisville, Ky.) is considered a five-star recruit by scouting services. She is joined by Bendu Yeaney (Portland, Ore.) and Keyanna Warthen (Fort Lauderdale, Fla.). Patberg should be able to spearhead that attack.

By ’18-19, the Hoosiers will also have 2018 commit Grace Berger, a 5-10 guard from Louisville ranked as the No. 46 prospect in the country by ESPN.

Moren was obviously happy about the news of Patberg’s commitment, tweeting “Beyond excited tonight!” Buss jokingly claimed credit, tweeting “Must’ve been the host. … But for real, beyond excited you’re joining our family!”

Patberg replied to Buss, writing “Thanks girl it was (definitely) you … but I am so happy to be apart (sic) of the Hoosier family.”


        1. I am not that old, but I spent the weekend laying down about 4 yards of mulch around different areas of my gardens.
          But I didn’t want to leave you without any complaints since the doom and gloom crowd have not come in to talk about what a horrible state the program is in.

  1. This is a great fit for both Ali and the Hoosiers. The foundation for this program’s long term success is becoming stronger and getting to that next level just got a bit closer. Welcome aboard Ali Patberg!

  2. Does IU have any chance with any of the “Bigs” leaving Oh St, Maryland, or any other school?

  3. though injured Ali Patberg should have time to get back to herself for 18-19. T. Moren is adding her second 5 star recruit with her other highly regarded recruits.

  4. Oh No not another transfer , surely Moren must be doing something wrong, ok all you haters out of the woodwork you come.

  5. Just another great addition to an ever increasing load of talent coming into the IU program. I agree with t that setting out next year should get her 100% physically fit for 2018 season. Another 5 star recruit to go along with Grace Berger from Louisville who is a 4 start recruit. Up until this coming season, IU had never had a 5 start recruit and I am not sure we have ever had a 4 start recruit until this coming season? This just shows the impact that Moren has had on this program. I read this morning on the Peegs website that IU will be actively recruiting Erin Boley, 6’1″ forward who is also transferring from Notre Dame. She started the last several games for Notre Dame this past season and is a very, very good player! She was one of the recruiting services “high school player of the year last year. Boley is from the state of Kentucky and will be actively recruited by many of the top schools in the nation. Maybe we can catch lightening in a bottle again?

  6. Yes it would be great if we could land Boley also but odds are mostly likely against that happening still Patberg and Boley were both miss basketball and players of the year in the respective states. I also think Mike is correct on never even having a 4 star recruit until the upcoming season. Buss wasnt even in the hoopgurls top 100 but should have been. Things are looking up. Hopefully Patberg will get beyond the ACL injury from her freshman year and be fully ready to assume her point guard abilities.

  7. I was counting Penn as 5 star.
    Tyra is lighting in a bottle. Though big scorer in small high school in small program (which made her 3 star) running up and down the court against small schools. There was some doubt if she could play big time college basketball. Well, Tyra (Tyra is not a good but a great athlete) has not only played, but has been one of the major components that has elevated the IU ladies basketball program on its way to a major big time college basketball program. This includes recruiting. Just can’t say enough about how she represents IU and the whole ladies program.

  8. Here we go, two more transfers out of louisville , thats 3 in a weeks time. Ciera Johnson and Brianna Jones both 5 star recruits out of high school. Louisville does have the #4 ranked incoming class .

  9. Just read an article from a Columbus paper about Patberg and her visit to IU. The article stated that there was another transfer visiting with her on that week end from the University of Pittsburgh. I did a little research and discovered that a girl named Brenna Wise (6′ sophomore forward) had left Pittsburgh at the end of the season deciding to transfer to another school. Wise this past season averaged 14 points a game after scoring 10 points a game and 7 rebounds as a freshman. Saw a picture of her from a game this past season and she has arms on her that looks like they could compare with Amanda Cahill. Will be interesting to see if she may consider IU?

  10. I was thinking and wondered if all these transfers are happening in college basketball; are all them in good academic standing sense there just seems to be this obsession with transferring rather than to make things successful where that player originally enrolled. I know everyone has his or her own legitimate reasons but I still wonder about the legitimacy of academics in college sports in different situations and cases. Even IVY league schools have questionable academic corrupt norms that are unrelated to sports that make them anything but academic in certain areas, rather just plain weird.

    1. I knew every player at Cornell for several years when they were having a nice run a few years ago. They would have been accepted to any university anywhere. They will all be very successful.

  11. What is the deal with 6″4″ center transferring from Louisville? Any chance for IU? Is IU interested in her?

  12. As IU is getting its footing under them in ladies basketball I realize a transfer or 2 is normal on a team. However, I do not want a rag tag team of transfers. I do not think it will as T.Moren develops program and players as four year team members….. As many stars at UCONN I don’t hear of much transferring. Geno is not easy and what a tribute to him and that program.

  13. The 2 transfers that announced yesterday are McDonald’s All-American freshman Ciera Johnson and 5 star ranked sophomore Brianna Jones. Of course Louisville is one of the top 20 teams in the country every year since Jeff Waugh has been there. I would say t , that Patberg is not in the category of “rag tag”. She is a quality player that was a McDonald’s All American and also is an Indiana girl which is an added bonus! Teams throughout the country add 1 or 2 transfers every year if they feel it will make their team better, some time it works out and some time it doesn’t? U-Conn next year will have 2 transfers eligible to play, one from Kentucky and one from Duke. The 6′ 6″ transfer from Duke will be among the best 2 or 3 players in the nation! Transfers leaving and transfers coming in are a huge part of the game now. All teams work the system in order to improve. If you don’t become involved in the game, you are simply hurting yourself.

  14. Geno? Sounds Italian….? Maybe he makes some mean pasta allafraido…? Maybe his discipline is al dente…as in just firm enough to have some bite but not so undercooked as to be inflexible and incapable of the perfect ‘transfer’ into the awaiting sauce? Now that’s ITALIAN! U Con Tanto Amore!

  15. Tell MikeC that I’m currently taking a basketball sewing class….and that’s why I’m on this women’s thread.

    Wonder how Dustin is doing? Do you guys ever hear from him? Wasn’t he getting married? Any little Dustins yet?

  16. I was not meaning to refer to Patberg as rag tag or any other transfer coming to IU as rag tag. Rather, I mean that I did not want a team of like 7 or 8 transfers and a lack of its own recruits. I stated I do not see that as a problem.

  17. I guess we’re all a little thin skinned . No room for debate here . This site is nothing like the men’s site where different opinions are accepted and debated . agree with me or I am taking my ball and going home . A little disappointed in a few of you . I expect it out of t. And kokomo but not some of you . That being said I wish Ali and buss could play together for 1 year . That would be interesting on many levels . We a lso need a 4 and a 5 for depth as we’ll have 6 good guards next year . Can’t play 6 .

  18. One of the incoming Freshmen ( Linsey Marchese ) plays the ( 5 ) and ranked 14 best in the country ( ESPN ) .. Also ranked by Prospect Nation ( 14th ) and 81st best player in the country.
    Will be one of the most Physical players to come out of Indiana and athletic. Will get up and down the court and fits Moren style of play perfect.
    Over 1,500 pts and close to 1,000.00 bounds out of high school. Google her , there is film.

  19. Fairly to pretty high expectations for L.M. Though from what I gather a high 3 star recruit I would be cautious not to over expect from her. I think Tyra and Amanda will be excellent team mates for her. I still think it is imperative that Darby and Kim step up and have a surprisingly good year that each are capable of if IU is going to improve on last couple years. What I mean is they do not have to be stars of the team, but rather solid dependable reliable players. Besides playing defense and rebounding, each should average around 7 to 10 points per game.

  20. One thing that I have noticed in the vid clips of Marchese is her mobility around the rim even to making reverse layups, I like what I see from her and she seems to run the court well too. We shall see how that translates to the college game, but yes we have to remember all these girls are freshman. Would be nice if they dont realize they are just freshman and play beyond the expectations.

  21. Yes Steve, Marchese is all that you say and more. Her footwork around the basket is as sound as any high school big that I have ever seen! As the great football coach Daryl Royal use to say about some of his players, ” I want them Mobil, agile and hostile.” Of the clips I have seen of her, Marchese seems to be all of those things. I really believe she will bring us more ability than we have had in the post in years. She is strong with either hand which is incredibly important for her position. Can’t wait to see her on the court. T, I agree with what you say about Kim and Darby, they both have the potential to be very important role players for us. Go Hoosiers!!

  22. Even though IU recruit Jaelyn Penn came up just short of winning miss basketball she did win another coveted honor. She was awarded the “Kentucky Gatorade player of the year” congrats to her on that significant honor.

  23. This evening I watched the girls state championship game from 2015 in which Patberg was a senior and Columbus North won state. Since Ali is coming to IU I watched it with more intense interest. She is the real deal and a big guard at nearly 6′. Once she decides to take over a game she does it. She has won every award there is to win and I didnt know till I watched that she also won the mental attitude award. Hopefully she will be beyond her injury when she finally can play ball next year.

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