IUWBB: Yeaney ruptured Achilles during NCAA tourney loss

Indiana has confirmed sophomore Bendu Yeaney ruptured her Achilles tendon during the Hoosiers’ second round NCAA tournament contest at Oregon last Sunday.

IU also said Yeaney underwent successful surgery Friday afternoon and will begin rehab.

“We were all devastated when Bendu went down in the NCAA Tournament game and feel for her through this time,” IU coach Teri Moren said in a statement. “Today, she took the first steps in the recovery process with a successful surgery. We are looking forward to getting her healthy and for her return next season.”

This wasn’t Yeaney’s first setback with an Achilles. The 5-foot-10 guard first injured the tendon in the preseason but only missed the exhibition against Northwood. Throughout the season, Moren cited Achilles soreness as a lingering issue for Yeaney, just like Jaelynn Penn’s nagging ankle injury.

Despite the ailment, the Portland, Ore., native solidified her status as the Hoosiers’ go-to defender in 2018-19, fully utilizing her natural athleticism, length, and leaping ability. Moren’s biggest gripe with the Big Ten’s conference honors was Yeaney’s omission from the all-defensive team.

Yeaney made strides on the offensive end, as well, upping her points per game from 8.4 as a freshman to 9.7 and her field goal percentage from 37.1 to 39.5. While those numbers aren’t eye-popping, she came up with shots in big moments, including a game-winner versus No. 10 Iowa during the conference season.

She produced a 17-point performance back in her home state last week as the No. 10-seeded Hoosiers beat No. 7 seed Texas in the NCAA tournament’s opening round. In the third quarter of IU’s second round game at Oregon, Yeaney was just beginning to drive when she suddenly went down in pain, grabbing her foot.

After being evaluated by the training staff, Yeaney returned to the bench in street clothes, her left foot elevated and resting on a stack of towels. A pack of ice was pressed against her Achilles.

Following last Sunday’s loss to the No. 2-seeded Ducks in Eugene, Ore., Yeaney tweeted to her followers, “NCAA tourney.. We’ll be back.. and most definitely I’ll be back (sic) don’t worry.”

IU women’s basketball needs to only look at its men’s program to see how difficult the recovery process from an Achilles injury can be. Hoosier big man De’Ron Davis injured his Achilles tendon the first week of January 2018. He was cleared to return to five-on-five drills at the very end of October.

19 comments

  1. Ill be stunned if she returns before the start of next season looks like it will be a redshirt year too much of the season will be done by the time she’s ready which might be in February

  2. We all wish Bendu the best and a smooth recovery, but the achilles is a devastating injury hard to come back from. Even Moren referred to a part of the teams game this year as “our achilles”.

  3. ” Every adversity, every failure, every heartache carries with it the seed of an equal or greater benefit”.
    Napoleon Hill

  4. I really believe that Bendu will find a way to get onto the court by the start of next year. Just look at her body, this is a person who has done everything to be the supreme athlete that she is. She has chiseled her body in workouts to become what she has become. Along with her God-given talent, she will work and work to get back for her team mates! If anybody can do it, she can! I really think she gets it done! She had the surgery as soon as she could have, in a lot of cases with this type of injury, they have to wait for a couple of weeks while the swelling to go down before they can have the surgery. Thanks to the great IU medical staff and our excellent training staff to help her get ready. Go Hoosiers!!

  5. We all would like to have Bendu back on the court as good as she has been. She might get on the court but she may not be the Bendu we have known in the past. I also dont think the coaching/medical staff will put her in harms way. It seems an achilles is a far more difficult injury to return from, but I wish her the best.

  6. Top returning rebounders:
    Wise – 642
    Yeaney – 296
    Penn – 277
    Patberg – 171
    Gulbe – 112

    It’s fitting that over the last few seconds the championship game was won on a lay up and lost on missed free throws. Playing great defense, taking care of the ball, making lay ups and free throws will win a lot of ball games.

  7. Yes congrats to Mackenzie. Also congrats to Grace Waggoner for receiving the IHSAA mental attitude award at this years state championship game. She is also the reigning 100 meter hurdles regional champion and a heck of an athlete. Could be a 6′ diamond in the rough.

  8. OH Yeah, I had forgotten about Grace Waggoner , yes an outstanding trackster as was Tyra Buss. We shall see how that transfers to the BBall court. Not knowing who the pt will be in the long run Possibly coming off the bench we have not in any particular order- Marchese, Allen, Wilson, Warthen, Waggoner, Beeler, Berger, Johnson,, all subject to change depending on the health of Bendu and Wilson.

  9. Really looking forward to next season since the team will be as talented with depth and athleticism than any team in the Moren era. When Moren came aboard at IU she was asked what type of style of play she would like to bring? As she did say she wanted to run, she also stated she would love to employ a full court press as her defensive attitude. With the numbers now available, it will be interesting to see if that is in the back of her mind. With a healthy Wilson and the addition of Beeler, we will have added speed and quickness that we have not possessed in the past. Our athleticism will be much improved with a healthy Yeaney, Wilson, Beeler, Warthen, Berger and Penn in the back court to apply that pressure? Moren will finally have the numbers to do this if she so desires. The question is, will she have the guts to try this? We all know how she hates playing more people that she has to, she obviously has trust issues, just thought I would throw that out there to see what kind of response I get to that? After all, it took her forever to trust Marchese and she has shown she still doesn’t trust Warthen, the proof is in the pudding so to speak with those 2 players. Go Hoosiers!

  10. MikeC I’m with you when it comes to using all the arrows in the quiver. We are talented ,deep, and for the first time since the Anderson, Gassion & McBride days we will be putting an experienced team on the floor. This team should be able to withstand injuries and foul trouble and have the ability to play a big lineup or a small lineup depending on the matchups. We can play 2 guards and 3 in the frontcourt or we can play a 5 guard lineup. With a reduction in turnovers and improved shooting this team can compete to host an NCAA 1st and 2nd round.

  11. Mikec- Yes I too wonder why Moren hasnt tried the press that much , if she wont trust certain players to even give them minutes it seems unlikely. I remember before the beginning of last season Moren would talk about the improvement of Warthen and how she could get playing time. Early on in the season she did but as the big ten got under way it was less and less. So with this new crop of players there will be more overall speed , but will Moren trust enough to go 3/4 or full press , maybe in the pre -conf. to see how it would go, after that we shall see. I quoted last season would be better than the previous, which I know may have sounded anti-IU with Buss and Cahill, and now I anticipate this upcoming season to better than last. The program is now on an upward swing , lets hope it continues.

  12. Steve W, I agree with you about next year being better than this past year. I don’t see how it can not be since we have so much experience returning and potentially great incoming players. BTW, I am wondering if we have a return home game versus UCLA? I know it is a little early for the schedule but, since we went there last year, just wondering if they are coming our way? I hope our schedule is at least as good as it was this past year. I think we need to beef it up a little. I know that we played South Dakota because we went to the tournament down south. A few less Oakland’s and North Florida’s would be nice. If we want to be a “big time” program, we need to schedule stronger teams. A team out of the ACC or Big East or Big 12 would be cool. We are now at the level that we need these types of teams on our schedule every year! Go Hoosiers!

  13. Even the men seem to have a couple weaker teams to get their feet on the ground to start the season so yeah it may be time to step it up a level, depends on what Moren and staff think what our incoming players can do. Will be interesting to see the upcoming schedule.

  14. Isn’t it about time for Charlie Creme to put out his annual “way too early” rankings deal?

  15. Scwartzie, now that Asia Durr will be gone, now would be the time to also schedule Louisville along with Kentucky. They would both be natural rivalries since they are right next door almost. adding those 2 programs would not hurt our RPI every year either. Go Hoosiers!

  16. MikeC I agree we need to schedule both teams every season. One home and one away alternating each season. I would love to see UCLA here in Bloomington this season as well. Iron sharpens iron.

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