News and notes on IU women’s basketball

Indiana women’s basketball coach Teri Moren, along with freshman Jorie Allen and redshirt junior Ali Patberg, met with the media for the first time this season on Monday, just six days before hosting an exhibition game against McKendree. Following are some quick notes from that session:
Bendu on the mend
Junior guard Bendu Yeaney continues her rehab from the torn Achilles suffered in the NCAA Tournament. Moren said Yeaney was cleared on Monday to begin 5-on-5 halfcourt work and if all goes well, could be going fullcourt in a couple of weeks. Yeaney remains on schedule for an early January return.
In other injury news, Patberg continues to build up her strength and stamina after offseason shoulder surgery, while Jaelynn Penn is now battling plantar fasciitis in both feet despite taking the summer off. According to Moren, Penn is “day-to-day.”
Berger a beast
Without playing a game, sophomore Grace Berger has already stamped herself as IU’s most improved player. “I think Grace Berger is going to emerge from the beginning,” Moren said. “I’ve never seen a kid that has been more dedicated about getting better than Grace has been this summer. Her body looks different. Just the dedication that she’s had in the weight room, the things she’s putting in her body, she looks completely different. She’s playing with a tremendous a mount of confidence that she wasn’t a year ago, and I just think that has to do with experience.”
Post play?
The biggest question surrounding the 2019-20 Hoosiers revolves around the center position, where undersized starter Kym Royster graduated and backup Linsey Marchese transferred. Moren says right now IU is looking at the trio of 6-foot-3 sophomore Aleksa Gulbe, 6-3 freshman Mackenzie Holmes and 6-5 freshman Hannah Noveroske. It’s possible 6-1 freshman Jorie Allen could see spot duty. “We can move Aleksa Gulbe to the 5, she played there a little bit last year,” Moren said. “She’ll probably start there for us at the beginning of the season. I think everybody’s going to be impressed with Mackenzie, I do. Then Hannah is a kid that —— we just have to get her in shape. The biggest adjustment these freshmen have to make is pace, because we want to play downhill.” Holmes saw time at center in a closed scrimmage with IUPUI, which Moren said exposed her a bit on the defensive end of the floor, although Holmes has shown soft hands and a great feel for the game, particularly on offense.
AP off the ball?
With Yeaney sidelined for the first half of the season, one wrinkle for the Hoosiers may include Ali Patberg at shooting guard with redshirt freshman Chanel Wilson or junior Keyanna Warthen running the point. Wilson, in particular, has caught the eye of the coaching staff for her ability to shoot and distribute.
“We’re hopeful we can play AP off the ball a little bit, which would give us another wing until we can get all of our pieces back,” Moren said. “I like where we are, I like our pieces as of today and the fact that we can shift them around a little bit gives us a luxury we didn’t have a year ago.”

33 comments

  1. Apparently Coach Moren has read and agrees with all 74 comments in the recent “IU women picked 3rd, Patberg preseason All-Big Ten” article. 🙂
    I’m very nervous about Jaelynn Penn. She is an outstanding young woman in every area of her life, and hope she can feel better soon.
    Excited for Grace Berger. Sky is the limit I would think.
    Great reporting as usual.
    Thanks Jeremy.

  2. Sounds like everything I said earlier may be coming to fruition? Patberg at the 2 off the ball, Berger becoming a monster as I thought would happen this year and Wilson at the point because of her shooting ability and quickness. The only thing that bothers me is Gulbe playing the 5 as I have stated since the end of last year as being a determent to her ability to improve, still think she needs to stay on the wing because of her versatility! Still say it would be wise to put the 2 freshmen in the middle and let them improve by trial and error. Oh well, I guess we have to trust the coaches since they see the players every day, maybe I am beating a dead horse, we will see? Can’t wait for the exebition on Sunday to see what we have. Go Hoosiers!!

    1. MikeC,
      What, and miss all our valuable advice and keen insights?
      No, I said that tongue firmly in cheek.
      But I did find it interesting how closely her remarks and plans for the team echoed what you and several others had surmised from a distance.

  3. Nat- I agree It does appear Moren has been following the comments although cant imagine her wasting her time with that. Either way great to get an update on her estimation of the team along with Bendu and Penns issues. Glad to hear of the great improvement of Grace Berger. Also it appears Beeler had an injury that could keep her out this season. Nice to hear that Chanel has been working at the point and it seems so far that the coaches are feeling good about her work there. Jeremy I know you have been monitoring so thanks for this update.

  4. Just saw the ESPN women’s pre-season poll on line. Yes, IU is ranked #24. Get this, we have been talking the last few weeks about the strength of IU’s schedule this year, well, we Have #2 Baylor, #5 Maryland twice, # 12 UCLA, # 17 Minnesota twice and # 24 Michigan. And of course in our conference tournament we could catch Maryland and Minnesota and Michigan again. As I stated a couple of weeks ago, we may have quite a few losses this year but, will be a much better team. I am really excited about our schedule, this is the kind of schedule a really good team should have! Season can’t start soon enough, Go Hoosiers!!

  5. Due to BY injury recovery and JP issues (JP needs to get her pain healthy) Grace Berger is one very large secret to IU success. Not only does she have the background but now is pushing herself forward as the really good to great ones do. That is confirmed by T. Moren that adds validation to her as a player.

  6. Get Holmes in the middle fast and Gulbe on the wing unless Gulbe is more inside at this level than wing. (meaning ball handling, quickness exposed) etc. Gulbe did play over summer and she is another year older. Gulbe always seemed smart and competitive.

  7. Nope .. sounds like everything I said

    I gave the starting 5… moran will only play 7…. allen freshman of the yr… holmes.. main hoop is not strong

  8. toughness at the 5 .. will be a problem.. ****

    Now this might being getting out there a bit… allen getting big minutes at the 5

    Extremely athletic group..

  9. Fan, said this before, if Allen has to play the 5 we are in BIG trouble. I have been a season ticket holder for 30 + years and anytime we tried to play a center that was 6’1′ or even 6’2″ (Royster), we were always terribly overmatched inside. In today’s game, you absolutely MUST have size at the center position! Allen may be a terrific player but, 6’1′ is 6’1″ and it simply is not big enough at center! This would kill us defensively and on the boards. If this team is going to the next level it must have size in the middle! In the Big 10, teams always recruit girls with size and that simply doesn’t change! Being a long time fan, I have been frustrated over the years because we have not had the size to compete with other conference teams. This year we have recruits with size and they need to be on the floor if we want to compete at a high level. Go Hoosiers!

  10. size means zero at the 5.. without toughness .. size without toughness = fouls..

    i know you really like moren and when she says allen will play some at the five.. and gulbe will start .. look beyond her words .. means holems and the really .. really big girl are not cutting it…

    moren… going with play makers ..not size…

  11. heres the deal ,, starting a true wing at center… because the other girls are not cutting it..

    as much as i dont want to say this… marchese would of been starting and would of felt comfortable with that …..

  12. Then, why transfer? Because within first 10 games position will be Holmes and would have been Holmes with Hannah assisting a few minutes and Gulbe filling in as needed.

  13. If Machese stayed I agree she would have played behind Holmes within first 10 games. Gulbe could have fully concentrated on wing.

  14. dang T… early morning hair raising … kids transfer for all different kinds of reasons.. my assessment comes from … watching marchese and gulbe at the 5…

    I felt marchese out played gulbe…. down the stretch where money was on the line..

    it does seem … you have a inside to coach moren,,, sometimes the forceful way you blog … sounds exactly like her …. almost sticking up for all of morens decisions… ( could hoosierfsan ) be correct ?

  15. Just read where Tyra Buss has been added to the Big 10 Network staff as a women’s basketball analyst, how cool is that! And Fan, I guarantee you that if Allen is put in at the “center” position and Gulbe is in the game at the same time, Gulbe will be guarding the post no matter what coach says. Go Hoosiers!

  16. TB was a guest analyst on big ten network last year. TB was outstanding. Was that whether unintended or not, a rehearsal for analyst on big ten network this year? TB is great and she will be successful wherever, but it just seems like she belongs in sports and tv media is a great place for her and coaching areas as well.

  17. Jori as undersized center at major college level most of or full time (IU and opponents) because of twists, turns, leveraging, contact, and fierce struggles to make plays being undersized significantly game in and game out significantly increases odds for large dents, dings, and injuries. Plus a player the caliber of Jori it would stunt her talent level even more so than it stunted Gulbe. The good news about Gulbe she is a sophomore. Though she struggled last year remember she was a freshman. Before Gulbe career is over I expect Gulbe to break out into a double digit scorer from wing. This means because of IU talent level as in other scorers, 10 to 12 points per game, competent on defense, and a few rebounds and good team player. This should happen junior and senior year.

  18. welcome to the board coach ( unmasked ) any possibility we can have a Q/A ..session with you Sunday evenings ?

  19. I may have started this nonsense of Coach Moren reading this blog mess with my opening comment, which was written with my tongue firmly in cheek.
    It just did my heart good that her comments lined up pretty well with what many of us had been talking about here.
    I feel bad about that now, but here’s my comment on Coach Moren taking the time to comment through t on this blog.
    Tin foil hat anybody? 🙂

  20. Right.

    Of 15 or so people commenting here one of them is the head women’s basketball coach.

    I hear those tin foil hats are scratchy.

    1. H******fan#### was the first one to put forward that theory a few years ago, and several of the other malcontents have brought it forward whenever they feel like the need to discount t’s opinion.

  21. Thanks bvance.
    I’m sure you’re right about where the nonsense all began.
    I personally find the notion that Coach Moren would give a hoot about this forum (or any forum) beyond belief.

  22. From a recent interview with Gulbe it appears in europe they are allowed to play more physical with less fouls being called. Its obvious the adjustment from there to the states is difficult for her.

    Holmes just wants to be great and It is my opinion she will do what is needed to improve her game and at the current time its on the defensive end from Morens comments. Playing “downhill” does not really fit into what Hannah can do , but in the half court game opponents will feel her presence. Lets hope that Chanel can stay healthy with some players not 100% and with Beeler and Yeaney out she can be an asset. Looking forward to seeing the team for real.

  23. T, Again I agree with you on Gulbe. I have been saying since the end of last year that this will be Gulbe’s breakout year. She a terrifically versatile player who will stand out this year if she is allowed to stay on the wing? At her size, she is a complete player who can play inside and yet score from 3 when needed. As much as I love Patberg’s game, Gulbe is my favorite player! Go Hoosiers!!

    1. Based on some of Gulbe’s comments I’ve heard her make after games, they “let ’em play” overseas.
      Have to agree with Steve W, it has to be hard to adjust.

  24. I did not start that theory about the coach being.on here. Another poster referred to “T” as traci..and if you know who Traci is I would consider you somewhat close to the program or coach TM. I do believe T is traci. If you know, you know

  25. I am beyond lost at this point as to who said what and when they said it about the IU women’s coach posting here.
    It seems almost impossible to me that Coach Moren would take the time to respond to this forum.

Comments are closed.