IU women pick up transfer Cardano-Hillary

The Indiana University women’s basketball team landed an important piece for the 2020-21 season late Thursday night when George Mason grad transfer Nicole “Nikki” Cardano-Hillary committed to the Hoosiers.

The 5-foot-7 guard from Madrid, Spain, by way of Vista Ridge High School in Cedar Park, Texas, announced her decision on Twitter.

“I am so blessed to be starting a new chapter in my basketball career at INDIANA UNIVERSITY,” Cardano-Hillary posted. “So excited to be part of this amazing new family. Can’t wait to get started. Go Hoosiers!”

Cardano-Hillary heads to Bloomington as the all-time leading scorer for the Patriots with 1,766 points in three seasons, winning Atlantic-10 Player of the Year in 2019 when she averaged a career-best 20.4 points per game.

She was on the Nancy Lieberman Award watch list, along with current Hoosier Ali Patberg, heading into the 2019-20 season when she averaged 18.3 points, 5.1 rebounds and 3.2 assists per game during a 9-21 campaign. That included a career-high 41 points against Penn State in November en route to a second team all-conference berth.


  1. Heres hoping theres enough balls to go around with patberg averaging 20 and Grace Berger and Jaelynn Penn, even though all NCH’s 20 ppg probably wont translate into the big ten competition 13 or 14 points would be great because you can never have too much scoring, they did go through strange scoring droughts down the stretch in certain games hopefully the more scoring threats you have on the court the better chance you have of closing out key games against the better competition

    1. Look at her stats from her last school, she took half of her teams FGA every game. I would say at best she will be about 6-8 ppg and maybe 1-2 apg, which is probably better han anything else off the bench on the current roster.

  2. Nice addition to our roster. Her stats are quite impressive! This could really help Patberg allowing her more rest. Adding quality depth is a key to success! It would be nice to find a quality graduate transfer with some size? Go Hoosiers!!

  3. I’m with brownbomber.
    I think the main plus here is that IU can give Ali some much needed rest.
    Team chemistry might be a concern.
    But if this transfer works, the sky might be the limit.

    To be truthful, I feel sorry for George Mason and I know next to nothing about them.
    I don’t like all the transfers in today’s game.
    But it’s here big-time and I’d better get used to it.

  4. NatHilllV Well more mid major players men and women are transferring to have a chance at winning at a bigger school but i have no issue with it especially if you already got you’re degree its a new day and age you gotta adapt

  5. This girl is pretty good, but she will not have the production she had at her last school. She will make a nice 6th man/backup pg, but she will not be getting 20 true shot attempts every game like she was. Reminds me of amber deane, good player in the A10 who can give patberg rest. I hope they didnt tell her she would be starting…lol

  6. Jeremy– Im a bit confused, I know you listed Hillary as a grad-transfer, but the article up on espn.com says shes transferring for her senior year does not mention being a grad although I realize she could graduate in 3 yrs. Also nice to know she was A-10 player of the year plus other awards during her freshman and soph . years.

  7. Brownbomber
    I know, I have to adjust.
    But as my dad used to say, “Son, I’ve seen a lot of changes in my life, and I’ve been against every one of ’em. 🙂

  8. Other than the fact it gives a small body and a little security on the bench plus another member of a team that will participate in practice this is pretty much un news worthy.
    She will get a little bit of time here and there and she should be thankful as she said…to be a member of IU Ladies basketball. She may play very little or could average 3 o 4 points per game. She is a leading scorer for a 9-21 team.

  9. The main thing with this player will be that she will have to play defense, is she a smart role player and if and when she does play to not throw the ball away or take unwanted shots as I have sometimes seen from bench players at the guard position. Just give something positive instead of negative.

  10. Im sure Moren and Staff looked into those issues before even bringing her in ,, per Moren’s previous statements.

  11. And I just read that Chloe Moore-McNeil, from TN has committed to IU. Obviously, depth at Guard won’t be a problem.

  12. A couple of you seem to be concerned about her thinking she thinks she might expect to get a bunch of shot attempts every game, really!! I doubt that a transfer really believes she is coming here and will be getting a ton of shots every game? After all, I am sure she is aware that we have everybody back from last year except for one player and we won 24 games with the existing roster? T, considering her stats from this past season, it is quite apparent that she can score the ball, with that being said you come across as being a bit critical of her without us even seeing her play? She could be very capable of other than backing up Patberg of possibly playing along side of her and being a very good additional threat which would make a very good existing team even stronger! Lets wait and see what shakes out before we cast stones? Over the last couple of weeks our bench has gotten stronger and deeper as Moren adds to the roster. Go Hoosiers!!

  13. T, thanks for the complement. I tend to do a lot of rambling at times and sometimes the point I try to make doesn’t come out…….:-( Anyway, we can only hope that Hillary adds a positive influence to what is already a very strong roster! Go Hoosiers!

  14. For those of you that didn’t know she is second among active Division I players in career points. She has logged over 3200 minutes of playing time and set the scoring record at George Mason in just 3 seasons. The only Hoosier with more minutes is Penn with 3307 (in spite of her lower leg/foot issues) and no Hoosier has ever scored as many points in their first 3 seasons. It’s my opinion that if she wanted to continue playing 37 minutes per game and put up video game type scoring numbers she would just stay put. Maybe, just maybe, she wants to be part of something bigger than herself…. something special. Maybe she wants to test herself and compete against the highest level night in and night out. Maybe IU offers the best graduate program she desired. Regardless of the reasons for coming her impact on the offensive end will be a welcome addition and opens up many different options for the coaching staff.
    Indiana will begin next season as the most experienced team in the B1G and one of the most experienced in the country. I believe that we will finally watch a team firing on all cylinders, one that will become the most successful in IUWBB history.

  15. scwartzie– Thanks for that info although I for one was aware of everything you mentioned in the first 4 lines except for the amount of minutes played. Its obvious IU is getting a big plus on the roster with her whenever she becomes officially available to our team. If she is a grad-transfer as Jeremy claims then she becomes available immediately , if not then it will depend on the new NCAA transfer rule. If it passes I have seen two different thoughts on when it would become effective. One says for this coming season and the other says not till the 2021-22 season. This new rule wont be voted on till May 20th. If it is the latter of the two then certain players like our Jorie Allen will have lost a season when it could have been avoided.

  16. Scwartzie, good information that you provided. I agree wholeheartedly that she probably wants to play better completion and become part of a winning program, thus her move to our place. It is obvious that she will be an important part of our team next year due to her stats! As I mentioned earlier, our depth is becoming a major strength in our program when you add players of her capability! Can’t wait for it all to begin. Go Hoosiers!!

  17. Oh my! I should have watched video on Cardano-Hillary before commenting. I take back previous posts.
    Cardano-Hillary is like that little guy in the NCAA tournament that’s a game changer. I am not saying she will be in starting lineup nor should she but Cardano-Hillary is as good a player that IU Ladies currently have on the team. She plays with a zone motor and is fast and decisive in her play and shooting. Plus the shots sometimes are not easy shots. She will blend in perfectly with the IU Ladies and was made to order for another creative recruiting get for T. Moren and staff. For IU Ladies, hopefully Cardano-Hillary will be a Hoosier for 2 years. Though only 5’7” she is good enough to play professionally now. Cardano-Hillary will play more than just a few minutes per game. She will be available to play at any guard position. She is that good and fun to watch. She is a humble confident player that believes in her skills as she talks in interviews.

    1. UPDATE: I’ll post a full story later today or tomorrow, but I spoke with Cardano-Hillary this morning and she is NOT a grad transfer, so it will depend on the NCAA ruling whether she’s eligible this coming season or the next. Along those lines, I get the impression IU may be pursuing another grad transfer guard as insurance.

  18. Who is doing the graphics/background imaging for the photo displays of players signing with IU? Is this coming from IU’s official site or is HT doing them (like the one I mimicked of you, Jeremy, as a football stud qb. The one where the entire scene was set in black and white …except for the brightly colored crimson football jersey) ?

    Whoever is doing these is pretty talented….I like the creativity. A major step up…It’s a little thing most people don’t notice.

    1. Those graphics are created by IU for the players to use. As you’ll notice with the recent commits, they all use the same template to post on social media.

  19. I guess that makes sense…. Seems like they’ve stepped up their game. I like how they blend black & white with color. I wonder if they contract out for the work?

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