The success of the 2017-18 IU women's basketball season lies on the shoulders of IU’s two seniors, Amanda Cahill and Tyra Buss.
With only 10 eligible players on the IU roster, five of them being freshmen, IU Coach Teri Moren is counting on her seniors to be the backbone of the team.
“As those two go, we go,” Moren said. “You are only as good as your seniors and they have a lot of responsibilities, but I wouldn’t give them the responsibilities if I didn’t think they could handle it.”
In terms of being a leader, Buss has been here before. Since taking over the starting point guard role during her sophomore season, she has consistently been the floor general in control for IU.
“That’s what my role is, especially being the point guard,” Buss said. “I’ve had that experience already and I think I’m definitely ready to help out these freshmen. I want to be someone they can look up to and someone they can go to if they need any help, whether that’s on the court or off.”
Although Cahill doesn't have the point-guard responsibilities that Buss has, she is more than willing to step up and help this team feel comfortable.
“Since it’s so early I think we should be overcommunicating,” Cahill said. “Especially with a young group, they need a lot of communication and a lot of reassurance that they are in the right place and doing the right thing.”
Cahill is a stretch forward, and Moren said she could be playing up to three positions this season — small forward, power forward and center.
She has been working on her post game all summer, trying different moves and wanting to be able to face-up the defender.
As for Buss, she has steadily increased her three-point percentage, free throw percentage, assist totals and steal totals during her three years as a Hoosier.
Last season, Buss averaged 18.2 points per game while Cahill averaged 14.8 points, which were the two highest averages for the team. They combined for 1,121 points last season, about 44 percent of the team's total points scored.
Moren said they are looking to be in situations where they can get Buss and Cahill a lot of good looks on the floor.
However, this doesn’t mean the other players are going to sit back and watch as Buss and Cahill go to work.
Moren said junior forward Kym Royster had a tremendous summer of workouts and that IU will look to feed her the ball down low this season. Moren also said she thinks the freshmen have fit in well and that she needs to allow them to play freely because they are tremendous athletes.
Two years ago, Buss and Cahill helped the Hoosiers win their first NCAA tournament game in 33 years against Georgia, 62-58. The two led the team in scoring in that game; Buss scored 23 points and Cahill totaled 14.
After failing to make the big dance last season, the senior duo said they would want nothing more than to make it back this year.
“We just don’t want to make it to the NCAA tournament, but we want to advance further than we have in the past,” Buss said.
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