IU junior guard Tyra Buss has been the star of the show during her time in Bloomington.
The Mt. Carmel, Illinois, native has already put her name in the IU record books. She is coming off a sophomore season in which she earned first team All-Big Ten honors, scored the third-most points ever scored in a single year in program history and has scored the most combined points after two seasons in IU history.
Buss will now look to create more history in one of the most anticipated seasons for IU women’s basketball.
“Being the point guard, you need to know where people need to be,” Buss said. “Coach Moren asked me to take that leadership role and be more of a vocal leader, so I’ve worked on that this preseason. We’re really ready to go.”
This season will be an interesting one for Buss. She has the chance to lead this Hoosier team that has five returning starters. Along with the five returning starters are five players, freshmen or transfers, who will make their IU debuts this season.
IU Coach Teri Moren finally has the depth she needs to compete at a higher level. However, with depth comes inexperience.
Buss has the chance to be the glue this team needs to bring it all together. She’s the point guard, and being point guard comes with more responsibility on and off the court.
“Basketball is a team sport. It’s not about yourself,” Buss said. “I try to do whatever I can to make everyone around me better and do anything that will help the team.”
Buss is used to be the center of attention. The junior guard was named Illinois Gatorade Player of the Year, a Parade High School All-American and the National High School Coaches Association Girls’ Basketball Player of the Year in 2014.
Along with Buss is IU senior forward Amanda Cahill, one of the more vocal leaders on the team. Both of them are another year older. With that comes more responsibility and having to be more mature on and off the court, Moren said.
“What I’ve asked from her and Cahill is more of a leadership role,” Moren said. “There is one thing to lead by example and another to lead vocally, and the team is only as vocal as the locker room is. Those are constant voices that have to be talking about being positive, being enthusiastic, being ready to go, making sure that we’re focused and staying positive.”
Buss comes into her third season just 18 points away from 1,000 for her career. That’s quite the fast track to that milestone. The junior guard has been special. She scored in double figures in every single game last season and ended the year with a double-digit scoring streak of 37 consecutive games. That dates back to her freshman year, the longest such streak for an IU player since 1998.
Buss said she has been working on her jump shot in the offseason. The more folds she can add to her game the more dangerous she could become for this IU team.
With the season getting into full swing, Buss is looking to build off last year. If she can pick up where she left off last season, like Cahill says she’s trying to do, the country has to be on notice. This team is up and coming.
“I wouldn’t say she’s acting any different,” Cahill said. “Maybe more confident going in because she’s a really hard worker. I know she’s been getting in the gym and trying to pick up where she left off.”