Last season raised the question of how the Hoosiers would fare with seniors Tyra Buss and Amanda Cahill graduated, and a young but battled tested core.
Coming off a Women's National Invite Tournament title, the Hoosiers earned an NCAA tournament berth, falling to the University of Oregon in the second round.
But now with four returning starters and 10 returners overall, plus six freshman introduced to the fold, the question for the 2019-20 Hoosiers is just how far can they go.
On Saturday at Assembly Hall for Hoosier Hysteria, head coach Teri Moren made it clear that ahead of her sixth season at the helm, the Hoosiers would not get complacent.
“When I think back to the few trips we’ve made to the NCAA Tournament, the banner that hangs up there, the NIT championship, I’m really proud of the things that we’ve been able to accomplish to this point,” Moren said. “But I’ve got to be honest, we still have more to do. We still have more to do, and we have players to do it with.”
As the team took the floor during introductions, complete with pyrotechnics and a massive LED board behind them, NBA All-Star game style, you could sense an air of confidence about them.
The swagger was aided by the roars that erupted from the crowd as the likes of redshirt junior guard Ali Patberg and senior forward Brenna Wise walked toward center court, not to mention the equal reactions for junior guards Jaelynn Penn and Bendu Yeaney.
The Hoosiers' four starters will be the linchpin for success, especially if they can rely on the three-point shooting of Penn and Patberg, who faced off in the championship round of the three- point contest
Yeaney, who suffered a ruptured Achilles last season, was free of any walking boots and looking spry as she walked down the platform onto the floor.
Fans got to see sophomore standouts Grace Berger and Aleksa Gulbe compete too, showing off in the skills competition and three-point competition.
Junior guard Keyanna Warthen and freshman forward, Jorie Allen, the reigning Ms. Basketball in Indiana, got to show out in the skills competition as well, reminding fans how deep this team will be.
The Hoosiers are expected to do more winning than losing this season, but Moren reminded the Hoosier Hysteria crowd that success doesn't come easy.
“What we do is incredibly difficult." Moren said. "Winning is hard, trust me. But we’ve got the players. We love Indiana, we love Indiana basketball,”
Moren reminded the crowd that its support throughout the season, win or lose, was just as important as the work the team was doing on and off the court.
During her speech Moren reminisced about when she came to IU five years ago, and she wanted to build something special.
Judging by the thunderous applause from the packed seats in Assembly Hall, the fans seem to believe that something special has already been built.
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