Indiana women’s basketball appeared at the program’s first combined institutional basketball media day Thursday. Head coach Teri Moren and junior guards Sydney Parrish and Chloe Moore-McNeil spoke on the podium for the Hoosiers.
Moren was first to speak and addressed several key questions facing the Hoosiers entering the season. One pertained to last season’s lack of depth off the bench, which mandated a heavy workload for the starters.
“We talk about this. They were workhorses,” Moren said. “But I think we welcome the idea of being able to have depth, and we’re excited about it.”
Additionally, the loss of three starters to graduation and the addition of seven newcomers has dramatically changed the makeup of the team. Moren said she isn’t concerned about the roster turnover, and said their goals are as high as usual.
“We’re not the same team from last year, but we do have some interesting pieces,” Moren said. “We have goals that we have yet to accomplish, like winning the Big Ten Championship.”
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Moren expressed her appreciation for the program, which she has built from an afterthought behind the men’s program to something respectable and anticipated by Hoosier fans.
“When we arrived here we wanted to build our own tradition of winning and filling this place up with not just women’s basketball fans, but basketball fans,” Moren said. “We certainly have changed the way people on the outside have always looked at this program.”
Parrish joins the program as a transfer after two seasons at the University of Oregon. Prior to her time with the Ducks, she was a top-10 recruit out of Fishers, Indiana, and recipient of the Miss Indiana Basketball award as a high school senior.
The junior guard said being back in Indiana “means everything” to her and revealed the importance of being by close friends and family again.
Parrish also talked about her relationship with Moren and her renewed interest in the program after spurning the Hoosiers three years prior.
“I’d say the winning culture they have right now, and just what Coach Moren has done with the program,” Parrish said regarding her interest coming out of the transfer portal.
Joining Parrish in the backcourt, Moore-McNeil returns for her third season with the Hoosiers, having exponentially improved in her first two seasons. Her minutes averaged last season nearly tripled from her freshman season, and her role this season looks to increase again as she enters the starting lineup.
“I think the next step is continuing to grow my game, whether it’s on offense or defense,” Moore-McNeil said. “Our big key is getting stops, so being a one-on-one defender is where I want to grow.”
While she is focused on improving her own game, Moore-McNeil said she is more focused on the team taking the next step this season and thinks its identity will be key.
“I believe the most important part of this year is us coming to an understanding this is a brand new team and year,” she said. “We need to put (our past successes) behind us and focus on the pieces we have now.”
While the season’s beginning is still over six weeks away, official practices are set to begin soon. Before the Hoosiers take the court for their first game, they will appear before the media once more at Big Ten Media Days on Oct. 11 in Minneapolis.