On Wednesday after practice, the Indiana women’s basketball team held media day on the floor at Assembly Hall. Here are three things that I came away with after hearing what the players and head coach Curt Miller had to say.
1. Points will be hard to come by for Indiana
With the last season’s three leading scorers, Aulani Sinclair, Jasmine McGhee, and Linda Rubene now gone, the Hoosiers will be looking for some newcomers to contribute points immediately, and it may take some time to figure out how they will make up the difference.
Curt Miller went as far as to say, “It’s a little bit scary right now where the points are going to come from.”
Miller also said that they will need a lot of freshman scoring to try to make up what they lost in Sinclair, McGhee, and Rubene and will rely on a couple of transfer players, Tabitha Gerardot and Kaila Hulls, to provide scoring as well. Gerardot came to the program during the offseason from Valparaiso, where she started 91 of 93 games. Hulls, the younger sister of former Hoosier men’s basketball player Jordan Hulls, returned to her hometown of Bloomington last year, leaving Bowling Green along with coach Miller. She sat out last season because of an ACL injury, but says she now feels “85 to 90 percent” healthy and is ready to get back on the floor.
It’ll be interesting to see how this team finds a way to score as the season gets underway.
2. The Hoosiers will be taking a LOT of three’s this season
During the portion of practice that was open to the media, Miller emphasized three-point shooting, specifically from the corner. He spent time talking with the guards about getting deep into the defense near the baseline and passing to shooters in the corner.
Coach Miller admitted he loves players who can shoot the three, and said that despite losing one of the nation’s best three-point shooters in Aulani Sinclair, he feels that they have improved their perimeter game as a whole. He also mentioned that he recruits for shooters and continues to look to add three-point shooters to the roster.
“Future shooters are coming,” he said. “I’m still attracted to shooters. People ask me, what is a Curt Miller team going to look like four or five years from now. We are going to have a lot of kids who can make shots. It’s not there totally yet, but it will be.”
With the loss of so much scoring, combined with Miller’s love for shooters, it would make sense that the Hoosiers would look for the three-point shot often during the 2013-2014 season.
3. The 7-player freshman class will see plenty of minutes on the court
As mentioned earlier, the freshman class will need to provide points for Indiana after the loss of over 60 percent of last season’s scoring. This means that freshmen will be on the court quite a bit, trying to adjust on the fly.
Point guard Larryn Brooks is one freshman that has stood out early on, and coach Miller sees a lot of potential in her game.
“I think Larryn has a chance to become a face of the program early on. She’s an engaging, dynamic point guard that our fans are really going to take to her style…. I think you’re going to see big things out of her this year,” Miller said.
Brooks says that all of the freshmen have become very close already and are learning everything together as a group.
“We’re all so close… We came in (during) the summer and we were together every second of the day. It’s good to have so many freshmen because you’re all learning together and it’s not just you singled out. The seniors do a very great job of just being there for us and trying to help us through that,“ she said.
That learning that is happening amongst the freshman will hopefully help them contribute, as they will be getting an opportunity to play significant minutes.