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Indiana women’s basketball checks in at No. 10 in ESPN ‘way-too-early’ top 25



Indiana women's basketball
Returning a good core from 2022-23, the Indiana women's basketball program checks in inside the top-10 in the ESPN 'way-too-early' top 25. (Rich Janzaruk/Herald-Times-USA TODAY NETWORK)

Despite a disappointing and abrupt end to the 2022-23 season, the Indiana women’s basketball program is coming back this season fueled for a big run come March.

After finishing 28-4 overall and 16-2 in Big Ten play a season ago, the Hoosiers won the regular season Big Ten Championship outright for the first time in 40 years. In her ninth season with Indiana, head coach Teri Moren helped lead the program to the No. 2 overall ranking in the AP Poll — highest in program history.

Indiana posted wins over nine top 25 foes this season, five of which came against top-five opponents.

Indiana also earned a No. 1 seed in the NCAA Tournament, a first for the program. But, it was a second round loss to Miami that stunned the Hoosiers.

But, what’s the outlook like this year? Well, the Hoosiers lose Grace Berger but do bring back a terrific core led by All-American forward Mackenzie Holmes. Sydney Parrish, Sara Scalia, Yarden Garzon and Chloe Moore-McNeil also return for what will be another Final Four contender.

And, according to ESPN’s ‘way-too-early’ top 25, Indiana comes in at No. 10 overall.

“What Teri Moren has built in Bloomington should be good enough to withstand the loss of Grace Berger, but it won’t be easy,” Charlie Creme said. “It helps to have Mackenzie Holmes, one of the most efficient post players the Big Ten has ever seen, back for a fifth year. The 6-3 Holmes, the Hoosiers’ first-ever first-team All-American, has made at least 60% of her shots every season of her career.

“Senior Chloe Moore-McNeil will likely inherit much of Berger’s ball-handling duties and had a better-than 4-to-1 assist-to-turnover ratio last season. Sara Scalia and Sydney Parrish are also versatile enough to play anywhere on the perimeter. Yarden Garzon led the Big Ten with 45.8% 3-point shooting and could be a breakout offensive player as a sophomore. Sharneece Currie-Jelks who averaged 15.2 PPG and was the OVC freshman of the year at UT Martin, will need to supply much-needed depth if the Hoosiers are going to repeat at Big Ten champs.”

Ohio State (No. 4 ), Iowa (No. 6) and Maryland (No. 13) are the other Big Ten programs in the top-25.

Two notable non-conference matchups for Indiana include Tennessee, ranked No. 9 and Stanford, checking in at No. 16.

“We’ve been so close,” Moren said at Indiana basketball media day. “Anytime that you have the opportunity to get to a Sweet 16, get to an Elite 8, the way we have and you realize it’s just that one game and you’re playing for a Final Four, you’re playing for a National Championship, we’ve tasted it, if you will. We know what it takes to get there. There’s no question that we have everything we need in order to be able to do that, to win a National Championship.”

The season begins for the Indiana women’s basketball program with its season-opener against Eastern Illinois on Nov. 9.

SEE ALSO: ‘I don’t think we’re over it’: Indiana women’s basketball using NCAA Tournament loss as fuel for strong 2023-24 season

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Alec Lasley is the owner of Hoosier Illustrated, a comprehensive site covering news, updates and recruiting for Indiana University athletics. Alec has covered Indiana for six years and is a credentialed media member. He has previously worked for both Rivals and 247Sports.