ESPN’s preseason look at the women’s college basketball landscape highlights the challenge in front of Indiana as they look to repeat in 2024 as Big Ten champions.
The Hoosiers are No. 10 nationally in ESPN’s Way-Too-Early Top 25 for 2023-24 published this week, but they’ve got two Big Ten teams in front of them.
Here’s what ESPN’s Charlie Creme wrote about Indiana:
“What Teri Moren has built in Bloomington should be good enough to withstand the loss of Grace Berger, but it won’t be easy. 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. Sharnecce 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, the team that knocked IU out of the 2023 Big Ten Tournament, is ranked No. 4. The Buckeyes return most of their roster from a year ago and they’ve added talent. Meanwhile defending national runner-up Iowa, a team that handed IU one of its four losses a year ago, comes in at No. 7 and they welcome back All-American Caitlin Clark.
Traditional power Maryland is No. 13 in the ESPN rankings. Illinois and Nebraska were considered but left just outside the top-25. It’s also worth noting, two of the programs joining the Big Ten after this season, UCLA and USC, come in at No. 3 and No. 18, respectively.
IU’s Big Ten schedule is unforgiving, as in 18 games they’ll face Iowa and Maryland twice, along with Ohio State once, in Columbus.
Indiana also travels to No. 16 Stanford, and they’ll face No. 9 Tennessee on a neutral court during the nonconference portion of the schedule.
The Hoosiers open the 2023-24 season on Nov. 9 against Eastern Illinois in Bloomington.
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