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IU women’s basketball picked to win Big Ten, Patberg and Berger earn preseason league honors

The expectations have never been higher for the IU women’s basketball program.

Indiana has been selected to win the Big Ten by both the coaches and media polls, and its leaders in the backcourt were also recognized on Wednesday.

Senior guard Ali Patberg and junior guard Grace Berger were selected as preseason All-Big Ten honorees, announced by the Big Ten.

The Hoosiers were picked to win the league in 2020-21 by both a vote from the league’s coaches and media. IU was selected to finish ahead of Maryland, Michigan, Northwestern and Ohio State in the coaches’ poll while Northwestern, Maryland, Michigan and Ohio State rounded out in order the ranking from the media.

Berger and Patberg each earned a spot on the conference’s 10-person teams by the league’s coaches and media. Indiana is one of two schools to earn two players on the preseason all-conference list.

This marks the first time in school and conference history the Hoosiers have been picked to win the Big Ten in the preseason polls. Records of preseason polls available from the league date back to the 1998-99 season.

Now in her seventh season leading the program, head coach Teri Moren commented on the preseason honors.

“It is a nice honor to be picked at the top of the Big Ten preseason rankings,” Moren said. “It is a tribute to what these young women accomplished last season. We know, however, that these rankings won’t matter when the games begin this year. We need to continue to do the work every day to get better and prepare for an exciting season. The Big Ten is such a talented and deep conference and every game is a challenge.”

Patberg is coming off a 2019-20 season where she earned All-Big Ten First Team honors.  She returns for her sixth year of eligibility this season after an impressive junior campaign in which she led the team in scoring with 15.6 points per game.  Patberg also led the program with 5.3 assists per game (third in the Big Ten) and averaged 4.6 rebounds while shooting 49 percent from the floor.

Berger returns after a stellar sophomore campaign where she also earned All-Big Ten First Team honors.  The Louisville, Ky. native increased her scoring nearly eight points from her freshman campaign, finishing as the team’s second leading scorer with 13.1 points per game. Berger also added 5.2 rebounds, 3.5 assists and a team-high 1.4 steals per game while scoring in double digits 21 times. She shot 45.6 percent from the floor and 76.9 percent at the charity stripe in 2019-20.

Indiana was ranked No. 16 in the first national AP media poll released on Tuesday.

The 2020-21 NCAA women’s basketball season is slated to begin on November 25 with the Hoosiers still working out details for their final schedule.

2020-21 COACHES BIG TEN PRESEASON RANKINGS

  1. Indiana
  2. Maryland
  3. Michigan
  4. Northwestern
  5. Ohio State

2020-21 COACHES PRESEASON ALL-BIG TEN TEAM

Grace Berger, Jr., G, Indiana

Ali Patberg, Sr., G, Indiana

Monika Czinano, Jr., F/C, Iowa

Ashley Owusu, So., G, Maryland

NAZ HILLMON, Jr., F, Michigan

Nia Clouden, Jr., G, Michigan State

Veronica Burton, Jr., G, Northwestern

LINDSEY PULLIAM, Sr., G, Northwestern

DORKA JUHÁSZ, Jr., F, Ohio State

ARELLA GUIRANTES, Sr., G, Rutgers

2020-21 COACHES BIG TEN CO-PRESEASON PLAYERS OF THE YEAR

Naz Hillmon, Jr., F, Michigan

Arella Guirantes, Sr., G, Rutgers

Unanimous selections listed in ALL CAPS

2020-21 MEDIA BIG TEN PRESEASON RANKINGS

  1. Indiana
  2. Northwestern
  3. Maryland
  4. Michigan
  5. Ohio State

2020-21 MEDIA PRESEASON ALL-BIG TEN TEAM

Grace Berger, Jr., G, Indiana

Ali Patberg, Sr., G, Indiana

Monika Czinano, Jr., F/C, Iowa

Ashley Owusu, So., G, Maryland

Naz Hillmon, Jr., F, Michigan

Nia Clouden, Jr., G, Michigan State

Veronica Burton, Jr., G, Northwestern

LINDSEY PULLIAM, Sr., G, Northwestern

Dorka Juhász, Jr., F, Ohio State

ARELLA GUIRANTES, Sr., G, Rutgers

2020-21 MEDIA BIG TEN PRESEASON PLAYER OF THE YEAR

Lindsey Pulliam, Sr., G, Northwestern

Unanimous selections listed in ALL CAPS


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