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IU women’s basketball puts two on preseason All-Big Ten squad, picked to finish second in league

Coming off an Elite Eight run with all five starters back, the IU women are entering this 2021-22 season with high expectations.

Two of the starting five were named to the Big Ten’s preseason All-Big Ten squad, and both the league’s coaches and media share the expectations, predicting a second-place finish in the conference behind perennial national power Maryland.

Senior guard Grace Berger and junior forward Mackenzie Holmes were named 2021-22 preseason All-Big Ten selections by the league’s coaches and media, it was announced on Tuesday.

Berger is a preseason All-Big Ten selection for the second-consecutive season after earning All-Big Ten first team honors in 2021-22. Holmes makes her first appearance on the preseason All-Big Ten team after also turning in All-Big Ten honors along with an All-Defensive team nod last season.

The nation’s leader in triple doubles last season, Berger averaged 15.4 points, 6.8 rebounds, 4.6 assists and shot 44.1 percent from the floor as she earned WBCA and USWBA All-American honorable mention honors last season. She scored in double figures 23 times last season including seven games scoring 20 points or more. The Louisville, Ky. native looks to be the 29th member of IU’s 1,000-point club as she enters the 2021-22 season with 996 career points.

Holmes led the team in scoring and rebounding last season, averaging 17.8 points and 7.6 rebounds per game as she became the program’s first ever Associated Press All-American honorable mention. Her seven double-doubles were also a team-high as she also led the Big Ten in blocks last season (81, 3.0 bpg.). She finished seventh in the NCAA ranked in total blocks and blocks per game last season. The Gorham, Maine native also shot 60.7 percent from the floor last season, which ranks fourth in a single season at IU.

The Hoosiers are picked to finish second in both the coaches and media polls, coming in behind last year’s regular season and tournament winner Maryland. Iowa, Michigan and Ohio State followed, respectfully in each of the two polls. All top five teams are ranked in the Associated Press Top 25 (No. 4 Maryland, No. 8 Indiana, No. 9 Iowa, No. 11 Michigan and No. 17 Ohio State).

Indiana is coming off a 21-6 overall record and 16-2 finish in Big Ten play as it advanced to the NCAA Tournament Elite Eight last season. All five starters return for the program, including seventh-year senior and 2022 Nancy Lieberman Award watch list candidate Ali Patberg, senior guard Nicole Cardaño-Hillary and senior forward Aleksa Gulbe.

IU opens the season on Nov. 10 at Butler.  You can see their complete schedule HERE.

2021-22 COACHES BIG TEN PRESEASON RANKINGS

1. Maryland

2. Indiana

3. Iowa

4. Michigan

5. Ohio State

 

2021-22 COACHES PRESEASON ALL-BIG TEN TEAM

Grace Berger, Sr., G, Indiana

Mackenzie Holmes, Jr., F, Indiana

CAITLIN CLARK, So., G, Iowa

Monika Czinano, Sr., F/C, Iowa

Diamond Miller, Jr., G, Maryland

ASHLEY OWUSU, Jr., G, Maryland

Leigha Brown, Sr., G, Michigan

NAZ HILLMON, Sr., F, Michigan

Nia Clouden, Sr., G, Michigan State

Veronica Burton, Sr., G, Northwestern

 

2021-22 COACHES BIG TEN PRESEASON PLAYER OF THE YEAR

Caitlin Clark, So., G, Iowa

 

2021-22 MEDIA BIG TEN PRESEASON RANKINGS

1. Maryland

2. Indiana

3. Iowa

4. Michigan

5. Ohio State

 

2021-22 MEDIA PRESEASON ALL-BIG TEN TEAM

Grace Berger, Sr., G, Indiana

Mackenzie Holmes, Jr., F, Indiana

CAITLIN CLARK, So., G, Iowa

Monika Czinano, Sr., F/C, Iowa

Diamond Miller, Jr., G, Maryland

Ashley Owusu, Jr., G, Maryland

Leigha Brown, Sr., G, Michigan

NAZ HILLMON, Sr., F, Michigan

Nia Clouden, Sr., G, Michigan State

Veronica Burton, Sr., G, Northwestern

 

2021-22 MEDIA BIG TEN PRESEASON PLAYER OF THE YEAR

Naz Hillmon, Sr., F, Michigan

 

Unanimous selections listed in ALL CAPS


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