Photo by Mike Schumann / The Daily Hoosier

IU women’s basketball ranked No. 17 in early ESPN top-25

While its 2019-20 season was historic, Indiana didn’t get to finish what it started.

If there is a silver lining, the Hoosiers appear set to begin the 2020-21 campaign about where they left off — at least in the eyes of the national media.

Head coach Teri Moren had IU squarely on the bubble in terms of being one of the 16 teams that earns home games during the first two rounds of the NCAA Tournament.

According to a preseason assessment by the women’s college basketball analysts (Charlie Creme, Graham Hays and Mechelle Voepel) at ESPN, IU is once again a team that should be expected to compete for home games come mid-March.

ESPN has Indiana slotted at No. 17 and Hays had this to say about the Hoosiers:

“This is the season for Indiana to make a move. In a Big Ten full of turnover, the Hoosiers return four starters. That includes Ali Patberg (15.6 PPG, 5.3 APG), the all-conference guard who was granted a sixth year, and emerging standout Grace Berger (13.1 PPG, 5.2 RPG). Add Jaelynn Penn and transfer Nicole Cardaño-Hillary, George Mason’s all-time leading scorer, and the backcourt is loaded. Notre Dame transfer Danielle Patterson is eligible and helps the frontcourt.”

Indiana is the third Big Ten team listed in the rankings, behind No. 12 Maryland and No. 16 Northwestern.  Ohio State (No. 21) and Michigan (No. 25) are the remaining teams from the league in the top-25.

Maryland was a thorn in Indiana’s side last season.  The Terrapins accounted for 3 of IU’s 8 losses.  The Terps lose 70 percent of their minutes from last season according to the ESPN report.

Indiana will return the core of a 2019-20 team that set program records with 24 wins overall and 13 in Big Ten play.  IU was on track to be a No. 4 or 5 seed in the NCAA Tournament before the season was canceled.

Moren returns her top 5 scorers, and 5 of her top 6 players in terms of minutes.

The NCAA announced that the 2020-21 women’s college basketball season will begin Nov. 25.

For information on Indiana’s new additions to the 2020 roster, go here and here.

To read ESPN’s complete preseason top 25, go here.

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