Watch below as IU women’s basketball coach Teri Moren took questions from the podium at Big Ten media day in Minneapolis.
Further below you can find a complete transcript of Moren’s comments.
— Indiana Women’s Basketball (@IndianaWBB) October 9, 2023
TERI MOREN: Good morning. It’s great to be in Minnesota once again. It’s hard to believe that it’s that time of year again, but here it is, and the Hoosiers are ready. Looking forward to another great Big Ten conference schedule.
We do have a great non-con schedule, as well, that we’re looking forward to. We’re headed out west to visit Stanford and then headed south to play a very good Tennessee team and a very good Princeton team while we’re down there.
All of those games will certainly get us ready for Big Ten play, and there’s no question that — I said this last year. I really felt like we had the best conference in the country in terms of teams, and I feel like we have another chance to be one of the best if not the best conferences in the country again.
Loaded with talent from top to bottom, great coaches, great players.
The Indiana Hoosiers are looking forward to, once again, another great season. As you guys know, we have a core of our group returning. Mackenzie Holmes, Sydney Parrish, Chloe Moore-McNeil, Sara Scalia, all starters that will be returning.
Once again, we have big shoes to fill with the graduation of Grace Berger, who we’re super proud of. We have some young kids that have had great summers for us. We’re excited about the two freshmen that we have in Lenee Beaumont and Jules LaMendola, amongst another transfer in Sharnecce Currie-Jelks will also be joining us.
We’re excited, once again, for what’s going to be an interesting but I think an exciting basketball season ahead.
Q. You’ve openly set very high expectations, winning the Big Ten, making deep NCAA Tournament runs. When you lose a player like Grace Berger, what does that say about the program to still be able to set those expectations after losing a player of her caliber?
TERI MOREN: I think what it says is our staff has continued to do a tremendous job of bringing in very talented, high-caliber players into our program.
You can’t have the success that we’ve had just because you have one really good player in your program. It takes a team full of very skilled, high-character players to be able to maintain the level of success we’ve enjoyed.
You know, obviously losing Grace, big shoes, like I said, but we feel like we have a lot to look forward to in those remaining players.
With the success that we have had we’ve been able to recruit some really high talented players, and that will continue to be the goal in our program.
Q. Grace was such an important player on the court but even more so off the court in terms of her presence in the locker room. You have a veteran team, a lot of players who have played. Is there any one player or group of players that has taken on that inside-the-locker-room leadership role?
TERI MOREN: That’s one of the legacies I think that all of our players, the Ali Patbergs, the Grace Bergers, Mackenzie Holmes will leave when she’s graduated from Indiana, is one of the things that we can do as a staff every night is sleep peaceful when we think about our culture and that locker room, that it is well taken care of with the likes of Mackenzie Holmes and now add Syd Parrish into that, add Chloe Moore-McNeil into that. It’s a very healthy locker room. It’s a very competitive locker room.
The great thing about what Grace gave us and Ali Patberg gave us was sort of a scouting report of what that looks like. Mackenzie has certainly taken the role over as being the leader in the locker room.
Our young players are going to benefit from that.
I know that all guys are on Mackenzie and Syd and Chloe in terms of how they go about their work every day, and I can’t give you — they’re a great example of what it looks like and what it’s going to need to look like after their days at Indiana are over.
Q. You were speaking of the veteran leadership and a lot of players returning. How have the freshmen been led by the older group, and what have you seen in that dynamic, and how have they acclimated their skill set and their mentality to this new challenge in front of them?
TERI MOREN: Well, at times you can look at them and say that they’re drinking water from a firehose, right, the looks that they have on their faces from time to time.
But I will say this: Many of you probably know that we had the opportunity to travel to Greece this summer for our international trip, and it’s such a special thing when you have the opportunity to do that. You have the 10 days certainly of practice prior to.
Our leadership has been great. Lenee and Jules have — like I said, they have the best examples in Mack and Syd and the rest of those women of getting in the gym and how we do things and so forth.
They got a little bit of a head start. They’re not just coming back and hitting the floor running because of all the practice time that they had leading up to it.
I think they look very comfortable. Certainly there’s things that they’re still learning. There’s moments where they’re disappointed. But I will say they’re pleasers, and they want to do the right thing all the time.
Our job is just to make sure that we are allowing them to be in a space where they can make a lot of mistakes but also learn and then move on from those mistakes, and they’ve been great. They’re so coachable. They’re likable kids, and they really look up to and respect Mack and Chloe and the rest of those older vets.
They’ve been great. They’ve been a thrill to coach.
Q. With the returning players, what have you seen from them and the extra added fire in the belly, not just as leaders but in their skill set and their drive?
TERI MOREN: Well, you know, nothing about their work ethic has changed. The extra work that we pride ourselves in doing, it’s day-to-day and it’s every day.
I think that we’ve just continued to not look back in the rear view mirror. It’s all about what we have to look forward to, and just trying to get a little bit better every day.
This is, once again, our chemistry is off the charts in terms of them being connected, super competitive practices, which I love. But there’s a love for each other, too, that’s in that locker room that shows on the floor, that they really are for each other and about each other.
That’s an intangible that all great teams have to have.
FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports
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