When Ali Patberg takes the court for her sixth year of eligibility this season, she’ll be one of the top point guards in the country.
We know this not only because Patberg was among the top players at her position nationally a season ago, but also because both the Naismith Basketball Hall of Fame and the Women’s Basketball Coaches Association said as much on Monday.
Patberg started her week by accepting a spot on the 2021 Nancy Lieberman Award preseason watch list, joining a group of 19 other players vying for the title of best point guard in the country. Last season, Patberg earned All-Big Ten First Team honors, along with an honorable mention selection on the WBCA All-America list. She started in all 32 games for the Hoosiers and averaged a team-high 15.6 points, 5.3 assists, 4.6 rebounds per game, while shooting 49 percent from the floor and posting a plus-2.2 assist-to-turnover ratio.
The Columbus, Ind. native was a finalist for the Nancy Lieberman Award in the spring, and is one of two finalists to return to the college game this season. Previous winners of the Nancy Lieberman Award include Oregon’s Sabrina Ionescu, Notre Dame’s Skylar Diggins, Maryland’s Kristi Toliver and UConn’s Diana Taurasi and Sue Bird, among others.