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Season in review: Chloe Moore-McNeil

Moore-McNeil’s accelerated development was key to Indiana’s success down the stretch

NCAA Womens Basketball: Indiana at NC State Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

Success is nothing new to Chloe Moore-McNeil.

Greenfield High School in Tennessee went 34-0 during Moore-McNeil’s senior year, and she led the charge by averaging 20.8 points, 5.2 rebounds and 4.0 assists per game. Naturally, this earned her not one, but two Tennessee Class A Miss Basketball awards.

But the college game is an entirely different world, it can take time for even the most decorated of players to adjust.

This is largely what’s happened with Moore-McNeil, she joined an experienced roster and has spent most of her time in Bloomington coming off of the bench. It says more about the experience on Indiana’s roster than Moore-McNeil though.

And it’s been to her benefit, Moore McNeil took a bit of a leap between her freshman and sophomore seasons to provide valuable minutes off of the bench and act as a pinch starter. She was pressed into a starting role twice when Indiana began to face injury woes and COVID-19, and performed admirably in both wins.

Moore-McNeil’s first start came in the Barn Burner matchup against Purdue in West Lafayette, and the circumstances couldn’t have been more daunting.

Indiana was shorthanded, new Purdue head coach Katie Gearlds had the Boilers looking like a new team and the stands at Mackey were filled with students bearing down on the Hoosiers.

Through those 42 minutes (obviously including overtime), Moore-McNeil scored 10 points and hauled in six rebounds while playing some tenacious defense. She went 1-7 from 3-point range, but made up for those misses on the other end of the court to help secure an Indiana win.

As if the first start wasn’t stressful enough, her second came against No. 1-seed Ohio State in the Big Ten Tournament. Indiana was fighting for a spot in the final, and Moore-McNeil helped the Hoosiers get there with 11 points and three rebounds.

Between those starts, Moore-McNeil was relieving Indiana’s talented starting guard trio of Grace Berger, Ali Patberg and Nicole Cardaño-Hillary. This became more critical throughout the season as the Hoosiers’ bench began to shorten.

Moore-McNeil ultimately finished the season averaging 21.2 minutes per game with 5.2 points per game. Those 21.2 minutes were a significant leap from the 7.3 she averaged as a freshman.

What doesn’t make the stat sheet (as much) is Moore-McNeil’s defense. Head coach Teri Moren puts an emphasis on the Hoosiers’ defense to help close out games, and this was where Moore-McNeil was key throughout the season.

The defense did show up in the box score during Indiana’s second round matchup against Princeton, when Moore-McNeil picked up two steals in a tight game to keep the ball away from the Tigers.

She also brought a unique mindset to the court in her appearances, nothing really seemed to faze her. She’d hear trash talk and it never seemed to get to her, she was the same player before and after.

Her development seems to be on track as she looks to be a key part of the Hoosiers’ 2022-23 season.