Hello, Hoosier fans!
We’re getting back into the swing of things here in Bloomington, which means that basketball season is right around the corner. The women’s team released their official 2022-2023 schedule last week, so we thought it’d be fun to break it down using yearbook superlatives. Here’s the full slate and our picks:
Best addition to the schedule
11/14 @ Tennessee. Indiana’s first road game will come in Knoxville, where they’ll face a Volunteer squad that’s also coming off a Sweet Sixteen appearance in last year’s tournament. Coach Kellie Harper is 36-16 going into her fourth campaign on Rocky Top and has her team in the 15-20 range in unofficial offseason polls.
These are no longer the days of Pat Summitt and her eight NCAA championships. South Carolina rules the Southeastern Conference now, but the Vols are firmly in that “best that aren’t the Gamecocks” tier. This will be a good game, and Thompson-Boling draws great WBB crowds.
CQ may very well have boots on the ground for this one too, watch this space.
Best in-season event
The Las Vegas Invitational! The Hoosiers are no strangers to in-season events. Recent years have seen the team travel to Puerto Rico, The Bahamas, and the US Virgin Islands. This season they’ll celebrate Thanksgiving in Sin City.
In Vegas, Indiana will play Auburn on Black Friday (11/26) and then face Memphis the following day (11/27). This week’s focus will be on whether or not candy striped overalls are casino appropriate attire, the Hoosiers should come away with victories over both the Tigers and the Tigers.
Here’s what comes up when you search “@crimsonquarry Vegas” on Twitter. Very classy!
2/9 vs. Iowa, 2/13 @ Ohio State, 2/16 vs. Michigan. During this three-game stretch the Hoosiers will face the top three seeds from last year’s conference tournament. Woof.
On paper this is as tough as it gets, but given that Iowa is clearly this program’s boogeyman we like the fact that IU will face the Hawkeyes first. Staying present and locked in will be much easier for Indiana if they don’t have to worry about reigning Big Ten Player of the Year Caitlin Clark looming around the corner during another big game.
Best game for new fans
Literally any during the opening homestand. Matchups with Kentucky Wesleyan (exhibition), Vermont, and UMass-Lowell are great opportunities to see the Hoosiers’ high skill level on display. Additionally, these first few tilts will likely result in opportunities for some of the younger players and newcomers to show us what they’ve got. IU Head Coach Teri Moren traditionally runs a strict rotation (only 7-8 players per game), but there’s been a ton of roster turnover since last season. Half the team is new to Bloomington, and the opening portion of the season will be all about discovering how everyone meshes on the court.
IUWBB games are fun, man. Anyone in town should consider getting to a game this year.
Biggest potential trap game
12/29 @ Michigan State. The Hoosiers and Spartans met only once last season, a 76-58 Indiana victory at Assembly Hall that was played a couple weeks later than planned due to COVID-19 issues.
Schedule reshuffling created unneeded adversity for IU last season, but in this case it actually worked to the Hoosiers’ benefit. It was their 4th-straight game played on three days rest and Grace Berger was really getting into a groove, going for 29 points on 9-17 shooting.
Expect it to be much more difficult for the Hoosiers find their rhythm this time around in East Lansing, as it’ll be their first game after a week-long holiday hiatus. Over the offseason Sparty lost First Team All-B1G guard Nia Clouden to the WNBA draft, but Coach Suzy Merchant then used the transfer portal to add experience by way of former Penn Stater Kamaria McDaniel and SFA grad transfer Stephanie Visscher.
While MSU may not necessarily be in Indiana’s weight class when it comes to women’s hoops, they need to be taken seriously. A winter break slip-up in Breslin Center is a possibility for the Cream and Crimson.
The best game on the 2022-23 Indiana women’s basketball schedule comes on the final day of the regular season, when they visit Iowa on 2/26.
All-Big Ten Honorees Caitlin Clark, Monika Czinano, and McKenna Warnock all return to Iowa City after disappointing 2022 NCAA tourney that saw the 2-seeded Hawkeyes win just one game.
Free throw merchant and early-exit jokes aside, saying that Iowa had Indiana’s number last year is an understatement. The Hawkeyes swept the regular season home-and-home and then soured the Hoosiers’ courageous Big Ten Tournament run on Championship Sunday:
That 74-67 B1G Championship defeat didn’t just prevent the Hoosiers from winning their first conference tournament since 2002, it fundamentally changed the decision-making within the program.
Over the summer, one could argue that Coach Moren shifted her recruiting focus. She began looking for specific pieces that could strengthen up weaknesses Iowa exploited in 2022.
The Hawkeyes made 77 more threes than the Hoosiers did last year, so Teri Moren went out and got the conference’s best available shooter in Sara Scalia.
Forward Monika Czinano shot 13-18 and scored 30 in the Big Ten title game, so Teri Moren went out and got more size and length down low in Providence’s Alyssa Geary.
Hell, Moren even made adjustments behind the bench, stealing away Creighton assistant Linda Sayavongchanh, fresh off her Bluejays’ Round of 32 upset of the Hawkeyes.
Everything Indiana has done in the last six months has been caused by the existence of Caitlin Clark and Iowa. New players, coaches, and play styles have come to Bloomington because they give IU their best chance against the Hawkeyes. Mark your calendars for 2/26! We’re excited to see how effective all these changes will be when the bell tolls.