Fifth-year guard Sara Scalia’s first season in Bloomington was a testament to selfless basketball.
The former Minnesota Golden Gopher transferred to Indiana during the 2022 offseason to add 3-point shooting to a starting lineup that desperately needed it, as everyone thought. She did so at first, getting a ton of looks while averaging 14.8 points and 2.5 triples per game over the team’s first 4 contests, but then her shots stopped falling.
Scalia shot over 50% from the field just once from November 17th through January 23rd (14 games) and ultimately ended up coming off of the bench after 14 games
This was new to Scalia, as she’d started all but a handful of games during her time in Minnesota. It was tough, but she embraced her new role and became one of the conference’s most dependable sixth players.
She ended up averaging 9.5 points, 3 rebounds, and 1.6 assists per game and logged more than 20 minutes off the bench on 13 occasions thanks to her big game potential. Scalia’s efforts earned her an All-Big Ten honorable mention at year’s end.
On the court
It’s no secret: Sara Scalia is out there to make threes.
In all, Scalia averaged 9.5 points, 3 rebounds, and 1.6 assists per game in 2022-23 and was an All-Big Ten honorable mention.
At her best, Scalia has the green light from anywhere.
Scalia was Indiana’s best free throw shooter last year (91.2%), but only took 57 foul shots last season. It wouldn’t surprise us if Teri Moren tries to use Scalia as a ball-dominant player this year in an attempt to draw more fouls.
Scalia is a serviceable defender who improved as last season went on. She’s not the flashiest on defense but is still good for a “juice play” every couple games. With a full year in the Hoosiers’ system down (plus more playing time to come), Scalia will likely improve on her 27 steals from a year ago.
With the All-American Grace Berger having moved on to the WNBA this offseason, Indiana has a starting guard slot to fill. It very well could go to Scalia and the lineup could be a winning one.
She’s got over three seasons of Big Ten starting experience and is known to be effective when out there with returners Garzon, Holmes, Moore-McNeil, and Parrish.
That exact lineup went 7-1 during Berger’s injury absence last year. Why mess with a good thing?