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Indiana women’s basketball: Three things to watch vs. Northwood

It’s the Hoosiers’ sole exhibition matchup of the season.

Iowa v Indiana Photo by Andy Lyons/Getty Images

Indiana women’s basketball is set to welcome Northwood University, a small Division-II private college from Michigan, at 7 p.m. on Wednesday at Assembly Hall for an exhibition matchup. It’s the Hoosiers’ sole exhibition game of the season.

All but one starter is returning from last year’s Big Ten championship team, with that one being among the best players in program history. Berger is off to the WNBA, but Indiana has replaced talent before and found ways to win last season in her absence.

Last year’s starters like Mackenzie Holmes, Sydney Parrish, Yarden Garzon and Chloe Moore-McNeil and probably locked into their spots leaving one open.

Here’s a few things to watch tomorrow:

The Starting Lineup

As stated above, Indiana likely has one spot up for grabs in the starting five.

There’s obviously going to be a starting five tomorrow... but I wouldn’t bet on it being the same one Indiana puts on the floor for the entire season. Last season’s had a few changes, such as the elevation of Parrish, that proved effective.

Those in position to potentially start? Sara Scalia, Lexus Bargesser or maybe even freshman Lenee Beaumont. Each has their obvious pluses.

  • Bargesser is a natural point guard that the lineup was missing last season (not a criticism they literally won the Big Ten) and was recruited to play that spot.
  • Scalia was brought in as a floor-spacer. In year two, she has a better grasp of Indiana’s defense and should be more consistent from the arc. With her, Indiana would have 3-4 shooters surrounding Mackenzie Holmes at all times. Moore-McNeil would be the one in this lineup, something she’s more than capable of doing.
  • Beaumont is less likely than the other two but has some Berger to her game.

The Freshmen

As Indiana has taken a massive step forward on the court, so too has its presence on the recruiting trail. Freshmen Lenee Beaumont and Jules LaMendola were both highly regarded prospects as the miss basketball awardees of their respective home states.

We expect them to provide immediate, quality minutes off the bench particularly around and after January. They’ll get plenty of run against Northwood tomorrow night. Both have a dynamic game.

Beaumont is athletic and quick with the ball in her hands, able to attack the rim on offense and provide high-energy defense. She led the team in rebounding and assists during the program’s first game in Greece over the summer.

LaMendola has a lot of different ways to score the basketball, able to do work in the post or fire away from the arc. She too was impressive during the team’s Greece trip, knocking down multiple 3-pointers.

Sophomore Leaps?

Indiana has five sophomores on the roster this year:

*portal addition

That’s just under half the roster. All but Garzon and Currie-Jelks saw limited playing time, the former obviously started last year and the latter started at UT-Martin before transferring to Indiana this offseason.

Two of the guards, Bargesser and Sandvik, will need to take a leap this season. Garzon was one of the best freshmen in the country last season and will in all likelihood have an even better season this year.

Bargesser will be in consideration to start for the Hoosiers and Sandvik will likely look to provide a boost off the bench. The Hoosiers could use additional depth as the Big Ten season wears on.

Currie-Jelks and Meister will both see their fair share of playing time in relief of Holmes. The former was brought in for that exact purpose. The Big Ten is obviously bigger than the OVC but Currie-Jelks’ ability translates to the league.