Still recovering from an ACL/MCL tear suffered during her senior year of high school, many expected now sophomore guard Lexus Bargesser to be eased into the 2022-23 season slowly. Given her talent, the team’s sudden need for guard minutes off the bench, and a bulky knee brace, however, that wasn’t the case.
Indiana head coach Teri Moren began relying on the Grass Lake, Michigan, native for a meaningful 5-10 minutes a night in December after losing guards Grace Berger (injury) and Kaitlin Peterson (transferred out) within a week of each other.
Her increased role began with situational appearances in tight games against North Carolina and Illinois before a five game stretch in which Bargesser averaged 17.8 minutes and four rebounds per game.
Said run came to an end when Berger returned to the lineup January 8th but Bargesser continued to see action consistently from that point on. She’d proved she belonged on a Big Ten basketball court and earned Moren’s trust.
Bargesser ended up coming off the bench in 29 of Indiana’s 32 games, averaging 7.6 minutes, 2.1 points, and one rebound per contest.
ON THE COURT
Bargesser is, without a doubt, the fastest player on the team. A former track state champion, she earned playing time as a defender last year because she was quick enough to stick with most opposing guards. She was a shutdown good option if IU ever needed to press and can drape herself on any backcourt player the Big Ten has to offer.
Given that she’s now nearly two years removed from knee surgery, and shed the brace prior to Indiana’s overseas trip in August, she’s probably going to be even quicker this season.
Again, Bargesser made it onto the court a season ago because of her defensive prowess.
An elite athlete, Bargesser has a strong motor and is very active around the ball. Despite being the shortest player on Indiana’s roster at just 5-9, Bargesser managed to record three blocks last season because she has the bunnies to get Up There.
She plays opportunistically, also tallying 17 steals in 22-23, and is not afraid to impose her will on an opponent. Very fun defender to watch. Her block against Patras All Stars was one of my favorite plays from the Greece games:
Lex Bargesser just swatted a ball across the Mediterranean.— miles regan (@MilesRegan) August 3, 2023
Hoosiers still giving it their all up 70 with under a minute remaining #iuwbb
With another offseason of scheme acclimation, this could be the year in which Bargesser becomes the next great Hoosier “pest” defender. Simply put, she’s a total pain to play against.
We didn’t see much of Bargesser on the offensive end last year. She showed promise as a decisive ball handler and fast break general when she was out there though. Bargesser also exhibited a noticeable chemistry with wing Sydney Parrish as a freshman, despite rarely seeing the floor together.
When it comes to scoring Bargesser is by no means a deep threat… preferring to play as a slasher instead. She’s strong enough to carry into the paint and draw fouls, but didn’t do so often last year because she was surrounded by high-caliber scorers at all times. It just wasn’t her role.
We’d love to see Bargesser with the ball more this season and will probably get our wish because someone’s gotta replace Grace Berger, and Bargesser’s summertime audition went quite well.
Bargesser was arguably the most impressive Hoosier in Greece because she did a bit of everything well.
Getting the start in both games, Bargesser averaged 15.5 points per, four rebounds, 2.5 assists, and four steals per game. The competition and fact that these were exhibitions warrant a grain of salt but trust us, she played well. Bargesser also connected on 68.4% of her field goal attempts, showcasing improvement from a freshman season in which she’d go cold at times.
Bargesser again looked great in tandem with Sydney Parrish, and the pairing combined to assist each other on at least a dozen fast break points across the two games. If Indiana wants to continue to be a top-six scoring offense (80.9 ppg) in 23-24, Bargesser and Parrish need to be out there together.
In terms of improvement, Bargesser has room to grow when it comes to playing without the ball (looked a little lost out there at times as a freshman), but with ball-dominant Berger having graduated this is likely a non-issue. #1 will play the 1 whenever she’s out there.
We are very excited to see her get time at the point in 23-24 and expect Bargesser to start the year as the first guard off the bench. Tenacious defense and an ability to push the pace make Bargesser an ideal sixth player (for now).