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Indiana women’s basketball: Sydney Parrish, the ideal transfer portal fit

You wouldn’t have been able to guess that this was Sydney Parrish’s first year in Bloomington.

Syndication: The Herald-Times Rich Janzaruk/Herald-Times / USA TODAY NETWORK

It’s been a bit over a year since former five-star recruit and Indiana high school basketball star Sydney Parrish chose to join the Hoosiers through the transfer portal following two years at Oregon.

But based on everything about Parrish’s play on the court and the team’s chemistry off the court, you wouldn’t have been able to tell that this was her first year in Bloomington.

For one, she brings as much energy as everyone else on the roster. If there’s a play to be made and she’s even kind of in a position to make it you better believe she’s gonna try. Be that creating space for teammates or diving for a loose ball.

And this didn’t develop over time either. She all but took over the first quarter of Indiana’s early season nonconference game against Tennessee between fighting for possession and scoring at seemingly every opportunity.

It’s exactly what head coach Teri Moren looks for in players, anyone willing to put forth a ton of effort to help out teammates. You see it up and down the roster from Mackenzie Holmes, Grace Berger, Chloe Moore-McNeil and, of course, Parrish.

Her ability to drive to the basket and her 36.7% shooting from the arc were huge for Indiana’s offense while her general tenacity fit incredibly well with the Hoosiers’ emphasis on defense. But it goes beyond her on-court play.

She was the only player on the roster last season who was from Indiana and figures to be the only one next season as well. She understands the Indiana-Purdue rivalry, having grown up around it, and made sure that was known during the Hoosiers’ two games against the Boilermakers.

Syndication: Journal-Courier Noe Padilla/Journal & Courier / USA TODAY NETWORK

Parrish was fast friends with everyone on Indiana’s roster, joking around during press conferences and always being willing to foot the bill when players went out, according to Mackenzie Holmes.

Her demeanor in press conferences, quickly deflecting praise to teammates or making jokes with the media, is reminiscent of Moren herself. She’ll shout-out Holmes or Moore-McNeil in the same way Moren makes sure to mention her staff.

Parrish even made a point of mentioning that she decided to transfer to Indiana knowing that it’d be Berger’s team. The latter is one of the greatest players in program history and was frequently cited as the team’s leader by Moren and teammates.

That doesn’t mean Parrish can’t show leadership, as she did throughout the season, rather that she’s aware of what the program is, how it was built and how she’s contributed to it in her first season in Bloomington.

With all of the general buzz and debate about the portal, Parrish stands out as an obvious example of its benefits and how transfers can fit into their new programs.