Indiana women’s basketball could have another star on its hands: incoming freshman guard Lenee Beaumont.
Beaumont, a 4-star guard out of Benet Academy in the Chicago suburbs, finished her senior season with an impressive stat line of 18.8 points, 7.4 rebounds, and 3.3 assists per game.
The ESPN Top 100 (83rd overall) recruit led the Redwings all the way to the state championship during her final season of high school ball and earned the title of Illinois Gatorade Player of the Year while doing so. Let’s break down some of her game and try to figure out how it’ll translate to the Big Ten.
It’s no secret that Indiana usually goes for bigger guards. 60% of last year’s starting lineup in Grace Berger, Yarden Garzon, and Sydney Parrish were taller than six foot and used their size and length to drive through contact and defend well. At 6-1, Beaumont fits that mold.
Calling D1 athletes “bigger, faster, and stronger” is surface level analysis has been done since time immemorial but it really rings true with Beaumont. Check out this mixtape from her final high school game:
Lenee Beaumont ️clips— Sports4daGirls™ (Illinois) (@Sports4daGirls) March 5, 2023
Benet Academy (Lisle, IL)
Class of 2023
• IHSA State Tournament •
CEFCU Arena (Normal, IL)
[ ♥️ Sports4daGirls ♥️ ] pic.twitter.com/bCl0jP3Jl4
Beaumont’s size and strength allow her to drive to the rack at will and dominate whenever she finds herself down low, Hoosier fans should get accustomed to that right-handed rollback she likes. Think we’re going to be seeing it a lot.
In addition to scoring, I am high on the handles, passing, and defense Beaumont showcases here. The steal she grabs at 1:56 is especially encouraging. “Ball activity” is paramount on the defensive end for Teri Moren, and pick sixes like that are an easy way for a young player to win playing time.
Next up, some EYBL circuit footage:
Indiana’s scoring offense ranked sixth in the nation last season. They put up an excellent 80.9 points-per-game thanks lights-out 3-point shooting and dangerous transition play. Post play and pick ‘n’ rolls were offensive cornerstones as well, but what elevated the 2022-23 Hoosiers compared to previous iterations was their ability to convert from the perimeter and play fast.
I could write 5,000 words on the deliberate decisions that made all that happen, but now’s not the time. Bottomline is that in order to be successful in coach Moren’s system, Indiana guards need to be able to hit threes and run the break. Beaumont, as demonstrated above, checks both boxes.
Final, (and personal favorite) clip below:
Lindsay Harzich @LindsayHarzich2 for the go ahead basket with 1 second left from Lenee Beaumont @leneebeaumont30 to go down state!— Team M-XIV Girls (@M14Hoops_Girls) February 28, 2023
M14 to M14!! Great Job Ladies!!@PGHByron @MHS_Girls_ #14Made pic.twitter.com/5lpWJqAz4D
Love this clip because it showcases Lenée’s situational awareness. Breaking the press can be real difficult sometimes but Beaumont and Co. stayed calm and worked the ball down the court beautifully here.
Keep in mind the stakes, too. Benet was down by one with time dwindling in the Sectional Final so Lenée went clutch mode, got free, and assisted one of the biggest baskets in school history. She even did it with that classic Berger-like resolve we’ve seen so many times before.
Predicting Beaumont’s role on the team next year is where things get a little tricky. Indiana has a hole in the starting lineup to fill after Grace Berger took her talents to the WNBA earlier this offseason. Beaumont is talented enough to be get a look, but given Teri Moren’s track record with freshmen the role probably goes to an experienced returner like Sara Scalia or Lexus Bargesser joining Chloe Moore-McNeil in the backcourt.
Nevertheless, she’ll play and contribute off the bench immediately. Being afforded time to acclimatize to Big Ten Ball is a luxury first years at other schools don’t always enjoy but Indiana’s trio of newcomers will have it. With the addition of Beaumont, Jules LaMendola, and Sharnecce Currie-Jelks, Teri Moren’s roster possesses the depth needed to go far in 2023-24.