WHAT HAPPENED: As I wrote for Wednesday’s paper, this night belonged to Kaila Hulls.
Hulls was one of four Indiana starters playing their first game for the Hoosiers in Tuesday’s 79-55 win over Georgetown (Ky.) College, joining Taylor Agler, Larryn Brooks and Tabitha Gerardot in the starting five. Sixth-year senior Sasha Chaplin also started. 14 players saw the floor for Indiana and 11 scored.
WHO MADE IT HAPPEN: Hulls posted a double-double of 13 points and 12 rebounds, but Agler and Brooks made the Hoosiers go. The freshmen combined for 23 points and 13 assists. Agler, who had nine of those assists, would’ve had more if not for some missed shots by teammates in the second half.
KEY STAT: 22 assists against seven turnovers for Indiana.
QUOTE OF THE NIGHT: “Sometimes it’s good to have freshmen because they’re naive. They don’t realize how good (Penn State’s) Maggie Lucas is, or they don’t realize how good Nebraska’s pressure is, or understand how big Michigan State and Penn State are. They have no idea. They’re not worrying January and February. They’re worrying about tomorrow. Sometime’s that’s a blessing in disguise. I have to keep reminding them to play more physical and that there are bigger challenges awaiting them. But sometimes it’s not bad to be a little naive.”
— IU coach Curt Miller on what the freshmen class brings to the program.
MIKE’S ‘WHAT THE HECK?’ MOMENT: Before the teams even had a chance to step into the circle for the opening tip, Georgetown owned a 2-0 lead. It came after Kourtney Tyra hit a pair of free-throws thanks to an Indiana technical foul before the game. Miller later said that his team was assigned an administrative technical foul after someone omitted Tabitha Gerardot’s name from the official scorebook prior to the game.
“I take ultimate responsibility for that and making sure it was done correctly,” Miller said. “We have a lot of new kids and Tabitha got missed, surprisingly. It was an administrative tech for someone not in the book at the 10-minute mark that’s in uniform.”
WHAT DOES IT MEAN: Officially, nothing. But exhibition or not, this was the initial look at Miller’s first true recruiting class. This was a night people have waited a year for. All six scholarship freshmen saw the floor, as did graduate transfer Tabitha Gerardot and Hulls, who played in her first college game as a redshirt sophomore. Miller will have to tinker with his starting five through the non-conference season, if not longer, as he finally has enough talented depth to reach deep into his bench.
There’s a very high ceiling for Indiana’s backcourt of Agler and Brooks, as we saw Tuesday. Of course, there will be certain and inevitable growing pains to go along with them and their four classmates, but the exhibition showed that both have solid court vision and aggression. Brooks is especially quick, and it’ll be interesting to see where her development is by the time Big Ten season rolls around. Miller says she has the potential to be the face of the program for years to come and, with her red mohawk, that’s especially true. Her skills also give her the potential to match up with some of the league’s better guards.
Like last season, this team struggled to score points at times. Against an NAIA opponent, that’s concerning. But, much like IU’s men’s team, you have to go into the season expecting this team to ‘Wow’ you on occasion, as well as make you want to pull your hair out. There was a little bit of hair pulling Tuesday, but not enough to warrant going bald before the Nov. 9 regular season opener vs. Oakland.
- Karlee McBride led the bench with eight points and two 3-pointers.
- IU outrebounded Georgetown by a plus-17 margin, 57-40.
- Indiana forced 21 turnovers.
- Lyndsay Leikem, Simone Deloach and Milika Taufa each scored six points. Leikem and Deloach each grabbed six boards and Taufa had six rebounds.
Video above courtesy of IU Athletics