The newest recipient of the Indiana Miss Basketball award will be suiting it up for the Hoosiers next season. Indiana’s incoming freshman, Jorie Allen, received the award Sunday and is now the third ever Hoosier to own that title, joining future teammate Ali Patberg and 1987 IU alum Lori Meinerding.
In her senior campaign at Bedford North Lawrence, Allen averaged 19.1 points and eight rebounds per game and became the all-time leading scorer in school history with 1,930 career points.
What does this all mean for Indiana? Well it adds yet another weapon to an already loaded Indiana roster for next season. They will return four of five starters from last year’s NCAA-Tournament team (depending on the recovery of Bendu Yeaney after undergoing surgery to repair her ruptured left Achilles). They also return several key weapons off the bench in Grace Berger, Aleksa Gulbe, Keyanna Warthen and Chanel Wilson, who missed all of last season with injury.
Indiana also brings in a loaded freshman class alongside Allen, with Shaila Beeler, MacKenzie Holmes and Arielle Wisne making up the 18th overall class in the country according to ESPN and 12th in the nation, 4th in the Big Ten according to Collegiate Girls Basketball Report. Holmes is a five-star post player from Maine who seems to fit seamlessly into this year’s team.
Filling the voids
As mentioned earlier, Yeaney underwent surgery in March to repair her ruptured left Achilles which she suffered in the second round of the NCAA Tournament. There’s no timetable for her return so there’s a chance someone will have to fill her spot in the lineup for some games next season.
Jorie Allen is a perfect candidate for that spot in the lineup. She is a 6-foot-1 wing who isn’t afraid to mix it up on the boards, something that Yeaney was great at. At Bedford North Lawrence, Allen didn’t take a ton of threes, shooting 14-of-69 in her four years with the Stars. However, with shooters around her like Patberg, Penn, Wise and Berger, three-point shooting won’t necessarily be called for from Allen, similar to Yeaney’s role in the offense.
Her length will give teams issues as well on the defensive side of the ball. Yeaney was arguably Indiana’s best on-ball defender, but with Allen’s 6-foot-1 frame, she could prove to be a problem for other teams’ wing players as well.
It will be interesting to see, if Yeaney cannot go to start the season, will it be Allen or Berger to start in the backcourt with Patberg and Penn.
All of this talk about Allen doesn’t even mention that Holmes, the other five-star in this class, could be the perfect fit to fill the one open starting spot in the post, replacing Kym Royster. At 6-foot-3, Holmes will be a matchup issue in the post for many teams and will pair well with Wise in the frontcourt.
Indiana calls upon their guards to help rebound the ball at high rates, especially this past year with a relatively small Indiana frontcourt. Wise and Royster combined to average 12.4 rebounds per game, but it’s the numbers that the guards put up that stands out.
As a point guard, Patberg averaged five rebounds per game to go along with her 15.8 points and 4.8 assists per game. Yeaney added 4.1 rebounds per game and Penn and Berger combined for another 6.4 rebounds. The starting backcourt, plus Berger off the bench, combined for 15.5 rebounds per game.
Why does that matter? Because this was a key part Allen’s game at Bedford North Lawrence. Allen averaged eight rebounds per game but is still expected to play the wing at Indiana. That’s important because Moren puts an emphasis on guard rebounding to help out their bigs down low. Allen will fit right into what Moren wants out of her wings in terms of rebounding.
Overall, there’s no denying that Allen, along with the rest of this freshman class, will be huge for this program to take the next step. Adding these five-star talents to an already loaded roster is sure to produce some positive steps for a team that was already in the NCAA Tournament a year ago.