Recently the sports world has been saturated with replays of classic games and March Madness brackets for just about anything, but April 5 came with very important news regarding the Indiana women’s basketball team.
Freshman forward Jorie Allen announced she would be transferring from Indiana. In one season as a Hoosier, Allen played 11 minutes per game and averaged 1.9 points, 1.8 rebounds and shot 47 percent from the field. Allen released a statement Sunday afternoon.
“I appreciate the opportunity that Coach Moren and staff have given me, but I believe it is in my best interest to pursue other athletic and academic opportunities. I wish the IU staff nothing but the best, I wish my former teammates all the success in the world and I would like to thank the fans for all the support they’ve shown me this past season,” Allen said.
Allen was named the 2019 Indiana Miss Basketball, and arrived in Bloomington as the No. 52 recruit in the nation according to ESPN. Though Allen never managed to crack the starting lineup for Indiana, she did appear in every game off the bench. Allen scored a season-high nine points against Nicholls State where she played a season-high 23 minutes.
“Jorie and I have spoken and we agree that it’s in her best interest to leave Indiana. We wish her much success moving forward and thank her for her contributions to our program,” head coach Teri Moren said in a statement.
Gimme all that, Jorie Allen‼️ pic.twitter.com/RDMSIVqxCp
— Indiana Women’s Basketball (@IndianaWBB) January 24, 2020
The transfer of Allen should come as somewhat of a surprise for Indiana fans, as Allen figured to be an important piece off the bench for Indiana moving forward. Throughout the 2019-2020 season, Moren said Allen consistently deserved to be in the Indiana rotation because of her versatility and grit.
What Allen’s transfer means for Indiana
Allen may not have been the most impactful player last season, but she represented an important building block for Moren and the Hoosiers for future years. Moren has been able to secure some unprecedented recruits that Indiana women’s basketball has rarely seen, and Allen was a big part of that.
Allen graduated Bedford North Lawrence as the school’s all-time leading scorer, and excited Indiana fans because of her potential to grow into a special player later in her college career. As the fourth Miss Basketball to play at IU, it is an understandably tough adjustment to go from a star player in high school to a role player off the bench. The Hoosiers still look like a team that will be consistently in the top 25 next year and compete for the Big Ten title, but losing Allen still leaves a mark.
One of Indiana’s strengths this past season was its depth, which is now in question after the transfer of Allen, as well as Bendu Yeaney. Yeaney missed most of last season after recovering from an Achilles injury, and announced on March 15 that she will be transferring to Arizona. Yeaney was a key member of the 2018-2019 Hoosiers that lost to Oregon in the round of 32 of the NCAA Tournament.
The Hoosiers will also be without starting forward Brenna Wise next season after graduating, which would have opened the door for more minutes for Allen. However, Notre Dame transfer Danielle Patterson will be eligible to play next year for IU after having to sit out last season. Patterson was ranked as the No. 5 small forward in the country coming out of high school, and figures to play a key role for the 2020-2021 Hoosiers.
Patterson played two seasons for Notre Dame and averaged 10.6 minutes, 2.9 points and 1.5 rebounds per game as a sophomore. Patterson will have two remaining years of eligibility and helps greatly replacing the loss of Allen and Yeaney.
Moving forward, Indiana returns all players from the 19-20 roster besides Allen, Yeaney and Wise. Indiana finished with a program record 24 wins and has a roster with the potential to be even better next season. All-Americans Ali Patberg and Grace Berger will continue to lead the back court for Indiana, while Jaelynn Penn and Aleksa Gulbe will most likely hold onto their starting roles.
Competition for the fifth spot in the starting lineup will be high after Mackenzie Holmes’ breakout freshman season. Though Holmes and Gulbe didn’t play on the court too often together, Gulbe’s ability to space the floor makes starting both players a possibility. Patterson’s impressive profile as a recruit out of high school makes her an intriguing prospect for the fifth starting spot, as well, but a long offseason ahead leaves many possibilities for the Hoosiers.