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OldGoldFreePress COLUMNISTS | BACK TO Steve'S COLUMNS

PURDUE WOMENS BASKETBALL:
Women's Opponents' Profile #16: Indiana Hoosiers, 01/25/04


10,000 fans=$10,000 for cancer research on Sunday afternoon


Date: 1/24/2004
Author: Steve
© Old Gold Free Press Columnists

    Welcome to the sixteenth opponent profile for the 2003-2004 season. Each profile will include information about the opponent’s women’s basketball team and a player or coach on the team. Web page addresses will follow each section. Look for a profile on each opponent 1-2 days before the tip-off.

    The Team

    The Hoosiers enter Sunday’s game with an overall record of 10-7, 3-3 in the Big Ten conference. The squad has won its previous two games, in overtime against Northwestern and on the road against Illinois. Assembly Hall has been a haven for the Hoosiers, who boast a 6-1 record in Bloomington. In Big Ten play, the Hoosiers have beaten Wisconsin (along with Northwestern and Illinois) and have fallen to Michigan State, Michigan, and Iowa.

    The roster on Kathi Bennett’s Hoosier squad is young, with a total three juniors and seniors. The other ten players are freshmen and sophomores, all of whom are among the top 11 scorers on the team. The Hoosiers, while young, aren’t an inexperienced team as sophomores Cyndi Valentin, Angela Hawkins, and Kali Kullberg all played significant minutes on last year’s team. Also, junior Jenny DeMuth is a three-year starter and nine different players on this year's team have started games.

    The Hoosiers have struggled offensively a bit in Big Ten play, where they rank eighth in scoring offense (57.7 ppg), sixth in field goal percentage (39.8%), and tenth in free throw percentage (62.1%). Along with their shooting slump, the Hoosiers haven’t passed the ball well in the offense, averaging 9.3 assists per game (eleventh in the conference) and 18.3 turnovers per game, for a conference-worst .51 assist:turnover ratio. On a positive note, the Hoosiers do rank high in 3-point shooting in conference play, making 33.3% of their attempts (fourth among conference teams) and an average of 4.5 per game (sixth).

    The Hoosiers get a lot of support offensively from Valentin, a 5’8” sophomore from Bloomington South High School. Valentin is the team’s second leading scorer in all games, with an average of 15.1 ppg. She’s as dangerous as any Hoosier when shooting, making 43.6% of her field goals, 38.6% of her 3-point shots, and 88.2% of her free throws. She logs a team-high 33.2 minutes per game and is third on the squad in assists behind freshman Leah Enterline and junior Jenny DeMuth. Valentin has been especially strong in the Hoosiers’ most recent games, scoring 17 points against the Illini and making seven points in overtime against Northwestern after DeMuth had fouled out. She’ll look to continue her strong play on Sunday against Erika.

    The Hoosiers are a strong defensive team in conference games, ranking fifth in field goal percentage defense (39.3%), fourth in 3-point percentage defense (26.1%), and sixth in scoring defense (57.7 ppg). The Hoosiers also rank first in the conference in blocks per game (6.5) and are tied for fourth in steals per game (9.17). The Hoosiers rebound pretty well, too, grabbing 1.3 more caroms per game than their opponents in conference play.

    Defensively, the Hoosiers get strong post play from sophomore Angela Hawkins and freshman Sarah McKay. Hawkins, from Winter Haven, Florida, and McKay, from Victoria, British Columbia, Canada, rank twelfth and sixth in rebounding in conference play with averages of 6.7 (Hawkins) and 8.2 (McKay) respectively. McKay especially excels in blocking shots, ranking second with 3.17 swats per game. On a side note, the top three shot blockers in conference games are all freshmen: Penn State’s Russell ranks first, McKay is second, and Ohio State’s Davenport is third.

    The Indiana women’s basketball team’s official website can be found at:

    http://iuhoosiers.com/womensbasketball/index.html

    The Players

    The undisputed offensive playmaker for the Hoosiers is junior Jenny DeMuth, from Highland, Indiana. The 5’10” guard/forward is having a first-team All-Big Ten campaign for the Hoosiers, ranking fifth in conference games in scoring (20.0 ppg), third in rebounding (8.8 rpg), and first in steals (4.0 spg). DeMuth also ranks high in field goal percentage. To top it off, DeMuth is one of the few Hoosiers whom opponents don’t want to send to the free throw line, nailing 82.2% of her attempts. Unfortunately for those opponents, she gets to the line an average of 8 times per game. She’s led her squad in scoring 11 times this season and rebounding 8 times. With her standout season both offensively and defensively, DeMuth must be considered one of the favorites for first-team All-Big Ten honors.

    Jenny’s bio on the official website for IU women’s basketball can be found at:

    http://iuhoosiers.com/womensbasketball/roster/demuth.html

    Sarah McKay, a 6’7” freshman from Victoria, British Columbia, Canada, ranks third in blocks per game and eighth in rebounds per game during conference play. She’s also developed into a nice interior option on offense, where she makes 51.4% of her field goal attempts. One of McKay’s strengths may be that she doesn’t commit a lot of fouls, unlike fellow Hoosier Angela Hawkins. McKay has 40 total fouls this year in 286 minutes played, and she’s fouled out of only one contest. Hawkins, however, has 58 fouls in 346 minutes on the court and has fouled out seven times in 17 games. McKay also ranks third on the team in scoring at 6.4 points per game. With her defensive abilities, body control, rebounding, and shooting touch, it looks like McKay will be a strong performer for the Hoosiers during her four years in Bloomington.

    Sarah’s official bio on the official website for IU women’s basketball can be found at:

    http://iuhoosiers.com/womensbasketball/roster/mckay.html

    The Questionnaire

    Replies from junior guard/forward Jenny DeMuth:

    1) What is the oldest memory you have of yourself with a basketball?

    When I was about 4 years old and my Dad coached the Merrillville Girls, I remember running around the gym shooting and just playing around. When I was younger I spent most of my time being a gym rat.

    2) Why did you choose to play at Indiana University?

    The coaching staff is great and you will not find nicer or more supportive people than the people of Bloomington.

    3) Aside from playing basketball, how have you become a part of the Bloomington, Indiana, community?

    The team makes appearances at various school functions and the team also interacts with all ages including elementary schools and retirement homes.

    4) What was the most difficult basketball skill for you to master?

    Using my opposite hand.

    5) Aside from games on the court, what is the best experience you've had as a result of playing collegiate basketball (visiting non-U.S. countries, meeting state and national leaders, etc.)?

    Going to the Virgin Islands

    6) Do women collegiate athletes get the attention they deserve from the national media?

    No, I do not think that women will ever receive the media they deserve.

    7) What was the biggest challenge going from high school basketball to collegiate basketball?

    Realizing that every player has talent and you cannot take anyone for granted.

    8) What accomplishments do you believe signify that a team has achieved success?

    Overcoming adversity and achieving their own goals.

    9) What two words come to mind when you think of Purdue women's basketball?

    No comment.

    Replies from freshman center Sarah McKay:

    1) What is the oldest memory you have of yourself with a basketball?

    Playing in the driveway with my brother and my Dad. I was probably about 6.

    2) Why did you choose to play at Indiana University?

    The coaching staff, the team, the whole environment of IU, and the history behind it.

    3) Aside from playing basketball, how have you become a part of the Bloomington, Indiana, community?

    As a team we do some really neat things to get out in the community and meet people.

    4) What was the most difficult basketball skill for you to master?

    Ballhandling, and it is still in the process of mastering...

    5) Aside from games on the court, what is the best experience you've had as a result of playing collegiate basketball (visiting non-U.S. countries, meeting state and national leaders, etc.)?

    All the people I meet and the traveling we do. 99% of the places we have played in already I have never been before so it's neat to see.

    6) Do women collegiate athletes get the attention they deserve from the national media?

    It's getting there. I think media coverage is really picking up and it will continue to get better.

    7) What was the biggest challenge going from high school basketball to collegiate basketball?

    The aggressiveness of every player and all the competition is great. I can play big here, instead of being called for fouls like I was in high school.

    8) What accomplishments do you believe signify that a team has achieved success?

    I believe a team should make realistic goals at the beginning of a season, write them down, and at the end of a season reflect on them. If the majority of those goals were achieved, that is success for the team.

    9) What two words come to mind when you think of Purdue women's basketball?

    Big Game.

    The Game

    It’s IU/Purdue, so throw the overall records and streaks and statistics out the window, because none of that matters when the Crimson ‘n’ Cream face the Old Gold and Black. Need proof? Go back to last year’s “Duel in the Dome” when the sixth-ranked Boilermakers needed two Shereka Wright free throws with 4.7 seconds left to defeat the Hoosiers 53-51. And even then, DeMuth almost forced overtime with a layup that just missed at the buzzer.

    How big is the rivalry? IU is trying to “Pack the Hall” and get 10,000 fans to fill Assembly Hall for the game on Sunday. If that goal is met Vera Bradley Designs will donate $10,000 to cancer research, and there will be a new attendance mark for the Hoosiers, bettering last season’s record 7,986 against Wisconsin.

    The Hoosiers and the Boilermakers are both strong defensive teams, the superstars (DeMuth and Wright) have been carrying their squads all year, and the head coaches seem to know what to expect from the other during the course of the game. Both benches are deep, although the Boilermaker reserves may score more than the Hoosier reserves. Indiana, however, has got the much more physical frontcourt with McKay and Hawkins.

    The key to the game may be how well both teams focus on the task at hand and forget the 10,000 fans in the stands and the intrastate rivalry. Look for turnovers to be one sign of the teams' focus: the Boilers haven’t turned over the ball much in conference play, making the most of their opportunities on offense. IU hasn’t done as well. If either team suddenly switches roles, this game may follow in the footsteps of the “Duel in the Dome.”


As news organizations move their stories to an archive, some of the links listed above may become inactive

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