Indiana Hoosiers, 1/5/06
Indiana has an 8-5 record in the 2005-06 season, including a perfect 2-0 mark in Big Ten play. The Hoosiers have defeated Youngstown State, Belmont, Southern Illinois, Eastern Michigan, Boston University, North Florida, Iowa and Penn State, while losing to Baylor, Notre Dame, Bowling Green, Louisville and Cincinnati. They are 3-3 in home games, 4-2 away and 1-0 at neutral courts.
Head Coach Sharon Versyp is in her inaugural season with the Hoosiers, but brings a wealth of experience from the University of Maine. Her teams won three consecutive America East regular season championships and the 2004 postseason tournament, qualifying for the NCAA Tournament that year. She led the Black Bears to an overall record of 98-51 during her five years in Maine, including a 67-19 conference mark. For her work, Versyp was named the America East Coach of the Year in 2003 and 2005.
Additionally, Versyp is one of the first stars of Purdue women’s basketball, helping lead the squad to runner-up status in its first postseason tournament, the 1988 NWIT (sic), in her senior year. The next year’s team built on the momentum of that experience to become the school’s first NCAA Tournament squad. Versyp averaged double figures in points per game all four years in the Old Gold and Black, leading the squad her freshman through junior years. She has the following ranks in Purdue annals:
• 1,565 points (9th)
• 13.8 points per game (7th)
• 46.5% field goal percentage (16th)
• 79.6% free throw percentage (4th)
• 418 assists (7th)
• 194 steals (10th)
• 97 starts (11th)
• 3,867 minutes (5th)
Before Steph, Ukari, Katie and Camille – and even before Joy, MaChelle, Rhonda, Teri and Donna – there was Sharon Versyp, Lisa Jahner, Crista LaCroix, Cathey Tyree, Kay Sharp and more, laying the foundation for future Boilermaker success.
Thirteen players make up Indiana’s 2005-2006 roster: one redshirt senior, four seniors, four juniors, one sophomore and three freshmen. Five are listed at six feet or taller. Of those 13, eight have played all 13 games and a ninth has played 12. Of those nine players, all but one averages at least 12.9 minutes per game, led by senior Cyndi Valentin at 35.3.
As a squad, the Hoosiers are successful on 41.5% of their field goal attempts and 32.1% of their 3-pointers. The team shoots 76.9% on free throws, although more than half of those shots are taken by Valentin and redshirt senior Jenny DeMuth. Valentin nets 97.1% of those shots, while DeMuth sinks 76.7%. The Hoosiers outrebound foes 38.5 to 32.5 per contest, block more than two shots and snag about 6.5 steals per game. The Hoosiers have averaged 63.4 points per game thus far.
As a team, the Hoosiers allow their opponents to make only 38.0% of their shots, including 29.3% from 3-point range. Their foes score an average of 59.7 points per game. The Hoosiers average slightly better than 11 assists per game, while coming in at 17 turnovers per game. Opponents average about 12.5 assists per game and slightly less than 14 turnovers per game.
Cyndi Valentin has led the Hoosiers in scoring in 9 of the 13 contests and paces the squad with 17.8 points per game. She also tops the team in assists (49) and steals (22). The ball, obviously, is going to be in Valentin’s hands quite a bit during the game. More than 25% of her field goal attempts come from behind the line, but it’s clear than she’s more than just a zone-buster, as she averages almost six free throw attempts per outing. To top it off, Valentin is fourth on the squad in rebounds per game, at 4.2.
Jenny DeMuth has returned from an ACL injury last year, when she was poised to remain one of the conference’s best players. DeMuth is second on the squad at 13.9 points per game and is tops with 7.8 rebounds per game. She also ranks second in steals (17) and blocks (8) and third in assists (20). DeMuth gets to the free throw line almost 7 times per contest and shoots 42.7% from the floor.
Three other Hoosiers – Nikki Smith, Angela Hawkins and Whitney Thomas – average 8.0, 7.3 and 5.9 points per outing. No other Hoosier averages more than 3.5 points per game. Hawkins leads the Hoosiers with a 53.0% field goal percentage, while Smith is the top 3-point artist, nailing 40.3% of her shots. Sixty-seven of Smith’s 88 field goal attempts this season have come from beyond the arc.
The Hoosiers have played in front of an average of 1,232 fans per game this season, including 1,022 in Bloomington. By building on an already successful start to the conference season, those numbers should rise. According to the official Indiana University athletics Web site, Thursdays game will have two specials for fans: 1) Receive a free youth admission ticket with purchase of a $5 adult ticket and 2) all hot dogs cost $1 while the supplies last.