Excitement is in the air as the IUPUI Women’s Basketball team gets set to start another exciting season. The Jaguars look to build on last season’s 13-5 conference record and 22-10 overall. That season eventually ended with a close loss to Purdue, 48-46, in the first round of the Women’s National Invitation Tournament.
The Horizon League picked the Jaguars to finish second this season, behind last year’s conference champion Green Bay.
Here are the complete team predictions for the 2018-2019 season:
- Green Bay
- Wright State
- Youngstown State
- Northern Kentucky
- Cleveland State
- Detroit Mercy
Head coach Austin Parkinson is heading into his ninth year at the helm of the basketball program and is excited about the squad that he has this season.
“We’re trying to figure out what our identity is with this basketball team,” Parkinson said. “I think we have some talented players and I think we can score the ball. We’re solid defensively and we’re going to develop some toughness. We could have a pretty good season.”
Among the returning players for the Jaguars is Macee Williams, who was named the Horizon League Preseason Player of the Year and to the Horizon League Preseason First Team. Williams, a sophomore, averaged 13 points and 7.7 rebounds per game last season. Even with the numbers she put up last year and the preseason honors she’s been awarded, Williams isn’t letting the expectations get to her head.
“I would say it’s more of a motivational thing for me,” Williams said. “There’s a bunch of talent in the Horizon League and it just makes me want to work harder to the point where that I want to push myself everyday to where I need to be.”
The Jaguars are also led by a trio of seniors in Sydney Hall, Alex Brown, and Tamya Sims. Hall and Sims played a significant role for the Jaguars last season. Hall averaged 8.5 points and 1.1 assist per game, while Sims averaged 10.7 points and hauled in 5.6 rebounds per game, which earned her a spot on the Horizon League Preseason Second Team.
IUPUI will lean on the inside-out tandem of Hall and Williams to strike fear into the hearts of the rest of the Horizon League. Hall’s shooting and Williams’ post presence makes for a dangerous duo.
“It would definitely be really important,” Hall said. “Macee is obviously the best player in the league as they said with the preseason conference title she got there. It’s a big focus for our team to play through her because she knows how to score when she’s open and she knows how to kick it out when she’s getting double-teamed.”
The Jaguars open their season with a home exhibition game on Nov. 2 against Indiana University Kokomo and have their first official game on Nov. 6 as they take on Purdue Northwest at the Jungle.