Indiana Women’s Basketball: What did we learn from the Fort Myers Tip-Off?

Indiana Hoosiers forward Mackenzie Holmes (54). (Photo by Jeremy Hogan/SOPA Images/LightRocket via Getty Images)
Indiana Hoosiers forward Mackenzie Holmes (54). (Photo by Jeremy Hogan/SOPA Images/LightRocket via Getty Images) /

#17 Indiana Women’s Basketball go 2-0 in Fort Myers Tip-Off. 

The Indiana Hoosiers travel from the warmth and sunshine of Florida to the slightly chillier wintry conditions of Bangor, Maine, for tomorrow’s road contest against the Maine Black Bears. Indiana has momentum after a successful few days in sunny Florida. Indiana Women’s basketball went undefeated and took home the Fort Myers Tip-Off crown.

The Lady Hoosiers defeated Tennessee and Princeton in the Sunshine State, with Mackenzie Holmes notching her 2,000th point in the Crimson and Cream. Indiana defeated Tennessee 71-57 behind Yarden Garzon’s career-high 23 points. Holmes and Big Ten Player of the Week Sara Scalia powered Indiana’s 72-63 win against Princeton. What do these wins tell us about this season’s potential in Bloomington?

Indiana Women’s Basketball has a superstar. 

Teams that usually make deep runs in the NCAA tournament have good players around one superstar. From UConn legend Rebecca Lobo to Notre Dame superstar Ruth Riley and even legendary USC star Cheryl Miller, teams that make deep runs in the NCAA tournament have a star they can lean on.

Indiana has that type of player in Mackenzie Holmes. She’s closing in on becoming Indiana Women’s Basketball’s all-time leading scorer. Her best attribute is her all-court game. Holmes can play with her back to the basket, step out, and hit the 10-15 foot jumper. She’s an aggressive rebounder and solid on the defensive end. Most importantly, she’s a leader her teammates can rally around.

Don’t forget the supporting cast. 

Head coach Teri Moren has assembled quite the supporting cast around her superstar. Minnesota transfer Sara Scalia is a sharpshooter whose ability to hit the three-pointer creates space for Holmes to operate in the post and forces defenses to decide to double her in the post.

Yarden Garzon is a star in the making. She can get her shot, plays excellent defense, and is unselfish. Chole Moore-McNeil is a reliable ball handler who can defend all five positions if needed. One concern about this team is that they are not super deep. Lexus Bargesser was the only bench player to see significant minutes against Princeton.

That said, if they stay healthy, Indiana will be a dangerous team in March.