Could Injuries Derail a Championship Run for Indiana Women's Basketball?

Injuries to Mackenzie Holmes, Lily Meister, and Sydney Parrish could derail Indiana's hopes of a deep run in the Big Ten and NCAA Tournament.

Indiana's Mackenzie Holmes (54) looks to score over Maryland's Brinae Alexander (5) during the first quarter of the game.
Indiana's Mackenzie Holmes (54) looks to score over Maryland's Brinae Alexander (5) during the first quarter of the game. / Rich Janzaruk/Herald-Times / USA TODAY

Indiana head coach Teri Moren has been here before. Star forward Mackenzie Holmes has been here before. Moren saw Holmes battle a knee injury last year that hampered her effectiveness in the NCAA tournament. Just because they are acquainted with dealing with this type of adversity doesn't mean it is welcome in the locker room.

Holmes bumped knees with a Maryland player with 1:20 left in the third quarter. She limped off and went to the locker room. In the fourth quarter, she returned and appeared not to limp. Meister landed on a Maryland players foot, turning her ankle.

"You try like crazy to not let your mind go anywhere that it shouldn't," Moren said, according to the Indy Star. "In that moment, your job as the coach is to make sure that your focus is on the kids that are out on the floor. And so that's what I tried to do. Again, I don't know [what to take] right now from it; emotionally, I just don't know. I'm going to be optimistic until they tell me differently."

Added Moren on Holmes: "She certainly has had some bad luck, especially in late February. [We'll] be hopeful and optimistic that it'll turn out [how] we want it to. Mack is a very, very resilient, tough kid, as we know."

Moren provides an update Monday afternoon.

On Bloomington B97's "Inside Indiana Women's Basketball Radio Show," head coach Teri Moren updated Holmes' knee and Meister's ankle.

“Well, they were both in today to see (athletic trainer) Ben [Tate],” Moren said. “I think they both feel better. I think we’ll know at the end of the week where both of them are, regarding availability for the weekend. I thought there was some optimistic news today. So, I felt good about it. I think Ben feels good about it. But time will tell.”

The double bye is invaluable for the Hoosiers. That gives them more time to treat Holmes and Meister. It also give Sydney Parrish, who recently returned from injury, more time to get healthy.

Last season, Indiana lost to Miami in the second round of the NCAA tournament, primarily because Holmes was not at her best. Let's hope this isn't a replay of last year.