Dear Christie Sides, Free Grace Berger

Grace Berger, Indiana Fever
Grace Berger, Indiana Fever / Jeff Dean/GettyImages

Throughout the course of her rookie season in the WNBA, beloved Hoosier icon Grace Berger stayed steady. She may not have produced any head-turning numbers (aside from her scintillating 47.1% hit rate from deep on admittedly minuscule volume), but she exuded the type of feel and poise that yielded a lot of excitement about the type of player she could become at the professional level. Perhaps she may not ever transform into a superstar, but she seems more than capable of filling the role of a high-level role player.

Unfortunately, Berger has been on a very short leash early on at the onset of her sophomore season. With former Big Ten foe and present face of women's basketball Caitlin Clark now running the show in Indy, the IU legend has been relegated to backup duties off the pine. It was largely assumed that Berger would have her work cut out for her in terms of earning minutes with Clark's arrival and the presence of multiple other talented backcourt members (Kelsie Mitchell, Kristy Wallace, Erica Wheeler, etc.), but it is fair to assume that nobody expected 2 DNP - Coaches Decisions for Berger in the preliminary quartet of regular season contests.

As last season progressed, Berger continuously saw increased playing time with increased reps. During the preseason, it even looked like she had picked up right where she left off at the conclusion of her rookie campaign as it pertains to the growth in her game at this level.

She has not been extraordinary in her duo of appearances early on (13.5 MPG, 5.5 PPG, 1.0 RPG, 1.0 APG compared to 1.5 TOPG, and 0.5 SPG on shooting splits of 80% FG/0% 3FG/75% FT), but something has to give in regards to getting Grace Berger some more run. Her versatile skillset and high basketball IQ make her a seamless fit in basically any lineup, so it is time for Fever head coach Christie Sides to open her eyes.