What if Hailey Van Lith Became a Hoosier?

Hailey Van Lith, LSU Women's Basketball
Hailey Van Lith, LSU Women's Basketball / Sarah Stier/GettyImages
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Caitlin Clark, Hailey Van Lith
Hailey Van Lith, LSU Women's Basketball and Caitlin Clark, Iowa Women's Basketball / Andy Lyons/GettyImages

The loss of Mackenzie Holmes alone is going to be impossible to fully offset up front, and the simultaneous departure of Sara Scalia in the backcourt only adds insult to injury for Indiana's staff and fanbase alike. Thankfully, the Hoosiers will have 3 returning starters from the 2023-2024 squad that fell short of it's ultimate mission in the form of Sydney Parrish (5th-year Senior), Chloe-Moore McNeil (5th-year Senior), and Yarden Garzon (Junior).

Indiana has further reinforcements returning/coming beyond those 3. Lexus Bargesser, Lily Meister, and Henna Sandvik will be back in B-Town for their junior campaigns. Sophomores-to-be Lenee Beaumont, Julianna LaMendola, and Sharnecce Currie-Jelks (a 2023 transfer to watch who missed all but 3 games this season while recovering from a hamstring injury) will also be back in the mix.

Teri Moren's incoming freshman class (which is still subject to change) currently consists of two frontcourt players in the form of 6'3" forward Sydney Fenn and 6'4" forward Faith Wiseman (#56 national recruit for 2024 according to ESPN's HoopGurlz rankings). Those two will intertwine with Meister and Currie-Jelks to support Moren's efforts to compensate for the loss of Holmes' presence in the paint. One of the four should snag the starting center spot, with Wiseman being the most likely.

Parrish and Garzon, who will slot into the starting forward spots, should also serve as the team's primary scorers looking ahead to next season. Moore-McNeil, who has been the glue holding everything together on both ends from the point guard spot over the course of the past two seasons, will again be responsible for running the show on the court while Moren directs it from the sidelines. But even with ample firepower returning, it still feels like this team needs a genuine difference maker.

Could Van Lith be the missing piece?

Hailey Van Lith #
Hailey Van Lith, LSU Women's Basketball / Sarah Stier/GettyImages

We have all bore witness to the miraculous makeover that Teri Moren has made happen in recent years as it pertains to Indiana women's basketball. However, over the course of the past few seasons, the Hoosiers have come up just a few games short of the ship time and time again.

Could Van Lith be the one to push this program over the hump?

By no means was this article written to breed speculation surrounding Hailey Van Lith and the Indiana women's basketball team. But you can bet your bottom dollar that this article was written to breed a realization that Hailey Van Lith could hypothetically be the heroine that helps elevate the Hoosiers to new heights.