IU’s Moren wants Hoosier’s accomplishments to speak for her | Indiana University Sports

From a perceptual perspective, the Indiana women’s basketball team seems to be in an odd place.

No. 12 Indiana defeated No. 11 Tennessee 79-67 in a Top 25 showdown in Knoxville, Tennessee. on Monday. The Hoosiers controlled the competition from start to finish, keeping the host volunteers in double digits for 14 minutes and 17 seconds, including the final 4:20.

On the one hand, it is another signpost for Indiana on its way to being perceived as a national power. Tennessee has won eight national championships. It is both a brand and a program that is recognizable beyond women’s basketball insiders.

Though the Volunteers haven’t won a national title since their last championship in 2008, winning at Thompson-Boling Arena still means something.

On the other hand, some of the reaction to Indiana’s win raises the question of whether the Hoosiers’ recent accomplishments have flown a little under the radar.

On the ESPN postgame studio show after the win, college basketball analyst and legend Rebecca Lobo commented on the Indiana win.

“Indiana is a Well Team. They are a solid team. I am really impressed. This is the first time they have played Tennessee at the Thompson-Boling Arena. I was impressed how they could beat Tennessee at their own game,” said Lobo, who continued to shower the Hoosiers with praise.

It wasn’t the words, it was the tone. One that indicated a bit of curiosity Indiana was able to win a street game played at that level.

During the show much was devoted to what Tennessee could do, Indiana needed to stop, not the other way around.

Headlines documenting the win in Indiana included descriptions such as “declaration win” and he was described by some publications as upset.

Was it? Indiana (3-0) is just one spot behind Tennessee in the polls, although the Volunteers had already lost at one of Indiana’s main rivals for the Big Ten title, Ohio State.

For the past four seasons, as coach Teri Moren’s program really took off with NCAA tournament success, the Hoosiers have outperformed the volunteers.

Both advanced to the Sweet 16 in 2022, but Indiana advanced two rounds further in 2021 when the Hoosiers were in the Elite Eight. There was no tournament in 2020, but in 2019 the Hoosiers advanced a round further than Tennessee.

On paper, Indiana has been better than Tennessee with the current generation of collegiate players. A win in their house is impressive, but hardly surprising.

It’s about perception, something that doesn’t matter on the pitch, where the players and coaching decide results, but is still important when it comes to recruitment, among other things.

Tennessee has that brand. How much more does Indiana need to be noticed without curiosity when it achieves respectability at the national level?

Moren was asked about this dynamic during her media availability on Wednesday.

“There are so many things in life that you cannot control. This world tells us who we are and we can’t believe that,” Moren said.

Moren went on to describe the principles she’s used to build the Indiana program since joining Bloomington in 2014 have proven solid. Hard work by players who continue to hold on to a vision.

“It’s the same schedule, same routine and we’ve had some big, meaningful wins within that program. It’s up to the people outside. We can’t control that. We can only control what we can do, which is what we’ve done,” Moren said.

Given that hard work is the cornerstone of how she’s built the Indiana program, Moren doesn’t want perception — good or surprised — to get in the way of how Indiana is in a national conversation from the start.

“As I said to our group yesterday, flattery is like perfume. You can smell it, but you don’t want to swallow it.” Moren remarked.

“That means we can’t catch up because there are people who are like, ‘Wow, that’s a surprise,’ or other people are like, ‘That’s a significant win, Indiana is here.’ This is far from what we want to convey to our players. We still have a lot of work ahead of us.”

That work will determine Indiana’s place in women’s basketball’s pecking order at the end of the day. In March, Moren wants Indiana’s accomplishments to speak for themselves.

“To say that we get caught up in the experts and what other people say, I really don’t care. I care about what we’re about and we have proof that it works. Sometimes you have to let your work be your voice, and that’s what we tried to do,” Moren said.

BOWLING GREEN NEXT

Like Tennessee, Indiana’s next opponent is wearing orange – Mid-American Conference’s Bowling Green. The Falcons are next for the Hoosiers Thursday at 7 p.m. at Simon Skjodt Assembly Hall.

Bowling Green (2-0) beat St. Bonaventure and Wright State by an average margin of 23 points.

“When you’re up against teams like Bowling Green, we’re probably the biggest opponent on their schedule. There’s an extra energy and focus that people come here and play with,” Moren said.

Indiana also has Quinnipiac on Sunday at 1 p.m.

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