Other B1G Team Notes 2023-24

MADISON, Wis. – Jaime Gluesing, an assistant coach and recruiting coordinator at High Point University for the past four seasons, has been hired as an assistant coach for Wisconsin women's basketball, head coach Marisa Moseley announced.

Gluesing, who played collegiately at Florida Gulf Coast University, brings vast experience in Division I coaching and recruiting.

"I'm excited and grateful to join coach Marisa Moseley and the Badger family," exclaimed Gluesing. "Her leadership and knowledge of the game has already had a significant impact on the program. I can't wait to get to work with the staff and our student-athletes to build upon that success."

In 2020-21, Gluesing helped lead High Point to its third Big South regular-season championship and first-ever Big South Tournament title. The Panthers made their NCAA Tournament debut that season, finishing with a record of 22-7, including 17-3 in conference play.

"I am thrilled to be able to announce the hiring of Jaime Gluesing to round out our staff!" Moseley said. "Jaime is a rising star in the business who has had tremendous success as a player and as a coach in her career thus far. Jaime's kind heart and infectious spirit will be a great addition to our program. Badger Nation, please help me welcome Jaime back home to the Midwest as she joins us on our quest for championships!"

Before her time at High Point, Gluesing coached at the UW-Milwaukee from 2016-19. She began her tenure at Milwaukee as a graduate assistant and worked her way up to assistant coach/recruiting coordinator under Badger alumna Kyle Rechlicz (nee Black). She aided the Panthers in earning 21 wins and an at-large bid to the WNIT in 2017-18. In 2016-17, Milwaukee tied the program record with 22 wins and notched the first two postseason victories in the program's history on the road to the WBI semifinals. The Badgers faced Gluesing and the Panthers in the 2018-19 season, earning a 68-57 win.

Gluesing played for the FGCU women's basketball team from 2012-16. She started 62 contests for the team. The Eagles qualified for postseason play in all four of her seasons, including two trips to the NCAA Tournament and a run to the 2016 WNIT Championship Game her senior year.

Gluesing graduated from Florida Gulf Coast University in 2016, earning a degree in Business Management with a concentration in Sports Management. She then went on to earn her masters in Administrative Leadership from UW-Milwaukee in 2018.

Ashley Owusu will have freedom to play at Penn State:

Ashley Owusu is ready to play basketball again.

After starting her college career at Maryland, where she became one of the best guards in the country, she transferred to Virginia Tech ahead of the 2022-23 season. While her tenure with the Hokies started strong, a broken pinkie derailed it. After the injury, her minutes decreased, and she did not play at all in the postseason.

The tension came to a head during the Hokies’ Final Four run. During the national semifinal, Owusu left the bench, which resulted in infighting with her teammates. Following the season, she entered the transfer portal once again, and now she finds herself starting again at Penn State.

“Obviously getting hurt was unfortunate,” Owusu told The Daily Collegian, “but kind of looking forward to playing here, being able to be around new people.”

While Owusu was recruited by the Nittany Lions her first time in the portal, it didn’t work out. This time, assistant coach Terri Williams – whose brother Boo Williams coached Owusu in her youth career – managed to secure the commitment. Owusu credited the familiar face as a “very important” factor in her decision.

And Owusu’s Penn State teammates already are excited about what the three-time All-Big Ten selection brings to the squad. Makenna Marisa, who has “always been a fan of her game” and wanted to play with Owusu, said as much.

“She makes her teammates around her better, and she’s an unselfish player,” Marisa said. “She’s a hooper.”

And while Owusu is ready to fit into whatever role is needed, Penn State is ready to help her thrive.

“Ashley’s going to have freedom to play, and she didn’t get that at Virginia Tech,” Williams said. “She’s going to have freedom to flourish and be the player and the playmaker that she is, here, at Penn State.”

Looking at the Badger freshman:

The University of Wisconsin women’s basketball team returns to campus for the 2023-2024 season with 14 players, including five freshmen looking to make an immediate impact on this Badgers program. Here are the five players making their debut in cardinal and white for the 2023-2024 season.

Leena Patibandla

When Leena Patibandla steps on the collegiate court, she will become the first American-born Indian to play Division I basketball at the Power 5 level. The 6-foot combo guard ranked seventh overall in Ohio by Prep Girls Hoops and scored over 1,000 points during her prep career. During Patibandla’s senior season, she averaged 16.6 points and 8.7 rebounds per game while converting on 49% of her attempts from the floor.

Wisconsin head coach Marisa Moseley described Patibandla as a valuable asset for the group going forward.

“Awe-inspiring multi-sport athlete … [whose] length and basketball IQ will be extremely disruptive on the defensive end of the floor,” Moseley said. “[Her] ability to consistently rebound and attack in transition sets her apart.”

The incoming freshman was an accomplished multi-sport athlete in high school, earning the Stark County’s Girls Athlete of the year in 2020-2021 for her all-county selections in basketball, volleyball and track and field.

Imbie Jones

Imbie Jones makes her collegiate debut after a successful high school campaign in which her school won their third straight championship in March.

The 6-foot-2 Washington-native was a three-star recruit who ranked 147th nationally by ESPN. In her senior season, Jones averaged 1.6 points and 4.7 rebounds per game.

Tessa Grady

Tessa Grady enters her freshman year after leading her prep team to a district championship last spring. The 6-foot-2 forward ranked 188th nationally as a three-star recruit by ESPN and was considered the number one shooting guard and sixth overall prospect in Ohio by Prep Girls Hoops. The Dublin, Ohio, native averaged 14 points per game in her senior campaign.

“[She has] fantastic court vision and makes the other players on the floor better,” Moseley said.

Grady is no stranger to Madison, Wisconsin — her brother Griffin played football for the Badgers from 2016-2020.

Ana Guillen

Ana Guillen is the first player from Spain to play for Wisconsin in Badger history. The 6-foot small forward has international experience on Spain’s national team and played on three Catalonia championship teams in 2017, 2019 and 2022.

Moseley believes Guillen’s experience will allow her to make an impact in the Big Ten.

“Her ability to knock down open shots and make others around her better will add immediate depth to our roster,” Moseley said.

D’Yanis Jimenez

D’Yanis Jimenez is one of the highest ranked players entering the 2023 class for Wisconsin. The 5-foot-8 point guard ranked 108th nationally as a three-star recruit in high school.

Jimenez had a successful campaign in Florida, scoring over 1,000 points for her team while ranking as the eighth overall player and second best point guard in the Sunshine State by Prep Girls Hoops.

As a senior, she averaged 16 points and 5 rebounds per game while converting 51% from the field.

“[She is an] electric and heavy guard with a scorer mentality,” Moseley said. “[Her] instincts enable her to know exactly what her team needs to win.”

Looking at the Badger freshman:

Thanks for posting that. I guess I need to double-check my badmouthing Wisconsin that finished 6-12 in conference play last season, lost their first and only game in the B1G tournament, and lost a few players including Mady Wilke in the offseason. Then again, Minnesota under a different coaching regime was bounced from the tournament in the play-in round and finished only 4-14.

A pre-season Buckeye review:

Until the Ohio State women’s basketball season tips off in Las Vegas, Nevada on Nov. 6, Land-Grant Holy Land has coverage from all angles. Follow along for player previews, schedule release information, and stories from the coaches and players themselves — all getting you ready for the start of the season when the Buckeyes take on the USC Trojans in Sin City.

It was a normal, uneventful, Tuesday with 48 days remaining until the start of the NCAA women’s basketball season. Teams announcing new opponents, media day photos from across the nation making their way onto social media and still waiting for the Big Ten to announce the women’s basketball schedule.

Then ESPN rocked the boat, releasing its first bracketology of the season. Before any rankings or all official schedules surfaced, the Ohio State women’s basketball team found themselves in quite a position: One of the four No. 1 seeds.

Now before reading this turns into social media angst over how far away the tournament is or the fact that there are no games for a month and a half, Land-Grant Holy Land gets it. This bracketology will change. Ohio State will probably lose a game here and there. A bracketology piece and $5 will get you a cup of overpriced coffee.

However, it’s still an idea worth analyzing. Could the Buckeyes really find themselves a No. 1 seed with a slightly less bumpy route to returning to the Elite Eight and making its way to Cleveland for the Final Four? It’s not that crazy of an idea.

The most obvious argument is the fact that this Ohio State team is an Elite Eight-caliber team. Last season, much to the dismay of many New Englanders, the scarlet and gray dispatched the UConn Huskies on national television, with basketball legend and former Husky Sue Bird watching on from the lower bowl.

It wasn't close either. Head coach Kevin McGuff looked more prepared than legendary leader Geno Auriemma, who now knows about forward Cotie McMahon. After being down two points at the end of the first quarter, the Buckeyes outscored UConn 21-9 in the second quarter on its way to a 73-61 victory.

UConn fans and blogs will argue that superstar guard Paige Bueckers was out injured and fellow superstar guard Azzi Fudd was still returning from injury. Sure, it’s valid but look at the makeup of UConn’s recruiting and Ohio State’s classes. It was a remarkable win.

That success came after a too-close-for-comfort half against the James Madison Dukes and needing a game-winner from guard Jacy Sheldon against the North Carolina Tar Heels to even make it that far. Those close victories themselves warrant to the idea that the Buckeyes could be a No. 1 seed. Why? On any given day Ohio State can have an endless supply of fight.

Take the Big Ten tournament semifinal. Facing an Indiana Hoosiers team that cooked the Buckeyes twice in the regular season, even worse at home, Ohio State went down 24 points. The Buckeyes pulled off the biggest comeback in tournament history.

Arguing against the merit of that moment is admittedly easy because of what happened the next day. The Buckeyes faced guard Caitlin Clark and the Iowa Hawkeyes, losing 105-72.

However, according to the experts at ESPN, Iowa isn’t a one-seed. Hinting that the Big Ten script could flip. There’s merit to the idea.

In the offseason, while the Buckeyes brought in guard and former Duke ACC Defensive Player of the Year Celeste Taylor and a strong paint presence in forward Taiyier Parks from Michigan State. That’s on top of a freshman guard with international experience in Diana Collins who might see more minutes than usual for first-year players with both Taylor and Sheldon playing their final seasons.

Over in Iowa, guard McKenna Warnock and center Monika Czinano left college basketball with no response from the Hawkeyes in the transfer portal.

The Hawkeyes bring in No. 93 recruit in the country in Ava Jones and in the paint have a strong sophomore in 22-23 Big Ten Sixth Player of the Year in Hannah Stuelke. Of the two, Stuelke will have the biggest impact as the likely starter, but Czinano paired with Clark since the second the Naismith Player of the Year guard stepped foot in Iowa City.

Czinano to Stuelke is not a monumental downgrade by any means, and Stuelke could end up being better than Czinano when it's all said and done, but not right away.

Also, and this may earn the media section at Ohio State a scowl from Clark after a half-court three, but the Buckeyes have the defense to not completely neutralize the superstar, but at least slow her down. It’s in the guard tandem of Sheldon and Taylor.

Ohio State lost its leading scorer of 22-23 and second-leading scorer of 21-22 in guard Taylor Mikesell, but adding Taylor will help the defensive side. A reason Taylor chose Ohio State is the defense itself. Following two seasons of man-to-man full-court press of the Duke Blue Devils, Taylor now joins the most electric press in college basketball. No hyperbole.

When at its best, the press of the Buckeyes is second to none. Adding Taylor makes that even better. The guard had court awareness and is already bonding with new teammates after only being with the team since July.

With Duke, Taylor led the ACC in defensive rating with 72.7. In other words, in 100 possessions, with Taylor on the court, the Blue Devils only gave up 72.7 points. That total is also good enough for eighth best in the nation. With the Buckeyes, whose half-court defense didn’t get nearly the fanfare, Taylor will strengthen it, taking away the press as a one-trick pony.

Taylor and Sheldon are not the splash sisters of two seasons ago on offense, but it's the best defensive backcourt in college basketball.

Last season, Sheldon tied the school record with steals in a game (11) and ended the season averaging 3.53 steals per game. Also, Sheldon was limited, playing just once between the end of November and the beginning of March.

When Sheldon did play, the Dublin, Ohio native was still working through a foot injury. After the season was over, Sheldon was back in the boot too, meaning that the Buckeyes may not have even had Sheldon at her best during the NCAA Tournament. A scary idea for opponents.

What about offense? Well, sophomore Cotie McMahon grew leaps and bounds in one season of NCAA basketball. Imagine what a summer leading Team USA U19 to another trophy at the Women's World Cup can do for the confidence and ability of Ohio State’s rising superstar.

There’s also Taylor Thierry. The forward/guard hybrid started at the three position last year, often moving into the paint too. After seeing limited minutes in Thierry’s freshman season, the sophomore earned spots on the All-Defensive Team, Second Team All-B1G, and Big Ten All-Tournament Team.

Ohio State’s even improved in the paint and have three vastly different bigs to rotate in Parks, Eboni Walker and Rebeka Mikulášiková.

Parks brings necessary strength under the basket, to not only help improve rebounding but also slow down attacks to the basket. For Walker, playing her second season with the Buckeyes, showed vast improvement at the end of the season and secured a starting spot through the postseason.

Mikulášiková is the best shooter of the three too, something McGuff and the Buckeyes value. The Slovakian was arguably the best offensive player on the team too in the first few games of the 22-23 season before ultimately losing the job to Walker following a late season injury.

Rotating those three keeps them fresh and changes the game for opponents at any given moment.

All of this arguing for something as silly as bracketology, but it's never too early to get excited about a new basketball season. Especially when Ohio State is in prime position to go further than last year, making it a short trip to Cleveland for a potential spot in the 2024 Final Four.

It’s not going to be anywhere close to easy. There’s still more to say about the Indiana Hoosiers, No. 3 in the prediction, the rising Illinois Fighting Illini (No. 7) and always dangerous Maryland Terrapins (No. 4), and the overall stacked Big Ten conference. Time for all of that is coming soon.

A look at the Hoosiers:

Part of what helped last year’s team improve from the year before was upgraded depth. This year’s roster is smaller, at just 12 players, but the depth remains solid. Sophomore forward Lilly Meister (2.4 ppg) and sophomore guard Lexus Bargesser (2.1 ppg) showed good development as true freshmen, and should be in bigger roles this year.

Sophomore UT Martin transfer forward Sharnecce Currie-Jelks was OVC freshman of the year last year. The program has a lot of faith in top-100 guards Jules LaMendola and Lenée Beaumont, and they could factor into the equation right away.

“The three that we brought in, those new kids are going to have to help us, and they’re going to have to grow up quicker than normal,” Moren said. “We usually say by the time that they return from Christmas break, you’re no longer freshmen. You’ve got to be wiser and you have to grow up faster. I think we’re going to need the three of them from the beginning right out of the gates to show up and give us really good minutes, and I think they’re capable of that.”

Land Grant Holyland projects the Buckeye starters

The start of the 23-24 season is fast approaching. On Monday, Nov. 6, the No. 7 Ohio State women’s basketball team faces the No. 21 USC Trojans at T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas, Nevada. Playing in the Naismith Hall of Fame Series, the Buckeyes get their first taste of a soon-to-be Big Ten side. The top-25 game tips off a season that, on the surface, features one of the more difficult schedules for the scarlet and gray in recent history.

So, who should be in the starting lineup for the Buckeyes in Vegas?

Land-Grant Holy Land takes a stab at that question, with a predicted starting five to go up against the Trojans, and beyond. While four of the spots seem easy to pinpoint, there’s a position that should grab a lot of attention

The AP looks at the top of the B1G

Indiana coach Teri Moren started chasing Big Ten championships a decade ago.

Back then, conference newcomer Maryland set the standard by winning three straight regular-season titles, three straight Big Ten tourney crowns and stringing together winning streaks of 22, nine, 23 and four against league foes. By Season 4, the rest of the league finally caught up to the Terrapins.

Now the new hunt begins as Moren and other conference coaches try to prevent sharp-shooting Caitlin Clark and third-ranked Iowa from running away from the pack.

The defending league champion Hoosiers aren’t ceding anything to a team they nearly swept last season.

“I still really, really like our pieces,” Moren said. “I’ll bet on these guys, knowing what I’ve — by seeing what I’ve been able to see with them inside practice. I do think we have a chance (at a national championship).”

Why wouldn’t they believe they can still win titles?

Guard Grace Berger is the only one of Indiana’s top six scorers not returning this season and they still have preseason All-American Mackenzie Holmes from a team that lost only four games by a total of 12 points. And it took Clark’s buzzer-beating 3-pointer at Iowa just to salvege a series split.

The ninth-ranked Hoosiers are not the only threat to Iowa taking its first outright conference crown in five years.

Guards Jacy Sheldon and Taylor Thierry and 6-foot forward Cotie McMahon, last season’s Big Ten freshman of the year, give No. 7 Ohio State a strong foundation, too, after their deepest NCAA Tournament run in decades.

“Yeah, that was a really big step for us. We hadn’t been to the Elite Eight in 30 years,” coach Kevin McGuff said. “We aspire for more, certainly, and it’s hard to do because there’s so many great teams and programs in women’s basketball. But that’s what we’ve got our sights set on.”

Nobody should discount the 14th-ranked Terrapins, either.

While they may not dominate conference play as they once did, they sure haven’t fallen far. Maryland expects 6-2 guard Shyanne Sellers, an all-conference and all-defensive team selection in her first season as a starter, to help plug voids left by first-round WNBA draft picks Diamond Miller and Abby Myers.

“I love where junior Shyanne Sellers is at, she understands the load she’s going to have to carry for us this year,” Terrapins coach Brenda Frese said. “She took a major step forward. Now she’s going to have to own even bigger responsibility on her shoulders this season. But she’s more than capable of it.”

Illinois, Indiana and Maryland all used their home-court advantage to beat Iowa last season — and that was with Monika Czinano patrolling the post for the Hawkeyes. Czinano has graduated and if any Big Ten team can replicate those feats from last season, the title chase may be more competitive than expected.


Maryland’s initial success in Big Ten play forced conference schools to make a stronger commitment to women’s basketball and helped propel the league forward.

Clark’s presence has had a similar impact with increased attendance and even sellouts becoming more common around the league. Earlier this month, a charity game inside Iowa’s football stadium drew a record attendance of 55,646 and coach Lisa Bluder is hoping for similar scenes inside Carver-Hawkeye Arena this season.

“When they come into Carver, it’s going to be one hostile environment,” she said. “We have sold out every single game, every single ticket.”


The four top teams in the conference seem pretty clear but a dark horse contender could be No. 23 Illinois, which is in The Associated Press preseason Top 25 for the first time since 1999.

Second-year coach Shauna Green has four double-digit scorers back — seniors Genesis Bryand, Makira Cook and Kendall Bostic along with junior Adalia McKenzie.— from last season’s surprise team.

Aliyah Boston previews the Big Ten

There’s no one better suited to evaluate a sport than one of its best players.

In the last few years, Aliyah Boston has earned that distinction in women’s basketball by winning a national championship and multiple college player of the year awards before being named an All-Star and unanimous rookie of the year during her first season in the WNBA. She’ll put that knowledge of the game to use for Peacock as a studio analyst for women’s basketball coverage this upcoming season.

With the streaming service set to broadcast 22 Big Ten women’s basketball games during the 2023-24 season, Boston offered her thoughts on the conference a few weeks before teams tip off.

Q: What are some of your overall thoughts entering the Big Ten season? Maybe favorites, underdogs, dark horses that you feel can maybe make some noise in the conference?

I think the Big Ten as a whole is just a talented conference. I think Ohio State is continuing to come in and make some noise, just because of their defensive ability and what they do, the pressure they put on people, and so I’m really excited to see it.

Q: What does that do to players, going up against a press defense like Ohio State’s? It seemed to just completely discombobulate everyone that they played in the tournament last year.

Absolutely. I mean, you can always prep for it. But until you’re right there playing against them, it’s hard. But that’s what Ohio State wants to do; they want to make sure that you’re feeling uncomfortable every single time you get the ball or before you get the ball. And I think they pride themselves so much on that defensive presence that it just honestly feeds into their offense, and they’re able to play that fast pace that they like.

Q: You have seen firsthand what Caitlin Clark can do, but you also know what it takes to get over that hump and win a national title. What are she and her team facing trying to take that next step up this season?

Honestly, I think it’s going to be everyone but Caitlin in a sense, because when you’re looking at Iowa, everyone talks about Caitlin. They prep for Caitlin, they prep for her logo threes, they prep for her assists. But, again, until you get in the game and play against her, it’s really hard to just say, ‘Okay, we’re going to take this away,’ because she’s just so talented.

But I think what really is going to be able to make them go are the players around her. The players that knock down shots when Caitlin’s trying to get double-teamed off screens, the players that finish around the basket; they’re going to be the piece of the puzzle that continues to help them grow, especially in the Big Ten.

Q: How about Maryland, too? You played against them in the tournament. How difficult is it to replace two players like Diamond Miller and Abby Meyers, and what do you expect from them going forward in this season?

Yeah, I think Maryland is still going to be a phenomenal team. And I say that because of their style of play. Coach [Brenda] Frese allows her players to be them. And it’s within a system but at the same time, if you can take your player one-on-one, you can do that. And I think you were able to do that last year with Diamond. I mean, when Diamond put her head down, she’s going, and there’s no problem with that.

And I think they have talented players. Even some transfers with Jakia Brown-Turner coming in, she’s a shooter, but she also can get to the basket. And so, I think they’re really still going to be phenomenal. They have shooters all around the perimeter, and it’s just going to be about their pace of play. They want to get up and down the floor, put points in the basket, put points on the scoreboard, and I think that we’re going to see that this year.

Q: As a great post player yourself, what makes Indiana’s MacKenzie Holmes special down there?

I think her efficiency makes her really special. MacKenzie can be looked at as undersized, but I think that’s the key to it all, is that she is very efficient with what she does. She rebounds the ball well, she finishes around the basket. I think she’s a great leader that sees the game more than just how can she score.

I think that’s what also makes Indiana as talented as they are. They get the ball inside to her and if they’re sending two or she’s finishing around the basket it puts pressure on the other team’s defense, which is really special.

The wait is almost over. Women's basketball season is right around the corner. With exhibition games and practices on the way, the Michigan State women's basketball team is preparing to improve off of last season with new coaches and players.

This year, the Spartan community has hope for a new era of women's basketball here at MSU. This will be the Spartans' first year since 2007 without head coach Suzy Merchant, who stepped down last March due to health reasons. New head coach Robyn Fralick, who was introduced to the team in late March, hopes to write a good story while here at MSU and start her tenure off strong.

"Some things that have stood out about this particular team so far is their work ethic and the team's pursuit together, so we're really excited," Fralick said. "We’re figuring out this particular team's identity and developing it into a really, really good story. It is wonderful to be home."
Fralick has been a college basketball head coach for eight years and owns a career 192-76 win/loss record. She comes to MSU a year after directing the Bowling Green Falcons for five seasons, displaying a 88-73 win/loss ratio, a MAC championship, and multiple WNIT tournament berths. Before Bowling Green, she spent three seasons at Ashland University, guiding the Eagles to an impressive 104-3 record in three seasons while also winning the Division 2 national championship.

However, Fralick isn't the only person coming from Bowling Green to join the Spartans this season. Transfer junior guard Jocelyn Tate followed her coach to East Lansing to make an impact for the green and white.

"I didn't really know if being coached by somebody else is what I wanted," Tate said. "I really thought I was lucky with the ones that I had. I wouldn't want to miss this opportunity to continue to be coached by them because of how great they are."

Tate, who averaged 10.2 points, 6.1 rebounds, and 2.7 steals her sophomore season at Bowling Green, said she's "really excited to play with this group."

Last year, MSU finished with an overall record of 16-14 and a 7-10 record in Big Ten play. They were placed as the nine seed in the Big Ten tournament, where they defeated the eight-seeded Nebraska Cornhuskers 67-64. They were then bounced in the second round, losing to top-seeded Indiana 94-85.

This year, however, with eight returning players, they hope to increase their winning percentage and make a surprise in the Big Ten. Junior guard DeeDee Hagemann said one way to make that surprise is to play as a team.

"We've been putting in a lot of work this offseason, and we know at the end of the day, we just want to be consistent and win," Hagemann said. "Everybody's going to do what it takes to win."
Hagemann averaged 9.3 points, 4.9 assists and two steals during her sophomore season. She said she wants to increase those numbers by continuing to work on her jump shots and moves off the ball.

Earlier this month, the team announced that Julia Ayrault and Moira Joiner would be the Spartans' team captains for the 2023-24 season. Both Ayrault and Joiner are redshirt seniors and are the first captains the MSU women's basketball has had since the 2019-20 season. Ayrault said she sees being a captain as a huge honor.

"I’m just really grateful to have this opportunity, and I look forward to being a vocal leader, an emotional leader and encouraging everybody," Ayrault said. "I think this role has already really enhanced my leadership skills and helped me to improve by using my voice more."

Joiner agreed with her, saying she’s honored to fit this role her team selected her for. Though, Joiner has always seen herself as fitting this exact role.

"I've always kind of seen myself as a leader on this team, maybe like more of a background leader, but still a leader," Joiner said. "It's not a role that I’m not used to. I was a captain in high school for three years. I think being more vocal and stepping into that is something that I look forward to doing."

With teams like Iowa, Ohio State, Indiana, Maryland and Illinois all being ranked in the women's top 25, Big Ten women's basketball is undoubtedly one of the best conferences in the sport. Fralick knows it’ll be a “challenge night in and night out” but knows her team can handle the competition.

"We're developing who we are at our best," Fralick said. "We're fast, we're aggressive. We attack, whether that's getting to the free throw line or putting pressure on the defense. We must win the turnover battle and convert that into points. At our best, we will be tough, together and connected."

Michigan State hosts their first live-action exhibition game vs Davenport on November 2nd at 6:30 p.m. Following that game, on November 8th in Breslin, they tip off the regular season vs Oakland, a team the Spartans beat 85-39 last year.

Big Ten action won't start back up for another month, as the Spartans will have to wait until December 9th to take on Nebraska at home.

Fifth-year guard Sara Scalia’s first season in Bloomington was a testament to selfless basketball.

The former Minnesota Golden Gopher transferred to Indiana during the 2022 offseason to add 3-point shooting to a starting lineup that desperately needed it, as everyone thought. She did so at first, getting a ton of looks while averaging 14.8 points and 2.5 triples per game over the team’s first 4 contests, but then her shots stopped falling.

Scalia shot over 50% from the field just once from November 17th through January 23rd (14 games) and ultimately ended up coming off of the bench after 14 games

This was new to Scalia, as she’d started all but a handful of games during her time in Minnesota. It was tough, but she embraced her new role and became one of the conference’s most dependable sixth players.

She ended up averaging 9.5 points, 3 rebounds, and 1.6 assists per game and logged more than 20 minutes off the bench on 13 occasions thanks to her big game potential. Scalia’s efforts earned her an All-Big Ten honorable mention at year’s end.

On the court

It’s no secret: Sara Scalia is out there to make threes.

In all, Scalia averaged 9.5 points, 3 rebounds, and 1.6 assists per game in 2022-23 and was an All-Big Ten honorable mention.


At her best, Scalia has the green light from anywhere.

Scalia was Indiana’s best free throw shooter last year (91.2%), but only took 57 foul shots last season. It wouldn’t surprise us if Teri Moren tries to use Scalia as a ball-dominant player this year in an attempt to draw more fouls.


Scalia is a serviceable defender who improved as last season went on. She’s not the flashiest on defense but is still good for a “juice play” every couple games. With a full year in the Hoosiers’ system down (plus more playing time to come), Scalia will likely improve on her 27 steals from a year ago.


With the All-American Grace Berger having moved on to the WNBA this offseason, Indiana has a starting guard slot to fill. It very well could go to Scalia and the lineup could be a winning one.

She’s got over three seasons of Big Ten starting experience and is known to be effective when out there with returners Garzon, Holmes, Moore-McNeil, and Parrish.

That exact lineup went 7-1 during Berger’s injury absence last year. Why mess with a good thing?

Top Bottom