Indiana Women’s Basketball Guard Grace Berger is a Quiet, Competitive Leader
It may not be so strong, but its competitive spirit says enough. Talented guard Grace Berger will return for her fifth year in Indiana next season, but by then Berger has more work to do and more players to run deep in the NCAA Tournament.
BLOOMINGTON, Ind. Indiana head coach Teri Moren didn’t even know senior guard Grace Berger was returning next season for her fifth year.
“Grace is such a funny kid,” Moren said. “Grace and I never had a conversation about her return. She basically told our basketball ops director that she wasn’t going to be part of the senior video. “
So is Louisville’s quietest and most reserved, Ky native has chosen to break the exciting news. When the operations director told Berger that Coach Moren was sitting right next to her and asked Berger if the Coach knew he planned to return, Berger said, ‘okay, then you can tell her.’
“We were hoping, by keeping our fingers crossed we would have the opportunity to coach her another year,” Moren said. “Obviously we were excited and ecstatic.”
Moren will be missing senior striker Aleksa Gulbe and graduate student bodyguards Nicole Cardaño-Hillary and Ali Patberg for graduation after this season. Combined, the three average 35. On the same subject : Indiana Department of Health hosting vaccine clinic in Warrick Co..5 points per game, and Moren needs to fill that gap.
Berger is an excellent place to start as he leads the team with 16.4 points per game and is third in line behind Gulbe and junior striker Mackenzie Holmes as the team’s top rebounder guard. Berger is known for her mid-range jumpers, but her 6.2 rebounds per game go unnoticed.
While Berger referred to her jumpers as the money shot, she is aware that she will shoot well beyond the arc and sharpen her craft before next season.
“I think one of the things she kept working on is outside of her, all three of her, becoming more consistent with that,” Moren said. “No child takes more reps out of practice than Grace Berger does with her three balls. She wants to find her consistency. We know you can score on the other two levels. “
The three-time All-American winner won the Big Ten tournament with a total of 63 points in all four games. Her best performance was against Iowa in the Big Ten league game where she led the Hoosiers with 20 points, seven rebounds and four assists.
Indiana fell short, falling to the Hawkeyes 74-67. Although they did not finish the job, it was the first time the Hoosiers had played in the league game since 2002. Berger was only two years old.
Since then, Indiana has advanced to the second round of the NCAA Tournament after beating Charlotte 85-51 inside Simon Skjodt Assembly Hall on Saturday. Berger scored 18 points, totaled six rebounds and also six assists.
Indiana’s Grace Berger (34) scored during the second half of the Indiana Women’s NCAA First Round game against Charlotte at Simon Skjodt Assembly Hall on Saturday, March 19, 2022. This may interest you : Indiana students demand action on climate change. Lawmakers respond with hard ‘no.’.
“Grace is a leader for our team,” Patberg said. “Forta is not the strongest person on the ground or off the ground, but she leads by example every day with her work ethic, with the way she approaches every drill, every rep. It’s a competitor. “
Patberg has been around the longest program for five years and has been called the leader, but Moren says the pair run in different ways. Patberg is a more emotional leading player on the ground. Berger on the other hand is hard to draw emotion from it sometimes.
“I think Grace has grown in her leadership,” Moren said. “She is OK. She communicates at a high level in practice with her peers, and challenges them. Again, these are two different types of leadership, but both are important to our team. “
The one word that Patberg and Moren called Berger was competitive. She exudes that spirit from her entire team. She has expectations for herself and those around her, Moren said.
“I’m grateful she was my partner,” Patberg said. “It pushed me to be a better person and a better player.”
Berger leads by example, and second-year guard Chloe Moore-McNeil is catching up with her trends.
Grace Berger and Chloe Moore-McNeil
Indiana Chloe Moore-McNeil (22) gives five to Grace Berger (34) after scoring during the first half of Indiana’s NCAA Women’s First Round game against Charlotte at Simon Skjodt Assembly Hall on Saturday, March 19, 2022. Read also : Surprise, Surprise: Indiana Opens as Slight Road Favorite at Maryland.
“She doesn’t say much, but I feel like her work says a lot,” Moore-McNeil said. “Even last year when I was a freshman, let her teach me, and see her, and she really set a great example for me.”
The good news is Berger and the Hoosiers have yet to set an example this season as they look forward to facing Princeton in the second round of the NCAA Tournament at 8 p.m. both.
No matter how many Hoosiers arrive in the postseason, one thing is certain: Berger is here to stay.
“I think as Grace was on our show, she found her voice,” Moren said.