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IUWBB Patberg, Wise article

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Women's Basketball 10/30/2018 7:05:00 PM By Pete DiPrimio, IUHoosiers.com

IU Basketball Bond – Patberg and Wise Embrace Expectations


Ready to play? Are you kidding? Indiana basketball transfers Brenna Wise and Ali Patberg can barely contain themselves.
"Oh, my gosh," Wise says, "I'm chomping at the bit to get out there."
"I can't put into words how excited I am to play," Patberg adds.
Wise and Patberg transferred to Indiana to make a difference on this women's program on the rise.
On Friday, they'll get their first chance, and if it won't count -- it's an exhibition against Northwood -- let others worry about that.
"It's been way too long since I've competed against an opponent who isn't a teammate in practice," Wise says. "I'm looking forward to getting out there and competing and doing what I love to do."
Patberg shares that love.
"I can't wait. I'm counting down the days. I am ready to go. We're ready to go as a team."
Or as coach Teri Moren puts it, "It was a long 365 days for kids like that, Type A personalities. Expectations are high for both of them."
Why not?
The 6-foot Wise, a former two-time Pennsylvania state player of the year and two-time ACC academic performer, transferred from Pitt. She averaged 10.7 points and 7.6 rebounds as a freshman, 14.3 and 7.6 as a sophomore
The 5-11 Patberg, a former Indiana Miss Basketball and McDonald's All-America out of Columbus North High School, came from Notre Dame. Injuries (a torn ACL sidelined her in her first college season) and illness limited her to 22 games as a reserve.
Beyond that, they fill a void created with the graduation of two of the greatest players in program history – guard Tyra Buss and forward Amanda Cahill.
NCAA transfer rules meant both players had to sit out last season, which wound up as one of the most remarkable in program history. It culminated in IU's first WNIT title.
Not playing was tough on both players. Their quick bonding lessened the burden – and came with this unexpected connection:
They both think LeBron James is really cool.
"We're big LeBron fans," Wise says. "We're always texting each other when he plays."
For both players, it was instant chemistry. 
"I felt the connection when we came on our visit," Patberg says. "We're a lot alike. We both work hard. We're passionate about the game, and life in general. Attacking everything we do. Giving it our all."
Adds Wise: "I have two brothers and she's the sister I never had. She invites us to her family's house all the time. Her family is my family. She's never hesitated to open doors for me."
The bond has limits. Patberg and Wise don't room together.
"That would be a lot of time together," Wise says. "Where we have fun together is getting on the gun and working out."
IU coaches hoped the two would hit it off. In fact, coaches scheduled their on-campus visit at the same time.
"Our coaches saw it before we did," Wise says. "From that moment, we clicked."
Benefits quickly followed.
"We make each other better," Wise says. "We hold each other to a high standard."
Adds Patberg: "She's a great person. She's the person I wanted to go through this process with, and then get on the court and do something together."
Basketball had been huge in both players' lives since they were young. To miss an entire season was almost cruel.
"There were many times last season when I was frustrated because I wanted to play and Brenna was there telling me, it will be worth it, keep working, keep pushing," Patberg says. "Then she'd have days like that and I'd be there for her."
Adds Wise: "Had it not for Ali … when you have someone alongside doing what you're doing and grinding together, it makes the struggle worth it. You have somebody to lean on when you have those tough days. It's not a solo journey. You're not doing it alone."
Yes, Wise and Patberg play the same positions as Cahill and Buss. Comparisons have come fast and furious.
Is that unfair?
"Not at all," Patberg says. "What they did was incredible. It would be crazy for people not to compare, not to wonder how are you going to play without Tyra and Amanda?
"They built this program. We're in this situation because of them. We want to do as much has wew can do to play up to their standards. It's a good thing – what will you do now that they're gone? It's motivating."
Darn right, Wise says, in so many words.
"Amanda set a high bar. I'm beyond grateful for the opportunity to have learned from her. To have a whole year to watch somebody who is so good at her craft.
"I miss B every day. I hope I can be the great player she was and do what she did for Indiana."
Moren, however, is ready to tone down the comparisons.
"What's fair is for our fans to not compare them. It's easy to do, to have these transfers who just happen to play the same positions, that they'll move right in and we take off where we left off. That's not the case. They're different players.
"AP is bigger than Tyra. Her speed up and down the floor is different.
"Brenna doesn't shoot it as well or as consistently as Amanda did, but she can post up. She's a monster when it comes to playing with her back to the basket, which is different than B."
Different skill sets doesn't mean the goal to win at a high level has changed.
"They watched our program last year," Moren says, "so they know our expectations. It's for them to step in, take those minutes and be productive on both sides of the ball."
If they do, it could be a heck of a basketball ride.

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