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Indiana women ranked for first time in 21 years

Published on NewsOK Modified: January 7, 2014 at 2:31 am •  Published: January 7, 2014

Curt Miller figured it was going to be a long rebuilding project when he took over Indiana last season. Maybe it won't take as long as the veteran coach thought.

The undefeated Hoosiers earned their first Top 25 ranking in nearly 21 years Monday when they entered the poll at No. 22.

"We're ahead of schedule," Miller said in a phone interview. "Last year we think we overachieved at 11-19. Coming into this year we were predicted to finish 12th in the conference because we graduated our three leading scorers. To do what we've done already in year two is great, but our long journey is far from being over."

There wasn't much celebration of the ranking on campus as Indiana (14-0) was closed for the storm that was blasting the Midwest. Being in the Top 25 is something expected in the basketball crazed state — on the men's side that is. The men's program has been ranked for a total of 175 weeks since the women's only previous appearance in the poll.

Earning the first ranking since more than half his players were born is a great accomplishment for Miller's team.

"We're really excited now," he said. "We are just in the baby steps of rebuilding this program where it needs to be. We're off to a good start and there is great chemistry in the locker room."

Miller's has seven freshmen on his roster, including three who start. Larryn Brooks leads the way averaging 18.8 points and has been stellar in her rookie season. The first-year players are accounting for 73 percent of the offense — tops by far among BCS teams according to STATS.

While the first-years are putting up the points, Miller credits a changing culture as a big reason for the success. The Hoosiers finished last in the Big Ten in Miller's first season and the second-year coach said that cliques hampered team chemistry last year.

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