Cranberry's Wise key cog for Indiana

Helping Hoosiers to quick start in women's hoops

January 1, 2020 Cranberry Local Sports

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BLOOMINGTON, IN - DECEMBER 15, 2019 - forward Brenna Wise #50 of the Indiana Hoosiers during the game against the Youngstown State Penguins and the Indiana Hoosiers at Simon Skjodt Assembly Hall in Bloomington, IN. Photo By Andrew Mascharka/Indiana Athletics

BLOOMINGTON, Ind. — Brenna Wise rarely has a bad day.

Just ask her coach.

“She's unique in so many ways on and off the floor,” sixth-year Indiana University women's basketball coach Teri Moren said of the Cranberry Township resident on “She has a love for life and I don't know that she ever has a bad day.”

When it comes to basketball, probably not.

“I love basketball and basketball has loved me,” Wise said.

Indeed it has.

Now a senior at Indiana, Wise is one of four Hoosiers averaging in double figures this season. She scored nine points and grabbed four rebounds in 12th-ranked Indiana's 68-58 loss to No. 10 and undefeated UCLA Dec. 22.

Entering Saturday's game against Michigan State, Wise was averaging 11.5 points and 5.8 rebounds per game this season as a 6-foot-0 forward. She shares the team lead in rebounds and leads the Hoosiers with 18 3-point field goals.

This is her final year of college basketball, having spent the first two starting for the University of Pittsburgh in the Atlantic Coast Conference and the last two starting for Indiana in the Big Ten.

“The Big Ten is definitely a more physical league,” Wise said. “It took me a while to adjust to that.”

She had time to do so, having to sit out a year due to transfer rules after leaving Pitt. Wise did not play during the 2017-18 season.

She was able to practice with Indiana that year.

And her timing couldn't have been better.

“(Then senior) Amanda Cahill (1,800-point scorer) kind of took me under her wing,” Wise said. “I learned so much from her. She played the No. 4 spot in the lineup — same position as me — and I was able to practice with her every day.

“It tore me up emotionally, not being able to play games that year, but I made good use of the time. It was worth it.”

When Wise did return to the court last year, she did so with a vengeance. She averaged 12.0 points and a team-leading 6.8 rebounds per game. She drained 52 treys and led the Big Ten — while ranking seventh in the NCAA — with a 91.9 shooting percentage from the foul line.

Indiana reached the NCAA Tournament for the first time in four years, defeating Texas before losing to Oregon in the second round.

Having won 10 of their first 12 games this season, Wise and her teammates have high hopes.

“I think we can go on a run. I really do,” Wise said. “We're playing very well as a team and we're so well-balanced. Nobody has to do too much.”

Wise has been a team leader through her actions and demeanor.

“You can count on her every single day to come in and be the same,” Moren said. “We talk about having good juice every day and she just has an energy that's contagious and resonates with the players inside the locker room.”

A double-major in marketing and professional sales, Wise was an Academic All-Big Ten selection last season and is likely to repeat that honor.

She scored 2,331 points at Vincentian Academy, was two-time PIAA Class A Girls Basketball Player of the Year and led her team to four WPIAL championships and two state titles.

She also averaged in double figures in both of her years at Pitt.

Wise is hopeful her playing career does not end this season.

“If the opportunity arises, I'd love to play at the next level,” she said. “I can't imagine my life without basketball. I plan to coach when I'm done playing, hopefully at the college level.

“Right now, all of my energy is focused on this season. I just want to get better each day and help our team get better. I love what we have going on here right now.”

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John Enrietto

John Enrietto

I graduated with a Journalism degree from Ohio University in 1979. I started at the Eagle on August 24, 1997. My awards include 2nd place in feature writing from Ohio Associated Press (while working for the Steubenville Herald-Star), media award from Lernerville Speedway and 3rd place in a Pennsylvania AP contest for story feature.