Women’s basketball vs. Benedictine: What you need to know

Junior guard Kendall Wingler passes the ball in a team practice on Oct. 27. Photo by Claire Runkel. 

JIA SKRUDLAND | SPORTS REPORTER | jskrudland@butler.edu 

Butler women’s basketball team will return to Hinkle Fieldhouse on Saturday, Nov. 5 for an exhibition game against Benedictine. The team recorded a one-win-season last season, so the Bulldogs can only go in one direction – up. After the underwhelming season, Butler parted ways with head coach Kurt Godlevske and brought in Austin Parkinson from down the road at IUPUI. The rejuvenated coaching staff looks to revamp the program at Butler. 

Although exhibition games don’t contribute to their record, they allow Parkinson and his staff to find any flaws preventing the Bulldogs from their full potential that can impact the regular season. Earlier this week, the Big East Conference released the preseason coaches’ poll — voting Butler in the bottom three. Perhaps the Bulldogs’ ranking will spark a competitive force with a chip on their shoulder. 

Here’s what you need to know about Butler’s tip-off to the 2022-23 season. 

Who: Butler vs. Benedictine

When: Nov. 5, 2 p.m.

Where: Hinkle Fieldhouse

New Dawgs, new season 

The women’s basketball team is full of fresh new Bulldog faces to open up the new season, starting with the hiring of Parkinson. He brings over a lengthy resume from his 12-year stint as IUPUI’s head coach, including being the all-time winningest coach in program history at 224-141 and recently making a trip to the NCAA Tournament with the Jaguars.

Parkinson brings over his wing-man Latrell Fleming as an assistant coach, who he’s now coached with for nine consecutive seasons, as well as assistant coach Holly Hoopingarner, who assisted him for a season at IUPUI. Kristin Wodrich from UIndy previously coached with Parkinson and was also added to Parkinson’s coaching staff. From his time at IUPUI, Parkinson understands how to navigate through the lows. His first two seasons with IUPUI were shaky, amassing a 17-43 record. From the 2012-13 season on, Parkinson led the Jaguars to an above .500 record and is hoping to do the same with the Dawgs. 

The coaching staff is not the only change Bulldog fans will see. Over the offseason, the team added eight new players to the roster — three first-years and five transfers. 

While not all of them will see significant playing time, all eight players add value to the team and will help contribute to the Bulldogs’ success this season. Graduate student guard/forward Rachel McLimore and junior forward Anna Mortag followed their coaches from IUPUI to Butler. Rounding out the transfers are graduate student guard standout Shay Frederick from Valparaiso, junior guard Caroline Strande from Minnesota and graduate student forward Kelsy Taylor from Trine. All five transfers saw significant playing time with their former teams, so they will be able to play a veteran role with the three first-years and help them in the transition from high school basketball to college basketball. Parkinson welcomes first-year guards Jordan Meulemans, Chloe Jeffers and Jessica Carrothers to the Bulldog roster — all of whom played vital roles on their high school teams. 

The matchup: Bulldogs vs. Eagles 

The Benedictine Eagles will enter Hinkle Fieldhouse coming off an exhibition game loss to the University of Illinois Chicago, 96-32, on Oct. 27. 

Against UIC, junior guard Jessie Carlquist led the way for the Eagles with eight points, going 3-3 from the field, so expect the Bulldogs to keep an eye on her. Butler can anticipate Benedictine’s starting lineup to be the same, but that will not be the case for their opponent. 

With Nov. 5 being “opening day” for the Bulldogs, it’s all speculation of which five will be out on the court to open the season. Last season, senior guard Tenley Dowell and sophomore forward Sydney Jaynes played in all 28 games, so it’s likely they will continue their starter role on the team. Sophomore guard Trinity White also saw significant playing time, playing in 23 games starting in 16, and could be primed to have a breakout season. Junior guard Kendall Wingler saw action in 26 games making 11 starts and will look to continue to make an impact on defense. One can expect at least one of those four to be on the court at any time, but a new change in coaching could result in new lineups and styles of play. With the abundance of solid, strong new players, Parkinson has lots of options to ensure success going forward. 


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