Local Sports News: November 29, 2023

Aaron Casey named First Team All-Big Ten
After one of the most productive seasons on the field among FBS defenders, redshirt senior Aaron Casey was named first-team All-Big Ten to lead a group of five Indiana football student-athletes to earn All-B1G honors as announced by the conference office on Tuesday. Casey led the defensive trio that also included honorable mention selections redshirt senior Andre Carter and redshirt junior Kobee Minor. On special teams, sophomore Jaylin Lucas (return specialist) and punter James Evans were both selected as All-Big Ten third team. The All-Big Ten awards for the offense will be announced today.

Casey was among the nation’s best at the linebacker position with 109 tackles on the season, which included a Big Ten-best 20.0 tackles for loss – a total that ranked No. 2 in the FBS at the end of the regular season. The only FBS defender with multiple games of 4.0 tackles for loss or more, Casey ranked No. 2 nationally in TFLs, while his 19 solo tackles for loss led the nation. In 2023, Casey led the Big Ten and ranked No. 2 nationally in tackles for loss (20.0) and solo tackles (78). His 109 total tackles sit No. 4 in the Big Ten and No. 23 in the FBS and mark the first 100-tackle season by an IU defender since Tegray Scales (126) in 2016. He led the Power 5 with 22 tackles for loss or no gain per Pro Football Focus.

His 20.0 tackles for loss are tied for No. 4 on the single season charts with Nathan Davis (1995) and were the most by an IU defender since Scales’ 23.5 in 2016. Of his 20.0 tackles for loss, 19 of those were solo TFLs, which led the FBS. His career total of 36.0 tackles for loss finished No. 8 all-time at IU, just one behind Micah McFadden’s career total (37.0). Casey is the 12th linebacker in Indiana history to earn first-team All-Big Ten honors and the third since 2017. He joins Scales (2017) and Micah McFadden (2020) as the most recent to win the award. In 2023, Casey was the first IU defender to earn multiple Big Ten Defensive Player of the Week awards in a career and gave IU two defensive weekly award winners for just the second time in a single season.

Indiana-Tennessee Women’s Basketball Game draws record television audience
The Elevance Health Women’s Fort Myers Tip-Off drew 1,118,000 viewers on FOX for its Thanksgiving Day matchup featuring ranked foes Indiana and Tennessee. It is the most-watched women’s college basketball game ever on FOX and the most-watched women’s college basketball game on any network this season. The data is according to Nielsen Media Research.

Intersport, a Chicago-based sports marketing and events agency, staged a weeklong series of exciting college basketball games as part of the Fort Myers Tip-Off umbrella, which included the Indiana-Tennessee national FOX broadcast. The week began with two men’s divisions on Nov. 20-22, highlighted by the Wisconsin men’s team claiming the Beach Division championship on Thanksgiving eve live on FS1. The games continued Thanksgiving Day with the Island and Shell Divisions of the Elevance Health Women’s Fort Myers Tip-Off, which were held Nov. 23-25. The Hoosiers scored a 71-57 victory over the Lady Vols on Thanksgiving Day, paced by Yarden Garzon’s career-best 23 points. It was the first of two wins for the Hoosiers during the Elevance Health Women’s Fort Myers Tip-Off, who also defeated Princeton during their two-game stretch in Southwest Florida.

Indiana University Football’s Mike Katic Declares for the 2024 NFL Draft
On Tuesday, Indiana redshirt senior guard Mike Katic announced intentions to enter the 2024 NFL Draft. “I can’t begin to describe how grateful and honored I have been to play for Indiana University,” Katic began in a statement. A five-year stalwart on Indiana’s offensive line, Katic made 37 starts in 39 career games in Bloomington. According to Pro Football Focus, his 2023 season was his second-best overall year by grade. In his statement, he attributed his development to both former OL coach Darren Hiller and current OL coach Bob Bostad, who spent just one season with Katic. Listed at 6-foot-4 and 315 pounds, the Pittsburgh native was a team captain in his final year with the Hoosiers. Katic made his first career starts in Indiana’s historic 2020 season and was the Hoosiers’ offensive newcomer of the year. He’s endured some of the highest highs and lowest lows during his time in Bloomington, but now, he’ll best testing his luck on Sundays at the next level.

Indiana University Football’s Phillip Dunnam enters the transfer portal
Indiana Safety Phillip Dunnam plans to enter the transfer portal. Dunnam made an immediate impact in Bloomington after committing to former head coach Tom Allen in the class of 2022. Out of Miami, Florida, Dunnam was ranked as a four-star recruit and the nation’s No. 37 safety by 247 Sports, and picked the Hoosiers over offers from Florida State, Syracuse and others.  Dunnam played in all 12 games as a true freshman, seeing time on special teams and as a backup safety. His role expanded in 2023, starting all 12 games at safety. He made 53 tackles, six pass breakups and three interceptions. Among Hoosiers, he tied fellow safety Louis Moore for the team lead in interceptions. According to PFF, Dunnam received the third-best pass coverage grade on the team and fourth-best defensive grade. With two years of remaining eligibility, Dunnam has the makeup of a player Indiana’s new staff could hope to retain and one that other Power 5 programs will pursue. 

Indiana University Field Hockey’s Arabella Loveridge to compete in the 2023 FIH Junior World Cup
Indiana Field Hockey junior goalkeeper Arabella Loveridge is set to compete for New Zealand’s U-21 National Team in the 2023 FIH Junior World Cup (JWC). This year’s JWC will take place from November 29 to December 10 in Santiago, Chile. This will be Loveridge’s first time competing for New Zealand’s U-21 National Team. She was officially selected to the team in September and is one of 18 players on the roster.

New Zealand is one of 16 countries represented in the competition and is in Pool D, along with England, Japan and the United States. New Zealand’s first matchup will be against England on Thursday, Nov. 30 at 8am. Pool play will wrap up on Sunday, Dec. 3 with the knockout stage beginning on Tuesday, Dec. 5 and wrapping up with the championship on Sunday, Dec. 10. For full details on the event, please visit the 2023 FIH Junior World Cup tournament central page. In Loveridge’s three seasons in Bloomington, she has accumulated 204 career saves in 50 games played, including 70 saves this past season.

Indiana University Graduate Katherine Watercutter named to the Forbes 30 under 30 List
Former Indiana Cross Country and Track and Field athlete Katherine Watercutter, formerly Katherine Receveur, was named to the Forbes 30 Under 30 List. After graduating from Indiana in 2018, she started an online athleisure clothing brand known as Gold Hinge that was inspired by her time as a student-athlete. In the 2017-18 season, Watercutter was named a four-time Big Ten champion in cross country, indoor 3k and 5k and the outdoor 5k. She was also a cross country All-American after finishing 20th at the NCAA Championships and the Big Ten Athlete of the Year. On the indoor track, Watercutter was a Big Ten 3k and 5k champion and was named First Team All-American after finishing fourth at the NCAA Indoor Championships. She graduated from IU with a Bachelor of Arts/Science in 2018.

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