ROCKTON— Hononegah’s Alison Murdoch will be headed north to continue her basketball career.
Murdoch, a starter since her sophomore year with the Indians, will attend UW-Stout beginning next fall.
“The first thing that really stood out to me was their academics, which was the most important thing for me,” Murdoch said. “After that, the coaching staff and the culture they’ve created was something that I hadn’t seen. I talked to a lot of coaches, and there was just something different about them.”
Murdoch joins a solid squad that finished 15-11 last season under third-year coach Hannah Iverson, a former star for UW-Green Bay.
“Their entire staff is really young and all three have played college basketball recently,” Murdoch said. “That’s really something that set them apart. They understand what the players are going through because they have done the same thing recently. With an older coach, you might not have that same understanding.”
Murdoch had the opportunity to play with several schools with a more prestigious pedigree, but decided to choose the Blue Devils.
“When I first started looking, I thought that a winning program would be a huge priority,” Murdoch said. “And I looked at schools who expect to compete for an NCAA Tournament berth every year. Stout is good, and they win, but they aren’t at that level yet. I didn’t care about that. I have the feeling that this coaching staff is going to get them to that point, and I can be a part of that.”
Murdoch has had a difficult summer as she had to struggle through two different injuries.
“At the start of the summer I had a stress fracture that kept me out for a while,” Murdoch said. “I got in a couple of AAU tournaments, and then I tore the PCL in my knee about six weeks ago. I’ve been going to physical therapy for about two or three weeks, and that’s been going really well. I should be back with no restrictions in time for the season, if there is a season.”
Murdoch has put plenty of thought into that big ‘if’. She would love to finish her career with the Indians with bang.
“I definitely want to play my senior year,” Murdoch said. “At the same time, it’s really nice now, knowing that no matter what happens, I know what I’m doing in the future, and it would five me a ton of time to make sure my leg is totally healthy. But overall, I want a season and I really hope it happens.”
Murdoch has had a terrific junior season, averaging 13.4 points to go along with 8.4 rebounds as the Indians advanced to the IHSA Class 4A regional finals before falling to Huntley.
Murdoch was also a starter during the Indians’ dream season of 2018-19, which ended with a third-place finish at state.
“Every team is different, and that team was just special,” Murdoch said. “All of our pieces fit together so well. And it’s so hard to get to that level. For my senior year, I’m excited to be a leader, and as the only senior, I’ll definitely need to do that. We’ve all been putting in the work where we can, and I think we’re going to have a really good season.”