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UI’s Logic rising to the occasion

[ 1 ] February 15, 2012 |

Samantha Logic was surrounded by cameras, notepads and tape recorders Wednesday. But she wasn’t forced to call a timeout to escape the trap.

Such is the life of a freshman coming off a week so productive that she was named co-Big Ten player of the week. In her last two games, Logic averaged 11 rebounds and 18.5 points per game for the red-hot Iowa women’s basketball team.

“It’s a tremendous honor for Sam,” Iowa coach Lisa Bluder said. “It’s nice to see her development as the year has gone on and see her really rising to the occasion here at the end of the year.”

Iowa (16-10, 8-5) travels to Michigan (18-7, 7-5) for today’s 7 p.m. game on the wings of a five-game winning streak. Logic, the freshman who came in with accolades as high as any recruit in school history, has become an increasingly key cog in the Hawkeyes’ drive toward a potential NCAA tournament berth.

Her recent flurry notwithstanding, it doesn’t necessarily mean that Logic will continue to pile up the statistics in an even progression. Her point totals for the last few games are 17, 20, 5, 20, 1, 10, 2, and six consecutive games in single digits.

“I think all freshmen develop at a different rate,” Bluder said. “I’m certainly happy with where Sam is playing right now. She’s understanding that she has to play defense. She can’t relax on the defensive end especially on the weak side of the defensive end.”

Part of that seeming inconsistency is real inconsistency found in freshmen who are experiencing a different level of play, travel and academic demands for the first time. But part of it is a function of team basketball, matchups and the progression of each single game.

Bluder was thrilled with Logic’s rebounding, particularly the 13 the 5-foot-9 guard snagged against Michigan State. She is the second-leading rebounder on the team.

“I just think that Sam is being more aggressive right now on the offensive side of things, and that’s helping us,” Bluder said. “I think she’s very aggressive going to the ball. Part of rebounding is technique and part of it is wanting it more than your opponent does.”

Logic isn’t tall, but she’s strong, competitive and has great instincts.

“She’s understood the value of rebounding, that we need her to do it and she’s stepped up and done it,” Bluder said.

The other more recent factor may be Jaime Printy’s season-ending injury requiring that the rest of the players pick up their production in the absence of Printy’s team-leading 17-point average.

Junior center Morgan Johnson has watched Logic’s development closely.

“Sam has really elevated her game over the past few weeks, which has been really fun to see,” Johnson said.

“She is doing a great job of looking for the open pass, and we have been shooting the ball well. I think the entire team shooting well has opened up the lane for Sam to get to the basket.

“Sam has been making really great decisions. When it’s there, she will take it all the way to the rim. When it’s not, she has been finding the open person.”

Logic credited her teammates with helping her stay on an even keel during the long season. It has helped her deal with the inevitable mistakes that come in every game.

“I think I’m better at what we call ‘pitching it,’” she said. “Your mistakes. Our captains and others on our team are really good at teaching that you can’t do anything about it you just have to change the next possession. I’ve grown in situations like that.”

She said experience playing with her teammates has helped her confidence grow and improved her consistency. But otherwise she really doesn’t see that she’s much different than she was a year ago.

“I think I’m pretty much the same,” she said. “In high school, I didn’t take that many shots anyway. I was more of a distribute-first point guard. I tried to take that role on here too. I think lately I’ve taken more shots than I did in high school in games.”

Having made 13 of 20 shots in the last two games, Bluder probably doesn’t mind that kind of aggressiveness either.

JOHNSON DOUBTFUL: Freshman Virginia Johnson is “doubtful” for today’s game according to Bluder.

She is not cleared to play because of recurring concussion symptoms and can’t participate in any conditioning activity while the symptoms linger. Bluder joked that she hoped to have her back as a “surprise secret weapon” for the Big Ten tournament.

KREI’S GREATEST HITS: Bluder said she and the staff have put together a tape of Kelly Krei’s shooting from earlier in the season and plan to show it to her to refresh her memory of that success. Krei has been in a bit of a shooting slump lately, but Bluder said it’s nothing mechanical nor is Krei injured.

“Kelly is such an analytical person, if she sees all the shots she made early, she might even pick up on something that we don’t see with her shot,” Bluder said. “Sometimes just seeing yourself being successful helps.”

Bluder quickly noted that Krei’s value to the team cannot be measured in her scoring alone.

“Kelly’s a workhorse,” Bluder said. “That kid can play more minutes and not look tired than anybody I’ve probably ever coached. … She’s doing so many important things for us.

“Defensively, people don’t see a lot of times because she’s not real flashy, they don’t see the things that she does for us defensively. She’s rebounding at a better rate now than she has in her entire career (6.7 per game in conference games). She’s never done that in her career.”

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