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Johnson leading way for Hawkeyes

[ 0 ] November 19, 2012 |

Iowa coach Lisa Bluder has been bragging about her center being one of the best in the country for awhile now.

On Monday, senior Morgan Johnson was picked as the Big Ten Player of the Week. The Platte City, Mo., native is off to a hot start in her final season.

“I love coaching her,” Bluder said on media day. “I love coaching a kid that comes to practice every day with that much enthusiasm and positive attitude and just love for the game and love for life.

“She is wonderful to have on the court.”

Johnson had 20 points and eight rebounds in a win over Middle Tennessee State and 20 points and 11 rebounds in a loss to North Carolina.

On the season, Johnson is averaging 18.8 points, 8.3 points and 2.3 blocked shots per game. She is shooting 56.5 percent from the field and is 23-of-29 from the foul line.

She also is averaging a team-high 32.5 minutes per game.

That is quite a change from her first three seasons. She averaged 26.9 minutes as a freshman, 27.5 as a sophomore and 26.8 last season.

Johnson already has said she has no plans to play basketball beyond this season. So the knees and shoulders she ices after every game … there’s no need to save them up for another year.

“I think I want my legacy not to be with points or blocked shots, but about how I love my team, how I love basketball,” Johnson said. “That God is working through me.”

Johnson now is just one blocked shot away from the all-time record at Iowa (tying Tangela Smith at 235). She also is on pace to finish among the top 10 in scoring and rebounds at Iowa.

Today against Robert Morris (0-3) Johnson gets an unusual assignment. The 6-5 Johnson will post up against 6-foot-7 Anna Gailite.

Gailite is one of six international players for the Colonials.

The most dynamic is 6-foot forward Artemis Spanou. The native of Greece is averaging 21.7 points and 11.7 rebounds per game.

Bluder said Sunday that Iowa (3-1) was worried about cleaning up its mistakes after a turnover-fueled loss to North Carolina.

“We’ve got to use that one day to more prepare for Robert Morris than obviously get ourselves better,” Bluder said, “which I would rather dive into that, to be quite honest.”

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Category: Iowa Hawkeyes women's basketball

About Ryan Suchomel: Reach Ryan Suchomel at 339-7368 or rsuchomel@press-citizen.com. View author profile.

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