THE MODERATOR: Iowa head Coach Lisa Bluder, entering her 14th season after leading Iowa to it’s fifth 20-win season over the last six year and 6 consecutive NCAA championship berths, returning 8 letter winners and three from last year’s squad. Coach?
LISA BLUDER: It’s Halloween. Baseball is over; I guess it’s time for basketball and we’re ready! We’re excited to get this season started. We have an exhibition game on Sunday. First time for us to put on the uniforms and get up and down the floor, so we’re ready to go.
We think we have a good group back and I want to congratulate Sam Logic for being a media choice for the preseason and she is a tremendous floor general and we’re looking forward to having her back.
Q. Lisa, talk about how the new rule this summer, the ability to get in and work with your players as often as you were able to do, how that impacted your summer and this team?
LISA BLUDER: I think the new rule is wonderful. Just to have contact with your players over with the summer was wonderful to build relationships and keep that contact over the course of the summer, but I think the rule mostly impacted the freshmen. To be able to learn your defensive schemes, the offensive expectations and to learn early so when they are scrimmaging with upperclassmen they can implement those things so I think it puts you ahead of the game a little bit when you start practice.
Q. I wanted to ask you about Sam Logic, now that she is known for assists, obviously, do you expect her role as a scorer to grow this year without Jaime Printy beside her?
LISA BLUDER: Without doubt we are going to ask her to score more than she has in the past. We lost a lot of offensive weapons last year. We need not one person to pick up the load, but all of us and Sam has worked on her 3-point shot over the course of the summer and she’ll be thinking assists first. She led the Big Ten in assists. She was 15th best in the United States last year, but she is now understanding that I love a scoring point guard. She is willing to play that role as well.
Q. You mentioned Jaime Printy and also Morgan Johnson post player in the league last year. Who is stepping in to take the role?
LISA BLUDER: The post position we will move Bethany Doolittle back into the position, it’s where she played high school and her freshmen year. We moved her out to the perimeter last year out of necessity, but actually I think that move has made her into a better post because she is now more confident stepping out and facing the basket. She is more confident in her ball-handling skills and in her shooting range. I think that move last year having her play power forward is going to help make her a better post.
Q. How is the battle at power forward shaping up?
LISA BLUDER: The battle at power forward is intense. I love that! I think competition brings out the best in everybody, and certainly we have that going on right now, three candidates, Kali Peschel, a sophomore, Claire Till, a sophomore and a freshman, Ally Disterhoft. I think they’re working hard and the thing is they can go after each other extremely hard and they are the best of friends off the floor. I love that. They don’t hold grudges; they can let each other have it and when they leave the floor they’re teammates and they understand they need to be good and for us and with the new rules I guess we have 15 fouls at that position.
Q. Next year the Big Ten goes to 14 teams and the women play 16 games which means you’re only going to play three opponents twice. What are your preferences for something like that? Is it more about maybe trying to play a rival more than once every year or do you think the league schedule need to expand to incorporate more home and homes within the league?
LISA BLUDER: Actually we are expanding to 18 games. We are at 16 this year, but next year we will be at the 18-game mark. So we will have an identical schedule to the men’s program.
Q. Can you update the status of the two freshmen recruits and how their progress is during practice?
LISA BLUDER: The two freshmen are doing well, but we expected them to. We quite honestly need them to do real well because we don’t have a deep team. Both were top-100 recruits, Ally was Player Of The Year in Iowa, Parade All-American. Alexa was a top-100 player out of Lincoln, Nebraska, won a state championship her senior year, both of them come in with State Championship titles.
Both of them are winners and they want to compete. They understand that they need to, and they’re not acting like freshmen. I think the access to them over the summer has also helped with that.
Q. I would like to hear your thoughts on the rules, the changes, obviously the freedom movement, the contact, and the 10-second backcourt rule. How are you addressing those with your team?
LISA BLUDER: That’s a hard adjustment for us, but it’s actually the way the game was supposed to be played. We’ve gotten away from that. Now we’re just going back to making sure that we’re calling it the way it was supposed to be called.
I think it’s a great thing for women’s basketball. I think it’s a great thing for us as a scoring team and having that scoring mentality for us to have more freedom of movement I think will make our team more explosive. I think the rule changes will be good for us and how we have adjusted to it in practice; that’s hard. We really don’t know yet, until you’ve been there you don’t know. It’s easy to say you can’t put a hand on somebody twice but how much contact is really going to be called and I think we have to have experience and that’s why this Sunday’s game against Concordia, our exhibition game will be good for us to get a better feel for that.
But make no mistake, it’s going to be called and it may be ugly to begin with a lot of free-throw shooting. We have to make that adjustment quickly. But I do think it’s good for the game.
Q. What were the areas of concerns after last season and what did you want to improve this year?
LISA BLUDER: I wasn’t happy with our rebounding numbers. I thought we could have done a better job offensively and defensively. That was a big concern for us and going into the season I’ve always been a coach that stresses rebounding, so it was shocking to me when I would look at the numbers after the games and see our poor rebounding numbers.
So we want to get better at that. A lot of things I thought we did well shooting the ball, assist, I thought those categories were well and we can always improve defensively but definitely rebounding has been a thorn in my side.
Q. Coach, do you approach the season with the inexperience in the post and most of them coming off the bench this year than any other season?
LISA BLUDER: Do I approach the –
Q. The nonconference and the exhibition portion of this season with the inexperience at the power forward position.
LISA BLUDER: I think the nonconference season is — you can’t approach it any differently. To me it’s important because that’s a big factor of who make the NCAA Tournament at the end of the year. You can’t use the nonconference season to get ready for Big Ten.
In my opinion, you’re playing against great competition, Syracuse, Boston College, USC, at Colorado, at Iowa State, hosting Dayton. We have a tough, nonconference schedule and we have to be ready for that as much as we have to be ready for the Big Ten or we will be sitting home in March. We’re hosting the NCAA Tournament this year. We’re proud we’re going to be one of the 16 sites that are hosting and we want to be there. So we have to be ready for that nonconference season. We can’t use it as a prep time for th
Category: Iowa Hawkeyes women's basketball