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Foreign trip + extra practices = B1G title?

[ 3 ] August 4, 2011 |

Five years ago the University of Iowa women’s basketball team took a trip overseas in the summer, and then won a Big Ten title that winter.

“I think history repeats itself,” Iowa coach Lisa Bluder said Thursday. “Why not? Why not make it happen again?”

Bluder and the Hawkeyes leave Monday for a 13-day European tour that takes them to the Czech Republic, Slovakia, Austria and France.

Iowa plays three games overseas against foreign teams, and the NCAA allows 10 practices to prepare.

“That’s the most valuable thing,” Bluder said. “We only get 30 days of practice to get ready for our first game and now we have a bonus 10. It’s a huge advantage.

“And it couldn’t come at a better time with five incoming freshmen.”

Iowa finished 22-9 last season, falling in the first round of the NCAA Tournament to Gonzaga. The Hawkeyes return four starters off that team and welcome a freshman class ranked 11th in the country by ESPN HoopGurlz.com.

“They are really good,” junior Jamie Printy said of the freshmen. “Every one of them brings something new to our team.”

The most decorated freshman is Samantha Logic, ranked 10th in the country by HoopGurlz. The 5-9 guard out of Racine, Wis., is expected to push for a starting spot right off the bat.

“It’s a lot of new information for the five of us,” Logic said. “We’re trying to soak everything in. But it’s going to help us going into the season.”

The Hawkeyes opened the summer session with practices on July 18-20 on the main floor of Carver-Hawkeye Arena but started up again Monday inside the new practice facility.

“It was so hot in July,” Printy said.

“One hundred degrees and 90 percent humidity,” senior Kelly Krei added.

“We got through it,” Printy said. “But we’re so blessed to be over here and be in this facility.”

The new air-conditioned gym is just part of the $47 million renovation that includes new locker rooms, meeting areas and offices.

Players now can use a fingerprint ID pad to get into the facility after hours and there are iPod docks that pump music for shoot-arounds.

“I can’t explain to you how much this means to our program,” Bluder said. “It shows the commitment the university has towards our basketball program.”

Bluder said the new facility has generated a ton of interest. The Hawkeyes have had 18 unofficial visits by recruits in the first week the facility has been open.

“Recruits are excited,” Bluder said. “I would venture to say we’re the only Division I school in America to have 18 visits this week. They were from all over the Midwest, and they were anxious to see it.”

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Category: Iowa Hawkeyes women's basketball

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