NORTH LIBERTY Kathryn Thomas heard the Hawkeyes were trying to get in touch with her at Highland (Kan.) Community College earlier this year.
“They needed another point guard,” Thomas said. “I was so excited. I was pretty much ready to commit on the phone.”
Now Thomas is in Iowa City along with the other four Hawkeye freshmen. She has been taking classes, lifting weights and playing in the Game Time League.
On Monday, the 5-foot-6 point guard had seven points and eight rebounds. Thomas has shown the grit that previous diminutive point guards like Kamille Wahlin and Kristi Smith made work in the Hawkeye system.
“I’m getting stronger and doing more off my dribble,” Thomas said. “I’m working on getting my shot better.”
Thomas was the Jayhawk Conference Player of the Year in her one season at Highland and averaged 20.3 points per game.
She was planning to return for another year of community college before Iowa — a team that recruited her out of high school in Flint, Mich. — came calling.
“It wasn’t even necessarily about the Big Ten,” Thomas said. “I came here because the team felt so close. And the coaching staff. That caught my attention.”
Thomas got a second look because of the losses Iowa has suffered because of injuries and graduation. Sophomore Kathryn Reynolds suffered a torn ACL in early April.
“It did happen fast,” Thomas said. “It was pretty much overwhelming. I’m just happy I had the chance to reconnect with Iowa.”
Thomas has three years left and will join the sophomore class that includes Samantha Logic, Reynolds, Melissa Dixon and Bethany Doolittle.
“It’s overwhelming,” Thomas said. “It’s a great opportunity, and I’m going to make the most of it.”
TIMMERMAN READY: Of all the incoming freshmen, only Kayla Timmerman has had a clean bill of health during her basketball career.
The 6-foot-3 post from Wayzata, Minn., may be needed early and often to help fill the void at the four spot.
“I’ll probably be a four. When they need me, I’ll be a five,” Timmerman said. “I can use my intensity inside. It’ll be interesting.”
Timmerman was a back-to-the-basket post in high school but also led her conference in 3-pointers.
“I have that inside-outside versatility,” she said.
The depth chart at the four was virtually wiped out by the graduation of Kelly Krei and Kalli Hansen, and the loss of Virginia Johnson and Jade Rogers to injury.
The freshman is working on getting in top shape to be able to run the floor like Krei did the past four seasons.
“Everything has changed for me,” Timmerman said. “But so far I love it.”
Category: Iowa Hawkeyes women's basketball