Update us on Jaime Printy’s status.
Lisa Bluder: In all likelihood, she won’t be starting tomorrow. She went in half-court situations today for the first time so I feel bringing her off the bench will be better for our team than having her in the starting lineup at this point. I anticipate her playing, but not starting.
If you have the option of not playing her would you possibly hold her out?
Lisa Bluder: No. I would like to play her just to get her some minutes and get confidence back and those sort of things. If we can play her, we’re going to play her.
Melissa Dixon had a big performance last week in the exhibition. She was phenomenal in place of Jaime Printy. Is she going to start in place of Printy again?
Lisa Bluder: Melissa Dixon I anticipate starting in place of Jaime, that is correct.
How much do you think that exhibition help build Dixon’s confidence going into tomorrow?
Lisa Bluder: It’s the beginning of the year, so nobody really knows much about anybody. We don’t know a lot about Northern, Northern doesn’t know a lot about us. I think everyone is pretty confident right now; everyone is undefeated in the whole country so everybody is pretty confident right now.
How do you anticipate Bethany Doolittle and Morgan Johnson to work together tomorrow?
Lisa Bluder: I hope very well. This is a brand new experience for both of them to play on the floor together. For Bethany it’s a big adjustment. Not only are you going into the starting lineup for the first time as a sophomore, but you’re changing positions for the first time in your life. She has the most to adapt to, but at the same time we do feel we have a height advantage over Northern Illinois and we need to use that to our advantage.
Do you have in your mind a rotation number that you would like to use, or a number of players you want to use now that it is playing for keeps?
Lisa Bluder: We haven’t sat down and said we want to make sure all these players are in. A lot of that is game-time decision, but I feel right now we feel pretty darn comfortable with going 10, 11 deep. That’s more than we have had in a long, long time.
How many of the newcomers do you see contributing significant minutes tomorrow?
Lisa Bluder: Definitely Kali Peschel and Kathy Thomas contributing significantly, but I also see Claire (Till) getting into the mix. Nicole (Smith) is a little bit behind. Kayla Timmerman. All four of them will receive playing time tomorrow.
Talk about Northern Illinois. It looks like they’re a team that likes to play defensive-minded and slow the tempo down.
Lisa Bluder: Well, Kathi (Bennett) is her father’s daughter, there is no doubt about it. They are a team that prides itself on defense and they do a very nice job of it. They held Indiana Wesleyan — a good NAIA program — to 42 points. That’s what Kathi has always stressed, playing great defense; they play a player-to-player defense, they do a good job on the boards boxing out, so I anticipate that is exactly what we’ll see against Kathi’s team tomorrow night is an excellent defensive team and we’re going to have to be patient. Offenses are always a little slower coming around than defenses, so we’re going to have to be patient, not rush things and work the ball for high-percentage shots because we’re not going to have them right away against a team like Northern Illinois.
Will you have to fight against the desire for players to put up a 3 early in the shot clock or do you want to get the tempo going?
Lisa Bluder: If it’s the right player putting up the 3, we don’t mind that at all. Our style of playing is if we have open 3, we like to put them up. Until it’s the last four or five minutes of the game, that’s the way we play. We have to make sure the right people are taking the 3s.
Talk about the WNIT. You only get the opportunity to be in this a few times. Maybe once a decade. Was it Iowa’s turn or was this just what you wanted to do?
Lisa Bluder: We were invited. It is something I don’t know you can petition to be in. We’re excited to be in. I do think I was in it one time at Drake, but that would have been 16 years ago, so it has been awhile. Baylor won this tournament last year, this is a good tournament. You look at the other bracket and you have North Carolina, Georgetown, Delaware in this. Middle Tennessee State is a good program, Memphis is in this; this is good tournament so this is a tremendous way to start the year for us and we think getting the opportunity to host the first two rounds is a real benefit. The opportunity to host after that will depend on a number of things, but one of those will be attendance. So we’re hoping to get great attendance at those first two rounds because that could impact where the third and fourth rounds are played and the fourth round — the championship round — is going to be televised live on CBS College Sports, so that is a big coup to get that on your home court.
Category: Iowa Hawkeyes women's basketball