Jan. 21, 2011
PARDON OUR PROGRESS! As friends of the University of Iowa and fans of the Hawkeyes know, the UI Athletics Department is well into a multi-million dollar revitalization of Carver-Hawkeye Arena. This important and exciting project has reduced for this season the number of ticket windows that are operational on game nights. Fans attending the home events of the 2010-11 UI men's basketball, women's basketball and wrestling teams are invited to avoid game night delays by purchasing their event tickets online or in advance of game day. If your schedule doesn't allow for an advance purchase, we recommend you consider arriving at the Arena a little earlier than originally planned. Go Hawks!
COACH BLUDER: It's kind of a quiet week for us as far as, obviously, the playing goes. Very unusual this time of year to have seven days off. The bye probably came at a really good time though for us. Kamille is home sick today. Probably would not have been able to play in a game tonight, and Kelsey had her wisdom teeth removed yesterday and would not have been able to play tonight. So this has come at a very good time. So good things happen, and they've happened for us this week. You know, usually we play on Sunday, but with the game being picked up by ESPN, it got moved to Monday so it gives us an extra day this week. At the same time, it really crunches next week. We're a little concerned next week playing at Ohio State, hosting Michigan State, and then playing at Illinois. You've got two top 25 teams and then you've got two games on the road. Obviously, all three of those games are pretty important. Ohio State starting on out on Monday. We've obviously got them at our place by 13 points. But going to their place is tough. Aaron informed me it's been since the '97 '98 season since we've swept Ohio State. So that's been a long time. Love to get that opportunity. We also know going in there is a very tough place to play. I think I read I don't have the exact numbers but Jim Foster's record at home since he's been there is about 136 11, so obviously a very tough place to play at Ohio State. Hopefully we'll all be healthy and back in full numbers. I think this week has been good for us, for our team. We've approached it where we've practiced hard, but we've also given them some time off. This time of year we're starting classes Tuesday, so they need to have that time off to get back into the class schedule. Fortunately, we were able to do that with the bye.
Q. What kind of confidence does it give the team the fact that you played them so close in Columbus last year?
COACH BLUDER: It give us confidence knowing we beat them the last game, and played them close the last two times that we've played them. And actually really beat them two of the last four times. Those two times both being in Carver Hawkeye Arena though. So I think it gives us confidence going into their place knowing how well we competed with them last year. But we also know each game is a brand new game. They did a great job beating Michigan State by double digit numbers, and that will certainly bring awareness to our team to that score.
Q. Is that actually a tough place to play, or do they just always have good teams there?
COACH BLUDER: I think it's both. But I think it's mostly that they have good teams. It's a Monday night we play them, so I don't know what kind of crowd they'll have. But certainly I think it's more the teams than the atmosphere. It's really a nice, and not unusual, atmosphere to play there, but it's very nice. I think it's more the teams that they've had.
Q. Have you put your finger on anything that they're not doing well this year? I mean, they're supposed to win the Big Ten and they're falling back a little bit?
COACH BLUDER: Yeah, they're not shooting the three as well as they used to be. And I think their defense can improve. I mean, that's me talking about another team, which I don't like to really do, because they have their own coaches that make those decisions and stuff. But I think we did a good job attacking their defense last time.
Q. The game being televised on ESPN is this kind of a good opportunity for you guys to showcase your team?
COACH BLUDER: Absolutely. Any time we're on national television, whether it's CBS, ESPN, or Big Ten Network, it's an opportunity for us to show the United States what we're all about. It's a great tool, and we want to use it.
Q. What do you take from that first match up?
COACH BLUDER: Well, I think that we can really we can a good job on Jantel last time we played her. She got her points late when the game was pretty much out of reach. We've got to simulate that again, because she's just so good. Samantha got her points. You're probably not going to stop them both. I think that's really hard to do. I think, you know, again, we've got to contest the three point shooters, because the rest of them really open up the inside. If they're hitting, hopefully we can get out and contest the shooters if we play zone again, which we will play some zone.
Q. What have been the areas of emphasis in practice this week?
COACH BLUDER: Lot more fundamentals than anything else. Just getting a lot of full court scrimmaging in against our practice squad. We're working on some late game situations. Things that you don't get the opportunity to work on when you're just trying to prepare for the next opponent. But we've tried to also work hard but make it fun. We've lifted hard this week. We've conditioned hard. Some things that, again, you don't maybe normally get to do in the middle of the season. But we certainly, also, like tomorrow, we'll give them off tomorrow. We want them to have the two days of preparation leading up to the game like normal.
Q. Obviously bye weeks are important, but next week if you want to be Big Ten championship, it's a pretty big week, isn't it?
COACH BLUDER: It is a big week, two road games, two top 25 teams. Two teams that were picked to be above us in the Big Ten standings. So, it is an important week. You're exactly right.
Q. With Kelsey's wisdom teeth, was that an emergency thing or something that could have waited million after the season?
COACH BLUDER: No, she got hit in the mouth in our last game, and she's had a little trouble on and off with her wisdom teeth. But she got hit in her mouth and it became infected from that, and so they had to take them out and had to do it right away.
Q. Take all four out?
COACH BLUDER: Yeah.
Q. Anything you saw in the 20 point victory again that you'd like to see your team continue during the Ohio State game?
COACH BLUDER: I thought we shot the ball pretty well. I thought we defended well. We didn't take care of the ball, so we need to improve on that especially on the road against Ohio State. We'll have to take care of the ball better. But I thought we did some other things well. I thought we rebounded well. I think we did some really nice things. But every opponent is so different, and Indiana's very different from Ohio State.
Q. I know you can't talk about specific players, but you had a couple commits this week for 2012. What are you looking for in that class? How many can you get? What are you still looking for?
COACH BLUDER: Yeah, really we have at least one more scholarship open, and we're excited about getting an early jump on that class and with what we feel quality kids too. So we're excited about what's transpired this week for us, but we still have some work to do.
Q. Have you changed philosophies about recruiting big posts? Are you more wanting athletic posts that can run the floor now than necessarily back to the basket type players?
COACH BLUDER: You know, I think with our type of offense, we can use either type of post player. But we certainly would take a big post if they were out there. They're just not out there right now. We just don't have the luxury of seeing an area where within a six , seven hour radius there are a lot of big posts. They're just not out there right now.
Q. Has your philosophy about recruiting changed at all in the last five years? Seems if you could find a six foot outside shooter that could drive, that's perfect for you guys?
COACH BLUDER: Perfect for us. That's a perfect fit for our program, so that's definitely what we're looking for.
Q. Has Jaime Printy the prototype of what you're looking for now?
COACH BLUDER: I think nobody would hesitate from recruiting Jaime and wanting her a part of their basketball team. So if there are some more Jaime Printy's out there, on I'd of love to find them.
Q. Are you surprised at all by how she's kind of taken control of this team a little bit?
COACH BLUDER: You know, she's really unassuming. So it's not like her leadership skills have come through being a vocal leader or really holding other people accountable. It's more how Jaime leads by example. She's in the gym early. She stays late. On her days off she's in here shooting. She does things right, whether you're on the floor or off the floor. She's got great values and does things the right way. She's not hesitating to take over in a game, which is really nice to see, especially for a sophomore.