Rebuild or Reload?
By Don Lund
There is only one senior on the Hawkeye women’s basketball team and only 10 scholarship players, so the bench might be thin, but the talent is there.
You start with All-Big Ten point guard Samantha Logic, who not only led the Big Ten in assists (6.4) but set an Iowa record for most assists in a season with 217.
“She has worked very hard on her 3-point shooting and it shows,” said head coach Lisa Bluder on Samantha. “She’s becoming more of a scoring threat and we needed her to be so.”
Theairra Taylor is the only senior but she is a good one.
Theairra played in every game last year and was named the team’s most improved player. She is the quickest player on the court and is a tough match-up with her outside shooting.
“She’s the captain on our team and the heart and soul of the program,” said coach Bluder. “She’s so talented and I really want our fans to be able to share that.”
Bethany Doolittle is the other returning starter. She will move back to center (she played forward last year) where her quickness and speed will be tough to defend.
“I think I’ll be ready to come back at the five this year and see what I can do,” said the 6-4 junior.
Melissa Dixon has 11 starts in her first two years and is one of the best 3-point shooters in the conference.
She has worked on driving to the basket and has the quickness to do so.
The four position will be challenged by three players: sophomores Claire Till and Kali Peschel, plus freshman Ally Disterhoft.
All three are quick, all three can shoot, and all three should be good at crashing the boards.
I thought Claire played with the most confidence last year before she got hurt and Kali pulled down 22 rebounds in a game this summer.
Ally plays with no fear and will go inside anytime.
Hailey Schneden is a 6-2 walk on from Davenport where she helped Davenport Assumption win three state titles.
Nicole Smith (6-4) will add depth at center and Kathryn Reynolds, who is still recovering from knee surgery can play the point guard.
Coach Bluder hopes to have Kathryn close to 100 percent by the time the Big Ten season starts.
Six straight NCAA appearances… can the Hawks make it seven?
The talent and chemistry is there.