Oct. 30, 2006
The Setting ? The University of Iowa women’s basketball team hosts Northern State in an exhibition game Wednesday. Tip-off if slated for 6:35 p.m. inside Carver-Hawkeye Arena (15,500).
Tickets for this exhibition contest are only $3 for adults, while UI students with their student I.D. and children 18-and-under will be admitted free.
On the Internet ? Brent Balbinot and Shelley Till will call the action for the Hawkeye Radio Network on hawkeyesports.com only. The game will be offered free of charge. Balbinot enters his third season calling the play-by-play, as Till enters her second providing color commentary.
Scouting Northern State ? The Wolves return three starters from a team that finished second in its conference last season with a 25-7 overall record and an 11-3 league mark. Northern State, which advanced to the regional semifinals, led the Northern Sun Intercollegiate Conference in rebounding last year (42.0) and were the third highest scoring team (73.1). The Wolves have been picked to win the NSIC this year.
Junior Noelle Hall has been named the NSIC Preseason Player of the Year. The 6-1 forward averaged 15.3 points and 8.0 rebounds last season, both of which ranked third in conference. Hall scored 20-plus points 10 times and posted 10 double-double performances. Carolin Becker, a 6-1 forward, also returns after averaging 9.9 points and 5.5 rebounds. Miranda Boepple, a 5-10 small forward, is the Wolves’ third returning starter, who averaged 9.0 points and led the conference in free throw percentage (83.5%).
Northern State needs to find a replacement for graduated point guard Sara Jensen, who led the Wolves’ offense and had one of the league’s best assist/turnover ratio (2.39).
Curt Fredrickson enters his 28th season as head coach (612-183, .770). His 612 wins ranks second among all active Division II coaches for total wins. He also ranks among the Division II top 10 for winning percentage (.770). During his tenure, the Wolves have played in five NAIA national tournaments, winning the NAIA II national title in 1992 and 1994, finishing second in 1993, claiming third in 1981 and finishing among the final eight teams in 1995. In 1992, he was inducted into the Norther State Athletic Hall of Fame.
Number of the Week – – 0 ? For the first time under Coach Bluder, Iowa will not have a senior in the starting lineup. Iowa’s probable starting lineup includes four sophomores (Wendy Ausdemore, Lindsey Nyenhuis, Kristi Smith, Megan Skouby) and one junior (Krista VandeVenter).
Iowa has had at least two senior starters every season under Bluder, except the 2002-03 season (center Tracy Schrupp). Below is a list of Iowa’s senior starters under Bluder:
Junior Jeneé Graham will likely get the starting nod in the two-positition. Graham started four games her freshman year.
All-Big Ten Recognition ? For the second straight year, Iowa has been picked to finish fifth in the Big Ten by the media and coaches. Individually, Megan Skouby was named to the pre-season all-conference team by the media and coaches. Skouby is the only sophomore to be recognized; the team is comprised of three seniors, one junior and one sophomore.
Happy Birthday!!! ? Happy Birthday to sophomore transfer JoAnn Hamlin, who turns 20 on Thursday. Hamlin is practicing with the team this year, but cannot play in game competition due to NCAA transfer rules.
Gunning For Seven ? Iowa has posted a winning season each year Coach Bluder has been on the Hawkeye sidelines. The Hawkeyes have strung together six straight winning seasons since the 2000-01 campaign, earning an NCAA Tournament berth four times. The school record for consecutive winning seasons is 11, established 1984-1994.
Iowa History ? Iowa has played 908 games since beginning basketball in 1974. Overall, Iowa’s record is 554-354 (.610). That includes a 277-131 (.679) mark in Big Ten games and a 252-70 (.783) record in Carver-Hawkeye Arena.
Hawkeye Practice Schedule ? Iowa will practice from 12:30-3:30 p.m. inside Carver-Hawkeye Arena. Most practices are open to the media; please contact SID Matthew Weitzel in advance if you wish to attend.
Challenging Schedule Awaits ? Iowa’s schedule looks to be just as challenging as last year’s, if not more so. The Hawkeyes have the potential to play 16 teams that competed in 2006 post-season tournaments, including eight that participated in the NCAA Tournament. Iowa will play 17 games (two exhibitions) inside Carver-Hawkeye Arena, the most regular season home contests in school history.
Hawkeyes Return 10 ? Iowa returns 10 letterwinners, including three starters from a team that finished 17-12 overall, fifth in the Big Ten with a 10-6 mark and earned a berth in the NCAA Tournament. Returning starters include point guard Kristi Smith, power forward Krista VandeVenter and center Megan Skouby.
20-Year Anniversary ? This season marks the 20-year anniversary of Iowa’s first Big Ten regular season championship. Iowa’s 1986-87 team finished the league campaign 17-1 and shared the title with Ohio State. The squad advanced to the Elite Eight in the NCAA Tournament before falling to eventual NCAA runner-up Louisiana Tech. Michelle Edwards earned all-America honors, while Franthea Price was named Big Ten Freshman of the Year.
Hawkeyes on the Tube ? Seven regular season Iowa games are already scheduled to be televised by either KCRG or Comcast SportsNet Chicago. KCRG will televise home contests vs. Iowa State (Nov. 30), Northern Iowa (Dec. 19), Michigan State (Jan. 14) and Wisconsin (Feb. 25). Comcast SportsNet Chicago will air home games vs. Minnesota (Jan. 25) and Michigan (Feb. 8) and the Hawkeyes’ road game at Penn State (Jan. 28).
Bluder Approaches Milestones ? After garnering her 300th Division I victory in Iowa’s regular season finale vs. Indiana last season, Bluder will reach two additional coaching milestones in 2006-07. She will coach in her 700th career game and 200th on the Iowa sidelines, both during conference play. The Marion, IA, native has coached in 682 career games (469-213, .688) and 184 contests (113-71, .614) on the Hawkeye sidelines.
During her six years at Iowa, Bluder has guided the Black and Gold to four first division finishes in the highly regarded Big Ten Conference. Iowa’s 56 league wins the last six seasons rank as the fourth-highest total in the Big Ten behind Purdue (75), Penn State (69) and Ohio State (64). She has coached five Hawkeye players to all-Big Ten first team status, three to the second team and three that were named to the all-freshman team.
Hawkeyes Return Two All-Big Ten Performers ? Iowa returns sophomore center Megan Skouby and junior power forward Krista VandeVenter. Skouby was the consensus Big Ten Freshman of the Year and earned second-team all-league accolades. Skouby became the third Hawkeye to earn Big Ten Freshman of the Year honors, joining Franthea Price (1987) and Tiffany Gooden (1995). The 6-6 center is also the sixth Big Ten post-player to earn the award since 1983 and the first since Ohio State’s Jessica Davenport in 2004. VandeVenter was named honorable mention all-conference and was a nominee for the Big Ten Sportsmanship Award.
Iowa Returned to NCAA Tournament ? A season that was filled with numerous knee injuries did not keep the 2005-06 Iowa Hawkeyes from achieving success. Three starters suffering season-ending ACL injuries and two reserves missing substantial time due to knee injuries only propelled the freshman class to contribute and help lead the Hawkeyes to a first-division finish in the Big Ten and an at-large berth to the NCAA Tournament.
Iowa finished the season 17-12 overall and placed fifth in the Big Ten with a 10-6 mark. Playing in its 16th NCAA Tournament, Iowa lost to 20th-ranked BYU (67-62) in the first round.
The Hawkeyes were led by senior Crystal Smith, who was a consensus first team all-Big Ten selection, and Big Ten Freshman of the Year Megan Skouby. The inside-outside punch of Skouby and Smith ignited the Hawkeye offense, which was tops in the Big Ten.
Underclassmen Stepped Up in 2005-06 ? Last year’s freshman class of Megan Skouby, Kristi Smith, Wendy Ausdemore, Nicole VanderPol and Lindsey Nyenhuis stepped up and accounted for 42.5 percent of Iowa’s offense. The sophomore class of Krista VandeVenter, Abby Emmert and Stacy Schlapkohl was responsible for 20.6 percent of Iowa’s offense. Combined, the underclassmen accounted for 63.1 percent of Iowa’s offense, which bodes well for the future.
Giant Killers ? Iowa recorded two victories over top-ten opponents in 2005-06 (No. 9 Michigan State 75-64 and No. 8 Purdue 77-71, OT). The last time the Hawkeyes recorded two wins against top-ten teams in the same season was Head Coach Lisa Bluder’s first season at Iowa (2000-01). Iowa picked up two victories over Purdue that year, first when it was ranked fifth (96-87 at Iowa City) and second when the Boilermakers were ranked seventh (75-70 at Grand Rapids).
In the 2005-06 Rankings ? Iowa ranked tenth in the nation in free throw percentage, 15th in assists, 16th in field goal percentage and fewest fouls and 24th in scoring. Megan Skouby ranked 25th nationally in field goal percentage.
RPI Ratings ? Iowa ranked 55th in the final regular season RPI rating released by the NCAA. All 11 regular season Iowa losses came to opponents with an RPI of 100 or better, including four in the top 10. The Hawkeyes were credited with two top-25 victories (Purdue and Michigan State).
DE-FENSE! ? Iowa’s perimeter defense was stellar in 2005-06. The Hawkeyes ranked first in Big Ten 3-point field goal defense (.296). In 2004-05, Iowa ranked 10th in Big Ten 3-point field goal defense (.361).
Hawkeyes Crack History Books ? Iowa made 29 free throws in its regular season finale vs. Indiana to establish a new Carver-Hawkeye Arena record in a Big Ten game. The 29 free throws also tied the school record previously set against Missouri State on December 5, 1993.
The 2005-06 Iowa Hawkeyes rank second in school annals in single-season free throw percentage (.760), sixth in assists (16.8), seventh in 3-point field goal percentage (.359) and tenth in scoring (72.3). Additionally, Iowa opponents’ 288 free throws made are the second-lowest in school history, second only to 273 converted in 1992-93. Also, Iowa opponents in 2005-06 attempted only 415 foul shots, which rank second behind the 393 attempted in 2004-05.
Hawkeye Fast Breaks ? 2005-06 marked the first time Iowa ever placed fifth in the Big Ten standings.
? Krista VandeVenter started her 62nd game in Iowa’s NCAA Tournament appearance vs. BYU, becoming the first Hawkeye to start 62 games her first two years.
? Krista VandeVenter finished the 2005-06 season with 52 fouls, the exact number she totaled in 2004-05.
? Eight of Iowa’s 12 losses came to ranked opponents in 2005-06. The four losses to unranked foes came on the road at Louisiana Tech (2OT), Iowa State, Indiana and Penn State. Iowa was 11-3 in home games, with its three defeats coming to No. 6 Rutgers, No. 8 Ohio State and No. 12 Minnesota.
? Krista VandeVenter finished the season with 61 steals, the most ever by a Hawkeye sophomore. The 61 thefts topped Toni Foster’s 56 established in 1990-91.
? Kristi Smith finished the season with 82 assists, the most ever for a Hawkeye freshman. Smith bested Necole Tunsil’s 78 set in 1990-91. Smith also ranks fourth in 3-pointers made (22).
? Wendy Ausdemore made 20 triples in 2005-06, which ranks fifth for a Hawkeye freshman.
? Iowa freshman Megan Skouby ranked third in conference scoring, averaging 16.8 points. She is the highest ranking freshman scorer, since Penn State all-American Kelly Mazzante ranked first in 2000-01, averaging 19.7 points.
? Skouby’s 414 points ranks second in Iowa single-season freshman scoring, only two points from matching Lisa Becker’s school freshman record of 416. She also ranks second in freshman single-season blocks (47).
Home Grown Hawkeyes ? Iowa’s 2006-07 roster features four players from the state of Iowa (Wendy Ausdemore, Abby Emmert, Stacy Schlapkohl and Nicole VanderPol). The Hawkeyes also have two players from Illinois (Jenee Graham and Johanna Solverson) and Minnesota (Krista VandeVenter and Zoraa Quoie). Iowa’s 12-person roster also features players from Colorado (Kristi Smith), Kansas (JoAnn Hamlin), Michigan (Lindsey Nyenhuis) and Ohio (Megan Skouby).
Hawkeye Newcomers ? Iowa’s only freshman is Zoraa Quoie, from Woodbury, MN. Quoie was named to the Miss Minnesota Basketball Senior All-State team her senior season. She was also named to the Star-Tribune third defensive team as a senior. Quoie was a 2005 and 2006 all-conference selection and earned 2004 and 2005 honorable mention all-state laurels. Quoie holds her high school’s record for single-season steals.
Also on the roster this year is JoAnn Hamlin, who transferred from Kansas State. Hamlin cannot compete due to NCAA transfer rules, but can practice with the team and will have three years of eligibility remaining starting in 2007-08. Hamlin played in 33 games last year, with 31 starts at center for the Wildcats. The 31 starts were the fifth-most in the nation among freshmen. She scored in double figures 15 times, reaching the 20-point plateau four times. Hamlin averaged 10 points, 4.6 rebounds, had a total of 22 blocks and 26 steals.
Blogging ? Iowa Hawkeye fans will be treated to behind-the-scenes information this season as sophomore Wendy Ausdemore and junior Abby Emmert will have their own blogs, which will be posted on hawkeyesports.com. The duo will share their thoughts on practices, games, road trips, and everything else surrounded by the program. The first entry will be posted by Ausdemore the middle of next week.
Hy-Vee Cy-Hawk Series ? Iowa currently leads the third annual Hy-Vee Cy-Hawk Series 5-2. Iowa was victorious in women’s soccer (1-0, OT) and football (27-17), while Iowa State won volleyball (3-2). The next event is women’s basketball on Nov. 30 in Iowa City.
The nine-sport series awards two points (except football, which is worth three) to the winning school in each head-to-head match-up between the two institutions. Additionally, two points are awarded to an institution if the graduation rate of its student-athletes is greater than the national average as reported each fall by the NCAA.
Iowa Information on the Web ? Statistics and play-by-play accounts of all Big Ten Tournament games will be available live on the internet. The statistical program allows viewers to read the play-by-play action just moments after it takes place, and to view all individual and team statistics while the game is in progress.
The program can be accessed through hawkeyesports.com and then clicking on the `Gametracker’ link.
On the Horizon ? Iowa will host its final exhibition game next Monday against Concordia (MN). Tip-off is slated for 6:35 p.m. inside Carver-Hawkeye Arena.