Feb. 11, 2010
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Editor’s Note: The following article first appeared in the Feb. 11 edition of the Official Sports Report (OSR) for the University of Iowa. OSR is a daily e-newsletter exclusively about the Iowa Hawkeyes. Click HERE to learn more.
IOWA CITY, Iowa – You’ll have to pardon Lisa Bluder if she has a headache. It’s been one of those seasons for the veteran head coach of the University of Iowa’s women’s basketball team.
Blood clots, tender ankles, torn ACL’s and, now, just when the round ball is rolling with significant momentum in a black and gold direction – the Hawkeyes have won four of their last five games, have climbed steadily in the RPI and team confidence charts, and are making final preparations for a “mad” month of March – her on-the-court floor general has an even bigger headache.
Kamille Wahlin, the starting point guard for Bluder’s Bunch, late Wednesday was still feeling effects of a concussion she absorbed in Iowa’s 77-66 victory over Michigan State in Carver-Hawkeye Arena on Super Bowl Sunday. She will not play tonight when Bluder’s Bunch tackles a very good Indiana Hoosier team in Bloomington, Ind.
A victory by the good guys and Iowa and Indiana will have identical records of 6-7 in league play, 13-11 overall. More importantly, the Hawkeyes will continue to dodge the potholes on a very steady path of progress. But that will be more difficult now with the Hawkeyes’ roster temporarily fewer in number by one.
“This is obviously a big blow to our team,” Bluder said Wednesday night. “Kamille has been playing well all year, and we hate to lose her for this game. Trisha Nesbitt will replace Kamille in the starting lineup, and we are confident that Trisha will do a great job tomorrow night.”
As her minutes played suggests – a team-high 812, 35 per game – Wahlin runs the show for Bluder on the court. She is an extension of the coaching staff and she does it well as her 69 assists to date attest. The 5-foot-8 sophomore from Crookston, Minn., also doesn’t mind mixing it up where the big trees are either, hence 90 rebounds through 23 games.
However, where she strikes fear in the heart of her opponent is behind the arc. One of three Hawkeyes with a scoring average in double-digits, Wahlin is a sharp-shooter and a gunslinger: She leads the team in three-pointers made (58) and she leads the team in three-pointers attempted (150). Fortunately for Bluder, she nails `em at a very acceptable pace: 38.7 percent, just percentage points back of team leader and her backcourt mate, Jaime Printy.
“I’m very disappointed I can’t play. Basketball players would much rather play than sit on the bench. But, I trust what the doctors and trainers say. I need to recover and be back to 100 percent before getting back on the court. Hopefully, my condition will improve so I can get back to playing as soon as possible.”
Wahlin said she was “pretty tired” on Monday when she was held out of practice. “The headache has been pretty bad,” she said Tuesday when visiting with media. She also sat on the sidelines Tuesday and again Wednesday prior to boarding the team bus for the trip to Bloomington, Ind., to support her teammates.
“I’m very disappointed I can’t play,” Wahlin said. “Basketball players would much rather play than sit on the bench. But, I trust what the doctors and trainers say. I need to recover and be back to 100 percent before getting back on the court. Hopefully, my condition will improve so I can get back to playing as soon as possible.”