Bits and Pieces from Indianapolis

March 6, 2010

Editor’s Note: The following article first appeared in the March 6 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 – Bits and pieces after an outstanding Friday afternoon for Bluder’s Bunch in Indianapolis…

She’s a double-double machine, Kachine Alexander is, but those really, really, really close to Bluder’s Bunch may well tell you that her most important contribution to the squad is her energy, her contagious energy. And, if you need evidence of this, take a look at the difference in the Hawkeyes’ statistics from the first 20 to the second 20 minutes of action in yesterday’s win over Penn State. Striking.

Lisa Bluder is no one’s fool. Like most in her shoes, Iowa’s veteran head coach loves it when she can look down the stat sheet and see multiple players with multiple digits in the scoring column. “I’ll take that every day,” she said after her squad registered its first victory as a No. 3 seed in Big Ten Tournament play. The Big Ten Coach of the Year knows this about multiple scoring threats: It wreaks havoc on an opposing coaching staff.

Jaime Printy, the Big Ten Freshman of the Year – told ya – continues to be something really, really special. The rookie scores a team-high 22 points, grabs a team-high 6 rebounds and contributes five assists and a steal in her first post-season competition as a collegian. Heck of a deal.

Gabby Machado….it sure seemed like I heard her name a lot during the broadcast by the Hawkeye Radio Network and, lo and behold, a quick look at the stat sheet says I wasn’t dreaming: 16 minutes played, 10 points, 4 rebounds, an assist and a steal. “I thought she had great moves on the basket today. She’s quicker. She’s deceiving quick with her first step. And she’s really playing with a lot more confidence right now,” Iowa’s head coach said of the 6-foot freshman from Michigan. And, yes, there we go again…yet another freshman making big-time contributions. Heck of a deal.

It goes without saying that the coaching staff probably found it hard to sleep well last night…too much adrenalin pumping through the system. However, I find myself wondering how much of an advantage is it to play and win in the afternoon versus the evening, if any? Something to ask both a coach and a player sometime…

Isn’t it nice to get to watch these games, too? Go Big Ten Network! Heck of a deal.

Bluder, the Big Ten Coach of the Year — told ya — talked post-game about her team’s ability to shoot. A quick look at the second half stats supports her point with an exclamation point. Iowa shot 57 percent from the field (16 of 28) including 6 of 11 from behind the arc and was perfect on 14 attempts from the charity stripe. You win a lot of regular season, Big Ten Tournament and NCAA Tournament games with performances like that.

And, speaking of the NCAA’s Big Dance, it should no longer be a question: Iowa is in the field of 64…or is it 65…or is it 96…or is it 128. I think it’s called “Bracket Creep.” That’s a heck of a deal, too.