March 17, 2012
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NOTRE DAME, Ind. — University of Iowa head women’s basketball Lisa Bluder, along with senior Kamille Wahlin, junior Morgan Johnson and freshman Samantha Logic met with the media today before Iowa’s first official practice at Purcell Pavilion on the Notre Dame campus Saturday. All four Hawkeyes were in agreement; it’s great to be in the NCAA Tournament.
“Once we saw our names pop up on the bracket we got excited,” Johnson said. “We don’t want to just get here and go back home. We’re not satisfied with just being here. We want to continue to move on.”
Bluder said being in the Big Dance is something that never loses its luster.
“Being in the NCAA Tournament is never old habit,” Bluder said. “Every year you have a whole crop of freshmen and this is their first experience. It’s fun to see the freshmen enthusiasm and to get them to understand this is the standard for our team.”
One of those freshmen, Samantha Logic, is getting her first taste of the NCAA Tournament. She is relying on her upperclassmen, along with her coaches, to understand what the experience is like.
“Our team has done a really good job explaining to us what the tournament is all about,” Logic said. “Our coaches have done a good job of preparing us to play on a big stage like this. You have to take what you do here – preparing for the games and soak it up. You have to try to gain that experience for the year and obviously for years to come trying to get back here (to the NCAA Tournament).
Logic’s play down the stretch helped lead Iowa to the NCAA Tournament, averaging a double-double with 14.4 points and 11.1 rebounds in the seven games following the season-ending injury to returning All-American Jaime Printy. That production has caught the eye of California head coach Lindsay Gottlieb.
“I think Sam Logic is a terrific player,” Gottlieb said. “She’s a very versatile player. She does everything well and she fills up a stat sheet. She plays a lot more mature than her class, considering she’s a freshman. I think she is a big piece for them. We are trying to shut down what they (Iowa) do, collectively, as a team and I think Sam Logic is a huge part of that. We have to limit her production.”
Gottlieb said her California team has a tremendous amount of respect of Iowa, especially after the Hawkeyes closed the regular season with eight wins, six of which came without its leading scorer.
“Iowa is one of the hottest teams in the country coming in to the NCAA Tournament,” Gottlieb said. “They pose a lot of problems in their ability to score the ball. This could make for some really good TV. It’s a good 8/9 matchup.”
Iowa and California will tip-off Sunday at 11:10 a.m. (CT) on ESPN2. Fans can click the “Coverage Maps and Broadcast Options For NCAA Tournament” link on the women’s basketball page of hawkeyesports.com to find out how to catch the game in your area.