Jan. 14, 2013
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Editor’s Note: The following first appeared in the University of Iowa’s Hawk Talk Daily, an e-newsletter that offers a daily look at the Iowa Hawkeyes, delivered free each morning to thousands of fans of the Hawkeyes worldwide.
IOWA CITY, Iowa — Samantha Logic and Morgan Johnson are both leading the Big Ten in the statistical categories they take the most pride in. Logic leads the conference in assists, while Johnson holds the best field goal percentage in the league. The duo has worked in perfect harmony throughout the season to form a pass-to-score machine.
Logic, who also ranks ninth in the NCAA at 7.1 assists per contest, has recorded a total of 122 assists through 17 games this season. Logic has recorded at least one assist to nine different players, but it’s been Johnson who has benefited the most from the sophomore’s supreme passing skills.
Logic has dished 35 of her 122 assists to Johnson, 10 more than the next closest recipient (Jaime Printy has scored 25 times off Logic’s passes). Out of Johnson’s 113 made field goals, over 31 percent have come from a Logic assist.
Johnson credits her 57.1 field goal percentage, which is 13th best in the NCAA, to the work of her guards, especially Logic.
“I texted Sam after I received the MVP award in San Diego. I told her that she was the main reason I got that award. If she wasn’t such a great passer, I wouldn’t be half the player I am this year. I give her a lot of credit for what I’ve been able to do.”
UI senior center Morgan Johnson
“Sam does a great job of seeing the entire floor,” Johnson said. “She gets the ball high enough where really only I can catch it, or she makes a perfect bounce pass. Her passes are accurate and her ability to see everything on the court makes her a great player.”
Johnson is always quick to give her point guard praise. Logic also knows she has a special post player with superior skills.
“Morgan has the best hands on the team and some of the best hands I’ve ever seen,” Logic said. “She catches almost anything you put near her. She is so smart at creating mismatches or just taking what the defense gives her. Combine that with her height and that makes her pretty dangerous.”
Logic’s assists numbers have been tremendous all season, but she battled the turnover bug to start the year. Through the first eight games, Logic had 54 assists paired with 46 turnovers (1.2 ratio). But over the last nine games, Logic’s assist/turnover ratio has jumped to 2.4, with 68 assists to just 28 turnovers.
Pace of play was the key to Logic’s turnover turnaround.
“I’ve slowed my pace,” Logic said. “I rushed a lot at the beginning of the year. We are getting in the flow of the offense more and I’ve been able to slow myself down.”
Johnson has seen her favorite passer mature and understand the game more as a sophomore.
“Sam is a controlled player this year,” Johnson said. “As our point guard, she takes control on the court and she has learned when to make that highlight reel pass and when to just get the ball where it needs to go.”
The guard/post combo has been poetry in motion. The two seem to be on the same wavelength, whether it’s on a fast break or on a perfectly timed slip screen for an easy layup.
On paper, Johnson’s scoring average and field goal percentage are most reflective of Logic’s handy work. The Academic All-Big Ten student is smart enough to know why her numbers look the way they do.
“I texted Sam after I received the MVP award in San Diego,” Johnson said. “I told her that she was the main reason I got that award. If she wasn’t such a great passer, I wouldn’t be half the player I am this year. I give her a lot of credit for what I’ve been able to do.”
Neither Logic nor Johnson wants to take credit for their stellar statistical figures. Chances are there will be plenty of text messages full of praise sent from one to the other in the final months of the 2013 season.