July 3, 2015
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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. To receive daily news from the Iowa Hawkeyes, sign up HERE.
By DARREN MILLER
IOWA CITY, Iowa — After three outings in the Game Time League, incoming University of Iowa freshman women’s basketball player Tania Davis averages 27.7 points and shoots 56 percent from the field and 90 percent from the line.
Those astronomical numbers don’t paint a complete picture of the 5-foot-4 guard from Goodrich High School in Grand Blanc, Michigan.
“Being the Defensive Player of the Year would be great,” said Davis, when listing goals for the 2015-16 season. “I love defense and coach (Lisa) Bluder loves defense. That is why I think I was brought here, to bring defense to the team.”
Davis was named Miss Basketball in the state of Michigan after averaging 18.9 points, 6.3 assists, 4.2 rebounds, and 3.2 steals for a team that won 25 of 27 games last season. She was ranked the 12th-best high school point guard by ESPN HoopGurlz. Davis is part of a four-member Hawkeye recruiting class that also includes Megan Gustafson (6-3 forward from Wisconsin), Tagyn Larson (6-2 forward from South Dakota), and Hannah Stewart (6-2 forward from North Dakota).
Davis selected Iowa because of her relationship with the coaching staff and the players on the team. She was also attracted to the family theme within the program. Since Davis has arrived in Iowa City three weeks ago, her love of the area and the university has increased.
“The fans and the other athletes on campus are welcoming and accepting,” Davis said. “Getting to know people has been a bonus for me.”
Davis is keeping an open mind when it comes to an academic major, although she is thinking about pre-medicine. She is enrolled in two classes this summer: Stars, Galaxy, and Universe and Creative Writing.
“I would rather have 20 assists and five points with a W (win) than 20 points and five assists with a loss. I have always looked for my teammates and I will continue to look for my teammates first and put myself second.”
UI freshman guard
Davis will be asked to fill a black hole in production for the Hawkeyes created with the graduation of star guards Melissa Dixon and All-American Samantha Logic.
Last season during an NCAA Tournament Sweet 16 run that saw Iowa compile a record of 26-8, Dixon averaged 14.8 points and 3.6 3-point field goals per game. Logic contributed 13.4 points, 8.1 assists, and 7.0 rebounds.
“That is a big challenge, those are big shoes to fill, but I am going to try to make my own shoes here and pave my own way,” Davis said. “I will look at how Sam Logic did it and how she made it work for her. I won’t forget her ways, but I would also like to do it my way, too.”
It’s easy to think of Logic when listening to Davis. After Davis led Beat the Bookstore/Westport Touchless Autowash to a 66-53 victory over Vinton Merchants/Culver’s on July 1 in the Game Time League (23 points, four assists), she said she enjoys getting out, running, and finding teammates in transition.
“I would rather have 20 assists and five points with a W (win) than 20 points and five assists with a loss,” Davis said. “I have always looked for my teammates and I will continue to look for my teammates first and put myself second.”
Davis will share the UI guard court next season with sophomore Whitney Jennings, who is a year removed from being named Miss Basketball in the state of Indiana. The two will go head-to-head July 8 in a Game Time League battle of unbeaten teams that are led by dynamic point guards. Jennings averages 35 points in three games for Marion Iron Company.
It will be a win-win for Hawkeye fans in attendance for the 7:30 p.m. tip inside the North Liberty Community Center.
With Jennings and Davis on the same college team, Iowa looks for a ninth straight appearance in the NCAA Tournament in 2016. Davis has another goal for her rookie season.
“I want to win a Big Ten championship,” she said.