#13 Iowa Women's Basketball 2014-2015 Preview

Iowa Hawkeyes

Overall Rank: #13
Conference Rank: #1 Big Ten Conference
#13 Iowa Women's Basketball 2014-2015 Preview
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Consistency has been the hallmark of the Iowa women’s basketball program under the direction of head coach Lisa Bluder. Bluder, heading into her 15th season in Iowa City has led the Hawkeyes to seven straight NCAA Tournaments. They are one of only 14 programs to have accomplished that over the last seven seasons. A very deep and talented team returns this year for Iowa and they will be looking to take the next step and get to the Sweet 16 and beyond.

2013-14 Record: 27-9, 11-5
2013-14 Postseason: NCAA
Coach:  Lisa Bluder
Coach Record: 278-166 at Iowa, 634-308 overall

If you are going to make a run to a Final Four, a great place to start is to return a ton of talent and experience. The Hawkeyes can check these both off the list as they return four starters who scored at least ten points per game on average and they have three senior returning starters. Senior guard Samantha Logic sets the tone for Iowa as she is relentless at both ends of the court and epitomizes what being a true team is all about. Sharing the basketball is another strength for the Hawkeyes as the averaged nearly 18 assists per game last season. Also, the ability to beat teams from the inside and outside is another big time strength for Iowa, as senior center Bethany Doolittle shot over 55 percent from the floor last season. Doolittle is complimented by the sharp shooting of sophomore guard Ally Disterhoff and senior guard Melissa Dixon.

Scoring defense is a bit of a concern heading into the 2014-15 season for Iowa as they allowed opponents to score nearly 70 points per game last year. This was a byproduct of deficiencies in a couple of key areas starting with field goal percentage defense. The Hawkeyes allowed teams to shoot 40.6 percent from the field last season. The other glaring issue was rebounding as opponents outrebounded Iowa on average by 1.4 per game. On the surface that is not a lot, but over the course of a season and in the NCAA Tournament that takes its toll on a team. The insertion of freshman forward Christina Buttenham who has played for the Canadian National Team should help address the issue a great deal.

Final Projection:
The schedule presents some great challenges right away for the Hawkeyes. A trip to a tournament in Puerto Rico to play Gonzaga and an emerging Arkansas team will be a nice litmus test to see where Iowa stands early in the season. The rematch with Louisville takes place on December 4th in the ACC/Big Ten Challenge and it will be an intriguing clash of the experience for the Hawkeyes versus the youth of the Cardinals. The annual in-state clash Iowa State at Carver-Hawkeye Arena will top off the non-conference schedule. The Big Ten schedule, since its unbalanced, will allow for Iowa to not have to play at Penn State. However, they do have a home and home with Nebraska, who is always dangerous, along with a road trip to the Comcast Center to play Maryland on February 1st. Overall, with the returning experience led by arguably one of the guards in the country in Samantha Logic, this should be a year where the Hawkeyes advance to the Sweet 16 at least.

Projected Postseason Tournament: NCAA Tournament

Projected Starting Five:
Samantha Logic, Senior, Guard, 13.3 points per game
Melissa Dixon, Senior, Guard, 13.1 points per game
Ally Disterhoff, Sophomore, Guard, 13.2 points per game
Christina Buttenham, Freshman, Forward, DNP last season
Bethany Doolittle, Senior, Center, 14.2 points per game

By the Numbers:
Scoring Offense: 78.2 (22nd in nation, 1st in conference)
Scoring Defense: 69.3 (226, 11)
Field-Goal Percentage: 46.1 (11, 1)
Field-Goal Defense: 40.6 (184, 9)
Three-Point Field Goals Per Game: 6.9 (63, 3)
Three-Point Field-Goal Percentage: 33.4 (85, 7)
Free-Throw Percentage: 74.3 (41, 6)
Rebound Margin: -1.4 (211, 9)
Assists Per Game: 17.9 (10, 1)
Turnovers Per Game: 14.4 (74, 3)

Madness 2015 WNBA Draft Rankings:
#9 Samantha Logic

Madness 2014 Women’s Basketball Recruit Rankings:
#88 Chase Foley


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