WBB: Iowa's Printy Out For Season Opener

By Michael Bonner, Reporter

Iowa's Jaime Printy listens to head coach Lisa Bluder during a timeout from their game against Illinois at Carver-Hawkeye Arena in Iowa City on Thursday, Jan. 5, 2012. Printy scored a game-high 20 points in the 69-62 overtime win. (David Scrivner/SourceMedia Group)

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By Grant Burkhardt

IOWA CITY, Iowa – Jaime Printy’s name appears under the heading “Tentative Starting Lineup” in the game notes for Iowa’s exhibition game against Quincy. There's a reason, the word "Tentative" is there.

Printy, who had her season end with a torn anterior cruciate ligament last year, tweaked her hamstring during Thursday morning’s practice. The injury occurred while Printy was on defense. She will not play in Sunday’s exhibition game.

“We don’t know what the status is for Jamie,” Iowa women’s head basketball coach Lisa Bluder said “Again this just occurred in practice today. So again, she’s doubtful for Sunday and there’s really no reason to risk anything. I’d rather have her full force on Friday than having her on Sunday.”

Iowa opens its season Nov. 9 against Northern Illinois. Bluder wouldn’t commit either way on Printy’s status against the Huskies. The team’s leading scorer from a year ago was a little more confident.

“Personally, I think that I’ll be back,” Printy said. “Just take a couple days off, see how it feels and go from there.”

The hamstring is the latest leg injury for the Linn-Mar grad. Printy tore her ACL for the first time as a sophomore in high school. She suffered the same injury last year. Printy spent the offseason recovering from the surgery and played in the team’s scrimmage against Creighton.

Sunday would have been her first game action since February.

“Yeah I mean it kind of stinks but, it all comes along with it. We have good trainers and they’ll get me back as soon as they can,” Printy said. “I’m not too worried about it.”

Despite the lack of severity, Bluder said no matter the level of the game, exhibition, regular season or postseason, Printy woudn’t play. Melissa Dixon, like she did last year, will start in place of Printy. Dixon averaged 6.8 points per game as a freshman a season ago.

“There's always a benefit when somebody gets injured. You hate to see it, but there is a benefit,” Bluder said. “The benefit of Jaime getting hurt last year was that Melissa became comfortable as a starter.”

Frontcourt coming along

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Bethany Doolittle was also listed in the “Starting Lineup.” All signs point to that reoccurring in the season opener as well when the Hawkeyes play, in reality, two centers.

Doolittle played behind Morgan Johnson last year, and primarily played center. This year the Hawkeyes plan to play with two bigs in the post creating potential mismatches.

“It’s been a really fun experience, just getting to know a new position, work out with all my teammates and getting better at that,” Doolittle said. “I still have a lot to learn. I’m getting better at it everyday but so far it’s just been fun.”

Sunday might be the first opportunity Iowa gets to run the personnel package. Creighton runs a set that doesn’t offer any legitimate post player. Quincy might end up being very similar. It’s roster lists just two players taller than 6-0. One is 6-foot-2 freshman Erin Mennemeyer and the other is 6-4 Hannah Weedman. Weedman didn’t play last season.

Since it is an exhibition, both players could see action.

“Especially things defensively we wanted to work on, we couldn’t work on with Creighton,” Bluder said. “I really don’t know what Quincy in going to bring to the table as far as offenses and defenses. I haven’t watched any of their film from last year. We do not conduct a normal scouting report for this game. We are really focusing on ourselves and getting ourselves better.”

Sunday won't hold any value in the win or loss column, but it will be give the team a scale of how the preseason has gone. Bluder alluded to the fact, intrasquad scrimmages and going full court with the men’s team can get repetitive.

Quincy is a Division II foe, who lost a wealth of talent a season ago, but it is a group of fresh faces, and the first opportunity to take the court under the new personnel.

“It’s been really long time since we played,” Johnson said. “We’re ready to go. We’re excited to have some real fans, real refs, real other team to play. So you’ve got that opportunity. It’s just really exciting.”

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