With all five starters back, the Hawkeyes are using their experience to their advantage

Published: Jul. 29, 2022 at 7:45 PM CDT
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IOWA CITY, Iowa (KCRG) - Just two players departed from 2022′s Big Ten Tournament champions, expectations, no doubt, are high.

Veterans stack the lineup.

“I feel like we’re almost moving a little faster because we’re not teaching as much.” said junior All-American Caitlin Clark. “I think our freshmen and Molly (Davis) our newcomer have really caught on well and learned things fast.”

Iowa finished last season 24-8, making their 14th consecutive postseason appearance. Aside from their three incoming freshman and one transfer, the Hawkeyes will have the same five starters for the third consecutive season.

“We just have that team chemistry, we’ve worked together for the last three years, that’s just helpful. we know how each other works,” said fifth-year senior Kate Martin. “It’s almost like we know where people’s shots are coming off the rim at this point.”

Caitlin Clark enters her junior season at Iowa, after becoming the first division one women’s basketball player to lead the nation in scoring and assists in the same season.

“There’s always going to be those expectations for us,” Clark said. “We’re a program that wants those expectations, we wouldn’t want it any other way.”

Iowa also has depth this year, featuring a full 15-player roster.

Head coach Lisa Bluder has made sure to use summer workouts to build team chemistry among the younger players, but keep their vets fresh to last through March.

“I’m looking at it as an opportunity to rest gym veterans a little bit. they know they don’t need as many reps as the freshman and sophomores,” Bluder said. “Give them that rest so they have a little bit better legs for the games and at the end of the year.”

You don’t have to remind the Hawkeyes how they felt when their season ended earlier than expected last March, falling in the second round of the NCAA Tournament.

Undoubtedly, they’re using it as motivation.

“That’s the beauty of March Madness. It’s the greatest postseason tournament in sports in my opinion,” Clark said. “Your season can end in a blink of an eye.”

“We’ve brought up that last loss quite a few times this summer. That’s what you should do, use it as motivation, we never want to feel the way we did last year ever again,” said Martin. “We’re going to do everything in our power to never feel like that again.”

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