Commentary: Kachine Alexander is a complete player


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Is there anything Kachine Alexander can’t do?

At only 5-9, the junior guard can shoot, rebound, steal, block, and dish out assists.

Simply put: She’s a complete player. Perhaps one of the most complete women’s basketball players in the Big Ten.

But maybe the best thing about Alexander is her willingness to throw her body around and her recklessness about her well-being as often displayed while on the court — the simple plays that don’t show up on a stat sheet, but the ones coaches and teammates continually appreciate.

“If people don’t want to come watch her play, they’re just silly,” Iowa head coach Lisa Bluder said.

“They’re just missing an opportunity to see a player who is so good at crashing and so good at keeping the ball alive. And just continuing to persevere.”

During Sunday’s Hawkeye Challenge championship game against Illinois State, Alexander started the game the same she ended it — with a steal. She scored the first two points and the last point (missing a free throw) in the win.

Her 21 points, 12 rebounds, four assists, and four steals against the Redbirds were enough for her to be named MVP of the Hawkeye Challenge. Even during the opening game against Santa Clara, she racked up 19 points, 18 rebounds, five assists, one steal, and one block in the tournament.

There’s no denying she is a game-changing player with her dynamic play.

Last season as a sophomore, she had a breakout year, becoming the first Big Ten women’s basketball player in history to record two triple-doubles in a season.

Her versatility as a player is also impressive. Even watching her from press row, I can’t help but be amazed by the energy and intensity she often brings to the hardwood for Iowa.

It’s that passion for the sport that Bluder likely saw when recruiting Alexander four years ago.

Even when talking to her, Alexander’s personality can best be described as genuine. She often seems humbled by mention of her accolades but doesn’t shy from helping her teammates.

Her laid-back persona endears her to fans wherever she goes.

During her sophomore season, Alexander was a second-team All-Big Ten honoree, but look for her to make a bigger name for herself this year.

She currently leads the team in points (20.0 points per game), rebounds (15), blocks (three), and steals (five). While still early in the season, it’s hard to not imagine Alexander playing a pivotal role in the Hawkeye’s season.

After lone senior JoAnn Hamlin went down with a career-threatening lower leg injury a couple of weeks ago, Alexander has been thrust into more of a leadership role.

A role she seems to fit perfectly.

When fellow Minnesota native Theairra Taylor arrived at Iowa this season, Alexander took her former high-school rival under her wing, saying she believed in Taylor’s potential as a Hawkeye.

“She’s always asking questions, and I’m always willing to help her out,” Alexander said. “I just think she has so much she can accomplish here at Iowa and she’s just getting started.”

But really, it’s Alexander who is simply getting started.

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