Printy looks to 'D-up' as sophomore

BY JON FRANK | NOVEMBER 09, 2010 7:20 AM

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Reigning Big Ten Freshman of the Year Jaime Printy can cripple the opposition with pinpoint shooting. She can handle and distribute the ball with the poise and intelligence of an experienced point guard. She can even drive down the lane for easy baskets in the paint, capped off with trips to the free-throw line.

The Marion native can dominate almost every facet of the game on the offensive end.

Though Printy — who led the Hawkeyes with 501 total points last season — is about as offensively sound as any coach could ask of an underclassman, she wasn't satisfied with her defensive presence.

During the off-season, she focused primarily on strength and defense.

"I've gotten a lot stronger and faster. I've definitely been in the weight room all summer," the 5-11 guard said. "I've focused on [defense] this summer, and it's finally starting to show a little bit."

Aside from engaging in drills and exercise regimens focused on improving her defensive prowess, Printy drew some help from her teammates to make her a more complete player.

"Every scrimmage I guard either [Kachine Alexander] or [Kamille Wahlin], and you won't get much better than those two at the guard spot."

Any Big Ten guard who has ever been assigned to cover Alexander in a game knows the hardships and frustrations that accompany the task. Arguably the most aggressive player on Iowa's talented roster, Alexander — who claimed the Big Ten rebounding title last season — scores the majority of her points by slashing through defenders on her way to the basket, often times earning free-throws in the process.

Alexander, who holds the school record for free throws made in a season (146), said that Printy is progressing rapidly as an all-around player and has a newfound confidence in her ability.

"[Printy] came in, and she kind of was just like 'OK, I'm thrust into the starting lineup,' " Alexander said. "She just kind of went with what she could, and you kind of kept having to tell her 'Jaime, you are a great player. Keep shooting the ball' … But now, she's so much more confident. She has been in the gym in the summertime. She is confident in her shot.

"I think confidence is the best shooter."

Printy said that improving her defensive skill set required a revamped mindset from her career at Linn-Mar High School. Before arriving at Iowa, Printy focused solely on offensive production and shooting. But to be a complete player, she said, she had to develop defensive skills.

While offensive production is easily measured in points and shooting percentages, defensive skill — such as the ability to stay in front of opponents during drives and prevent open passes — is not as easy to gauge.

But head coach Lisa Bluder said Printy has succeeded in her off-season goals and worked toward being a more complete basketball player.

"That's where [Printy's] main focus was, was strength and defense, and she's done a good job in both areas," said Bluder, who is in her 11th year as Iowa's coach said. "Offensively, she shot the ball well for us, she penetrated, she got to the free-throw line well, so she did a lot of good things offensively for us, but she had to round out her game defensively, and she has."

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