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Notebook: Printy still scoring despite 3-point dropoff

BY RYAN MURPHY | FEBRUARY 01, 2012 7:20 AM

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Iowa junior guard Jaime Printy has seen her 3-point shooting percentage fall from 38.3 percent in 2010-11 to 29.1 percent this year.

 

This hasn't fazed Printy or Hawkeye head coach Lisa Bluder.

Bluder said Printy is the type of player who can have a 30-point game on any given night.

"At any time, I feel like she can turn into a 50 percent 3-point shooter," the coach said. "I think it's probably more of a confidence issue than anything else right now."

Bluder also pointed out that many of Printy's 3-point attempts have come from farther away this season than last, something the Iowa coach attributed to some bad habits on the part of the junior guard.

"She's stepping out farther than she needs to to take those 3s," Bluder said. "We're trying to show it to her on film and trying to persuade her that she can get a little bit closer."

Printy acknowledged that she needs to move in on some of her shot attempts but said her shot feels right — even after she only scored 7 points in Iowa's victory over Purdue on Jan. 28 — and it's just a matter of the ball rattling in.

"I don't even notice how far back I am sometimes, which can be good and can be bad," she said. "My shot feels good, so I'm just going to keep shooting and know that it is going in. As a shooter, you just have to know the next shot is going in."

Besides, the Marion native has increased her overall scoring output from a year ago despite shooting nearly 10 percentage points lower from 3-point range. She's averaging 17.3 points a game, up from 16.8 when she was an honorable mention All-American a year ago. Bluder said Printy has been able to maintain her success because opposing coaches give the 5-11 guard so much respect.

"She's dangerous because at any time, every coach in this league knows Jaime Printy can have 25 or 30 against you and shoot well from 3-point range," Bluder said. "Obviously, her ability to get to the rim off the dribble is important to us."

Hawkeyes aim to reverse road woes

With two games lying ahead in the next week — Thursday at Wisconsin and Feb. 5 at Indiana — and the Hawkeyes in a game-by-game battle for a postseason berth, Iowa has to face and overcome the challenge of winning on the road. Iowa is 1-7 overall outside Iowa City, including an 0-4 mark in the Big Ten.

Bluder said getting her young players used to playing in hostile environments is the key.

"You feel like sometimes your record can be deceiving because of your opponents; most teams are going to struggle playing at Ohio State, at Purdue, at Penn State, and at Nebraska," Bluder said.

"When you have so many freshmen on your team, part of that growing process is just getting them to understand what it's like to play in the Big Ten and what it's like to play on the road."

Printy said the Hawkeyes have been close to breaking through.

"We've struggled on the road, but we've always been in every game," she said. "For some reason, we can't pull it out at the end. [Wisconsin and Indiana] are two really good opportunities to get road wins and build our confidence back up."

Five of Iowa's seven road losses have been by 8 points or fewer, including losses by 2 and 3 points.

Freshman Virginia Johnson said the win over Purdue gave the team confidence before going on the road, but it's important to focus for the games ahead.

"It's nice to have the Purdue win, but now we realize we have to get back to work and can't celebrate too long," she said.


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