Iowa women's basketball year-end awards

BY MATT COZZI | MARCH 21, 2012 6:30 AM

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The Iowa women's basketball team advanced to the NCAA Tournament for the fifth straight year, but was one-and-done in both the Big Ten and NCAA tourneys for the second straight season. The Daily Iowan looks at who helped the Hawkeyes most, who potentially held them back, and who Iowa can look forward to.

Freshman of the Year: Sam Logic

Iowa had perhaps its most heralded recruiting class in recent memory heading into this past season.
Logic was clearly the best of that group, and got progressively better as the season went along. The 5-9 guard registered seven double-doubles, including a triple-double in a win over Michigan on Feb. 26. She was a unanimous selection for the all-Big Ten Freshman Team, finishing with an average of 9.4 points, 7.1 rebounds, and 4.4 assists per game.

The Racine, Wisc., native gave her squad a boost in the Hawkeyes' season-ending loss to California in the first round of NCAAs last weekend. Logic recorded 11 points and 11 assists — which tied the school record for assists in a tournament game — against the Golden Bears.

Logic will likely take over at point guard next year, a position at which she flourished at the prep level.

Most Disappointing: Lisa Bluder

Bluder is Iowa's second all-time winningest coach — trailing only the legendary C. Vivian Stringer — and has led the Hawkeyes to 11 postseason tournaments, including the NCAA tourney each of the last five years.

Those are hefty accomplishments that only a handful of coaches in women's college basketball — a sport in which powerhouses like Connecticut, Baylor, and Tennessee continuously sit at atop of the polls — can say they've reached.

But Bluder has had very deep rosters the last two seasons — particularly this season, despite losing several players to an assortment of ailments. Iowa flopped in its only game at the Big Ten Tournament, a loss to Nebraska in which the Hawkeyes failed to make in-game adjustments. The same thing happened in the Big Dance as the Black and Gold fell to California in the first round.

Two straight years, and two back-to-back early exits in the postseason.

Bluder should hope the third time's the charm in 2012-13, and Iowa needs to post wins in those bigger games.

Most Valuable: Kamille Wahlin

Wahlin was hands-down the Hawkeyes' most important player down the stretch.

She stepped up when it mattered most, most notably during Iowa's eight-game win streak to close out the regular season. Wahlin paced the offense on nearly every possession, and averaged 12.9 points in a team-high 34.5 minutes per game in her final year in the Black and Gold.

The 5-8 senior guard will surely be missed, but her leadership and play on the hardwood set the tone for future players who will attempt to fill the role she's leaving.

Most Needed: Jaime Printy

Hey, remember her?

Printy went down with an ACL tear on Feb. 2 against Wisconsin, and the absence of her ability to generate offense at will was probably most evident in the postseason.

Printy led the team in scoring (16.9 points per game) and free-throw percentage (88.8 percent) before the injury, which forced the Marion native to miss the final eight games of the year. The senior-to-be sits in 10th place on Iowa's all-time scoring list and fourth in career 3-pointers made.

Iowa won six straight games before losing two in a row to end the season without Printy. Just think about what could have been if she was actually on the court.

Follow DI women's basketball reporter Matt Cozzi on Twitter.

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