Point/counterpoint: Without White, who was Iowa's Freshman of the Year?

BY DI STAFF | MAY 07, 2012 6:30 AM

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Sam Logic, women's basketball

The Iowa women's basketball team's NCAA Tournament hopes seemed to nosedive at the same moment Jaime Printy went down with a torn ACL against Wisconsin on Feb. 2.

Iowa had a disappointing 13-10 record and was 5-5 in the Big Ten at the time.

But the Hawkeyes won six games in a row and made the Big Dance after Printy's injury — largely because of freshman Sam Logic.

Logic led the Hawkeyes in rebounds in each of the last six games of the regular season, including an 18-board game at Michigan and a triple-double in the regular-season finale against the Wolverines.

The freshman was Iowa's top rebounder in 2011-12, grabbing 7.1 rebounds per game. The Racine, Wis., native finished seventh in the conference in rebounding and was the only freshman in the top 10 in the category. Logic retrieved 87 offensive rebounds, 20 more than any other Hawkeye.

Logic also led the Hawkeyes in assists by dishing out 4.4 per game. This was another category in which the freshman was among the Big Ten's best; she was fifth in the conference, ranking second among league freshmen.

While Aaron White had a great season, Matt Gatens was the Hawkeyes' main option. The Iowa men's hoops resurgence would not have been possible without Gatens.

When the best player on the women's team fell victim to an injury, Logic — with some help from veteran teammates Kamille Wahlin and Morgan Johnson — led the Hawkeyes to another NCAA Tournament.

Her efforts were more than worthy of the DI's Freshman of the Year.

— by Ryan Murphy

Megan Blank, softball

Batting average.



Doubles, triples, and total bases.

Slugging percentage, walks, fewest strikeouts, on-base percentage.

Freshman Megan Blank leads the Iowa softball team in every single one of these offensive categories.

What doesn't she lead? Just home runs and RBIs, which are claimed by senior Katie Keim — who has double the college experience Blank does.

Blank has started in every game this year and has become a go-to player at the plate and a staple in the infield.

Blank injured her mouth in a baserunning collision on April 28 and the normally ever-present shortstop had to be replaced for the two final innings against Indiana. There was a subtle air of panic as the infielders were scrambled around in an attempt to fill the hole of an extremely successful player.

The freshman ranks in the top five in the Big Ten in many offensive categories and has been named Big Ten Freshman of the Week twice this season: after her very first tournament in college play in February and again in April during conference play.

But what's even more impressive is how much Blank stands out on her team. The Hawkeyes have struggled to stay consistent at the plate all season, but Blank — currently batting .397 — hit over .400 for much of the season. She's a freshman and can grab the attention of Iowa softball fans used to the slugging power and batting dominance of seniors Liz Watkins and Keim.

Performing well is one thing, but Blank is even more successful because of her ability to make a difference on her team within her first year. The Hawkeyes finished eighth in the conference last season, but are now battling defending champion Michigan for first. She's obviously not the sole factor in Iowa's climb up the Big Ten ladder, but her 58 hits and 33 runs certainly helped.

She's quiet and laid-back but serves as a leader on the team simply by stepping up to the plate and performing well every week. It's hard to argue that somebody isn't a leader on the team when she's leading nearly every offensive category.

— by Molly Irene Olmstead

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