Fans get first taste of Hawkeye women's basketball at Black and Gold Blowout

BY BEN ROSS | OCTOBER 22, 2012 6:30 AM

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Pyrotechnics, sideshow-esque contests, and a Gangnam Styling head coach in Lisa Bluder — at the Black and Gold Blowout on Oct. 18, the Iowa women’s basketball team showed that this year’s squad is a team that has something, a pizzazz, that fans could get excited about.

The event featured player introductions, accompanied by booming music and balls of fire atop a perch overlooking the court at Carver-Hawkeye Arena.

Bluder entered Carver overlooking the steps leading down to the court. The 13-year head coach was introduced to nearly 6,000 dancing to “Gangnam Style,” a South Korean hit that appears to be the flavor of the month on the latest music scene, while wearing sunglasses and an Iowa jump suit.

“It’s not really complicated, so it’s not that difficult,” Bluder said about learning the dance moves. “All the players picked a song that they wanted to come out to, so they asked me what I would pick. I don’t know many songs, so that was what I picked.”

After the introductions, the players stripped down to their black and gold jerseys and butted heads against one another in a short and sweet eight-minute scrimmage. The Gold squad finished out ahead of its counterpart, 11-8, led by 4 points from senior center Morgan Johnson and a 3-pointer from Jaime Printy. It wouldn’t be the only three-pointer from the captain that night.

In an event set up to create hype around the Blowout, Printy contested with the men’s squad sophomore guard Josh Oglesby in a 3-point shooting contest. Printy, who led her team in 3-pointers as a freshman and sophomore, beat out Oglesby, who made 45 from beyond the arc last season, 20-11.

“I just went out there and tried to have fun,” Printy said. “Josh and I were kind of trash talking before, so it’s funny. He kind of got cold, so I kind of got lucky.”

It was the first time fans got to see Printy on the court since she suffered a season-ending ACL injury in an overtime win over Wisconsin Feb. 2. And despite the severity of the procedure, Printy said that the scrimmage was reassuring.

“My knee felt really good,” she said. “And it was really comforting to get back in front of people and play in a game-like situation.”

It was also the first opportunity for Iowa’s newcomers to feel the atmosphere of a game at Carver. Iowa freshman Kali Peschel said it was helpful to get on the court one time before the season begins.

“It was definitely an adrenaline rush,” the Sauk Centre, Minn., native said. “It was awesome … this was our first time on the court in front of a crowd. To be able to break it in ahead of time I think was a good thing to get out some of those first-time nerves.

“We know we have a lot to work on, but a lot of good things came of it, too.”

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