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High expectations for Disterhoft

BY JACOB SHEYKO | OCTOBER 30, 2013 5:00 AM

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When Iowa women’s basketball player Ally Disterhoft plays her first game in a Hawkeye uniform on Nov. 3, the environment of Carver-Hawkeye Arena won’t be foreign to her.

The freshman from Iowa City has grown up in the heart of the Hawkeye State and sat in the front row for a myriad of Iowa games.

With only 11 players on the Hawkeyes roster, Iowa head coach Lisa Bluder and her staff fully expect Disterhoft to not only contribute to this season’s squad but to play an integral role as the Hawks try to reach their seventh-consecutive NCAA Tournament appearance.

“She’s fit in really nicely,” junior Melissa Dixon said. “She came in, and she’s already made such a big impact, and I think that she’ll make a really big impact this season.”

If Disterhoft’s high-school career at West High School is any indication, the Hawkeyes, then are in luck.

Disterhoft was named to the 2013 PARADE All-America Girls Basketball Team — one of 40 to be selected — following her senior season, in which she averaged 26.3 points per game. She was also named the Iowa Gatorade Player of the Year.

What makes Disterhoft even more likely to see the floor often is the Hawkeyes lack of size. While she’s listed as a guard, Disterhoft is six feet tall, and has experience playing in the post from her high-school days.

“High school is definitely a lot different than college, she said. “In college, everyone is bigger, faster, and stronger. But I’m glad that I did get a little experience in the post, just to work on my post moves. That’s translating well here.” 

This versatility could make Disterhoft extremely difficult to stop offensively as she could play anywhere from shooting guard to power forward for the black and gold.

When Disterhoft plays guard, she’ll likely be taller than most defenders guarding her, giving her the advantage in the paint and in corralling rebounds.

If Bluder puts her in the post, then she’ll likely be faster than her defender and with her shooting ability, could easily space the floor and make her defender choose between giving her the open jumper or playing her tight, opening up the risk of a drive into the lane.

However, whenever a team puts a guard in the post, there’s bound to be some worries about her holding her ground against Big Ten post players. But Disterhoft’s teammates insist that she plays taller than her 6-foot frame.

“She’s just so explosive,” point guard Sam Logic said. “Before seeing her play, I didn’t expect that out of her. With her length and her agility, it’s really something to be reckoned with.”

For anyone wondering if Disterhoft’s high-school success will translate to the college level, look no further than the impression Disterhoft has made on her teammates during their preparation for the season.

“Even since she’s got here, she’s worked on her strength. She’s put on a little muscle,” Dixon said. “I’d say that’s definitely a big part of her game.”

As if Disterhoft needed to prove anything else, she was the standout performance during Iowa’s Black and Gold Blowout. In the 10 minutes that were played, Disterhoft led her team in scoring with 9 points, including her team’s first seven points.

While she did so in just a scrimmage. Disterhoft showcased what she is capable of, something that has everyone in the Hawkeye program excited.

“I think it’s honestly just an honor that my teammates believe in me that much, that my coaches believe in me that much that I can help the team right away,” Disterhoft said. “Going into practice every day I just work my butt off and go 100 percent all the time.”


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