Hawkeyes prepare for exhibition match with Concordia-St. Paul


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With how tough the Iowa women’s basketball nonconference schedule appears to be, their upcoming exhibition matchup with Concordia-St. Paul could prove to be more important than your normal exhibition game.

“That’s why you want to have those exhibition games, so you can kind of figure those things out,” Iowa head coach Lisa Bluder said. “Adjusting to the rules and adjusting to different lineups. So much has to happen in this exhibition game, it’s really important.”

With news rules and officiating guidelines being put into play this season, the game with Concordia-St. Paul will be the first live action in which coaches and players get to see how these closely these rules will be officiated.

Two main areas of change have been brought to light as the season nears.

One of the changes covers hand checking. Defenders are now allowed one “measure-up touch” on the ball handler. Any touch after that will be called a foul. Officials must also decide who initiated the contact — the ball handler or the defender.

“That’s a hard adjustment for us, but it’s actually the way the game was supposed to be played,” Bluder said.  “We’ve gotten away from that. Now we’re just going back to making sure that we’re calling it the way it was supposed to be called. I think it’s a great thing for women’s basketball.”

If there has been one difficult adjustment, it has been getting players used to the new regulations. With no reference to how officials will enforce the rule, coaches have been left out to dry in prepping their players for game action.

“We as a coaching staff don’t even know for sure,” Bluder said. “I think it’s hard to implement that in practice when there’s a great deal of uncertainty with us coaches as well.”

The second area of concern is the implementation of the 10-second backcourt violation. This will be the first season in women’s college basketball history that the rule will be enforced.

The majority of coaches were in favor of the rule change. However, the opinion on how the change will affect play was varied.

“I’m not worried about it,” Sam Logic said. “We have a lot of ball handlers on our team. I’m not the only one that can control the ball.”

This exhibition match will also give Bluder an opportunity to test out some lineups that could possibly see the floor when the games actually matter.

Bluder also announced that sophomore Kali Peschel will start at power forward for the Hawkeyes but followed that statement with saying playing time at the position will be split among Peschel, sophomore Claire Till, and freshman Ally Disterhoft.

“This is going to be a position held by committee,” Bluder said. “I’m just glad I have 15 fouls to use at that position. I think all three of those players are very capable.”

The Hawkeyes’ matchup with Concordia-St. Paul is set to tip off at 1 p.m. While the game means nothing to Iowa in terms of its record, it will provide an opportunity for the Hawkeyes to finally put their off-season work into in-game action.

“[Last season], those games in which we were expected to win, we had a lot of letdowns.” Theairra Taylor said. “I think just practicing getting up for games and being prepared to play, no matter who your opponent is. It’s huge for us.”

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