Jennings a force in Game Time

BY CHARLES GREEN | JUNE 26, 2014 5:00 AM

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Incoming freshman Whitney Jennings is poised to make an immediate impact for the Iowa women’s basketball team next season.

Jennings has not even started college yet, but she has proven that she is ready to handle the college game. On Wednesday night, she led coach Pat McCool’s team to a 102-86 victory in the Game Time League, where she played with some of her future Hawkeye teammates.

“It’s a lot of fun to be on the court with them,” Jennings said after the game. “Playing on the same team as Kali [Peschel] is awesome.”

Peschel scored 26 and was all over the boards for the team, but Jennings got the offense going. She proved to be dangerous in transition, turning steals into fast-break opportunities for her and other teammates. Armed with an array of ball-handling moves and incredible quickness, she was able to get to the basket with relative ease all night. Jennings scored 18 points, grabbed 6 boards, and dished out 2 assists.

“She’s very fast-paced,” said teammate Olivia Meier of Upper Iowa. “She can get to the basket whenever she wants.”

Jennings’ quickness was visible all night as she blew past defenders both in transition and in the half-court game. For coach Clark Anderson’s team, guarding her proved to be a tall order.

While quickness and ball-handling abilities appear to be her biggest strengths, Jennings says her shooting and strength need improvement.

“I know I’ll have to get stronger for Big Ten play,” the Logansport, Indiana, product said. “Finishing at the basket takes a lot of strength at the next level.”

Iowa point guard Sam Logic and Jennings guarded each other for almost the entire game. At one point, Logic inadvertently knocked Jennings to the floor, and the two laughed it off as Logic helped her to her feet. Next season as Hawkeyes, the two may cause headaches for opposing teams.

Logic poured in 22 points for her team and added 12 assists. Both players’ ability to get into the lane created many shot opportunities for their teammates.

Logic’s numbers were impressive but it wasn’t enough to give her team a win over her future teammate.

Jennings is effective with both hands and can beat defenders with impressive crossovers and behind-the-back moves. Her arsenal of moves when she has the ball range from impressive to flat-out entertaining.

“I’ve always known that with my size, I would have to be able to handle the ball well,” she said.

At one point she crossed over a defender so effectively it drew an animated reaction from the crowd.
With more of those moves to come next season alongside Logic, the Hawkeyes may pose one of the league’s most dangerous backcourts.

“She’s so quick, and she can really see the floor,” shooting guard Morgan Myers of St. Ambrose said. “Whatever you think she’s going to do, she’ll probably do the opposite.”

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