Iowa junior guard Jaime Printy and the Iowa women’s basketball team were well-represented Thursday at the annual Big Ten media days in Chicago.
Printy was selected as a preseason all-Big Ten member by both the media and coaches, while the Iowa Hawkeyes were picked to finish third by the coaches, behind only Penn State and Purdue. Michigan State was picked third by the media.
“Happy for Jaime Printy being acknowledged as one of the top five players in this conference,” Iowa head coach Lisa Bluder said. “That is a very difficult thing to do. It’s a great accomplishment. But for her to be acknowledged as one of the top five players as a junior, I think, really is a tremendous accomplishment for her.”
The Hawkeyes return four of five starters from last season when they finished 22-9 and advanced to their fourth straight NCAA Tournament. Iowa finished third last year but lost all-everything Kachine Alexander. She is expected to be replaced by true freshman Samantha Logic, a very similar player who was highly recruited out of Racine, Wisconsin.
“We’re looking forward to the year,” Bluder said. “We think we’ve got a great non-conference schedule to prepare us for the Big Ten, but obviously getting ready to tip it off pretty quickly here.”
Printy is Iowa’s returning leader scorer from last year. She averaged 16.8 points, 4.2 rebounds and 3.5 assists while shooting 86 percent from the foul line. She is joined on the all-Big Ten team by preseason player of the year picks Alex Bentley of Penn State and Samantha Prahalis of Ohio State as well as Michigan State’s Lykendra Johnson and Illinois’ Karisma Penn.
The Big Ten coaches poll has Penn State winning the league followed by Purdue and then Iowa. The media poll has the same two at the top but has Michigan State in place of Iowa.
Penn State returns four of five starters, including Bentley and the Big Ten’s Sixth Player of the Year in Maggie Lucas. Bentley averaged 14.4 points per game, while Lucas was one of the top scorers in the league at 15.8. The Nitany Lions went 25-10 last year.
Purdue returns all five starters from last year’s 22-9 squad. The Boilermakers suffered several injuries a year ago, which is why they are picked so high this season.
Preseason polls don’t mean much as most know, but it is clear that the five best teams in any order in the Big Ten Conference this season are Penn State, Purdue, Iowa, Michigan State and Ohio State.