Lisa Bluder looks forward to bumping into Creighton women’s basketball coach Jim Flanery this week in the opening round of the NCAA women’s basketball tournament.
The Iowa coach also figures this meeting, scheduled for 5 p.m. on Saturday at UCLA’s Pauley Pavilion in Los Angeles, won’t keep insurance adjusters busy or include the cost of a deductible.
That hasn’t always been the case, as Bluder recalled Wednesday.
The scene was downtown Chicago, near McCormick Place, where the Nike Nationals summer AAU tournament had been held.
"There were hundreds of coaches there, the day was done and Jan (Jensen, an Iowa assistant on Bluder’s staff throughout her 18-year tenure) and I were taking a cab to a restaurant for dinner," Bluder said. "We’re going along and our cab crashed into another car."
That car happened be one that was being driven by Flanery, who had been among the coaches looking at recruits at the tournament.
"Jim was driving, and our cab got him really good," Bluder said. "We got out, saw who it was, and our cab driver must have been wondering what was going on. We rushed over to him. Everybody was OK. I guess we took him out with a cab driver, and now we hope to take him out of the NCAAs.:
That scheduled collision is still a couple of days away, but the Hawkeyes' preparations in Iowa City concluded late Wednesday afternoon.
Iowa will travel to Southern California today and practice in Los Angeles on Friday in advance of a matchup between teams that have scrimmaged against each other prior to the start of the last seven seasons.
Bluder said she has known Flanery since she was coaching at Drake and he joined Connie Yori’s staff at Creighton as an assistant in 1992.
Flanery was promoted to the head coaching position when Yori left for Nebraska, and he has led the Bluejays to four NCAA tourney appearances in the past 16 years.
"It’s been kind of unusual. This time of year, you’re typically preparing for somebody you haven’t seen," Bluder said. "A lot of our kids know some of their kids. We’ve recruited a lot of their kids. It’s a different deal."