There isn’t an opponent on the schedule, but this isn’t an idle week for the Iowa women’s basketball team.
The Hawkeyes are still getting in some work of a different type as they await an expected selection next Monday as part of the NCAA tournament field, fulfilling one team goal after a two-year absence by putting together a 24-7 season.
But, coach Lisa Bluder’s team is taking a more individual approach to workouts this week.
“During the season, you’re always so busy getting ready for that next game and getting the game plan in for the team so you don’t have a lot of time to concentrate on individual things,’’ Bluder said.
“There are team things you work on – rebounding might be a focus at one time or another for example – but there typically isn’t a lot of time during the season to work one on one with a player on one particular aspect of their game.’’
After a couple of days off following a return from the Big Ten Tournament, the Hawkeyes’ efforts in the gym initially this week includes individual attention designed to help players grow their game.
“It may be just one or two little things that we will have them focus on, but those little things might make a difference in a possession or two in the NCAAs and that could make a difference in a game,’’ Bluder said.
With a 10-player roster that has worked its way to a share of third place in the Big Ten without injured starting point guard Tania Davis on the court, Bluder also wants her team to get some rest before getting ready for its postseason run.
“Everybody has held up really well, but to get some fresh legs under us, that will be good. You look at Megan (Gustafson), she’s taken a pounding in there every game but she’s still been out there for around 30 minutes a game,’’ Bluder said. “Some rest will help us.’’
The Hawkeyes are doing some team-oriented segments in their workouts and later in the week, thoughts will turn to the team.
Bluder expects to give the Hawkeyes the weekend off before resuming normal game-week preparations on Monday, when the field for this year’s NCAA tournament will be unveiled.
Iowa currently has an RPI of 21, behind only Ohio State and Maryland among Big Ten teams and a position that combined with the Hawkeyes’ overall record, strength of schedule and conference finish has Bluder confident in her team receiving an NCAA opportunity.
“We feel like we’re in a good position,’’ she said. “All we can do now is wait and see.’’