Hawkeye seniors Bethany and Samantha
Last week I talked about how Melissa Dixon helped Iowa win 67 games in three years.
This week, I’ll talk about the other two seniors and how their impact helped the Hawkeyes’ success.
Bethany Doolittle was a solid recruit out of Minnesota, but not a lot of Hawkeye fans (like me) knew much about her.
The 6-4 senior was a four-time all-state selection in high school, including a first-team all-state selection as a senior.
Bethany was named Defensive Player of the Year as a senior in her conference and holds her school record in blocked shots for a season (34) and career (348).
When it came to picking the college where Bethany would spend her next four years, her final four were; Wisconsin, Northwestern, Minnesota and Iowa.
“I had a couple of really good visits to Iowa and I loved the coaches,” said Bethany. “The overall environment and the vibes I got made me feel really comfortable. I felt like it was a good fit for me.”
When Bethany was a freshman she played in all 31 games backing up Morgan Johnson. She totaled 116 points for the season and had 19 blocked shots.
“Coming here, Morgan was a great player,” said Bethany. “It was a learning experience in my first year, watching her and learning from her, especially in Game Time. I remember the first time I played her. She played a huge part in helping me transition from high school to college.”
Bethany played the four position in her sophomore season. She started all 34 games, was Academic All Big Ten and averaged 7.2 points per game.
She also had 59 blocked shots for the season.
“Going into college, some of the schools that recruited me said I might be playing the four spot,” said Bethany. “But I didn’t really think so here, since I was a center the first year. I never played anything but center so it was kind of a different feel for me. It helped me get better on my court awareness and get better in my all-around game.”
Bethany moved back to center last year and turned into one of the Big Ten’s best.
She was named second team All-Big Ten, was named to the Big Ten’s All Defensive Team and was Academic All Big Ten while starting all 36 games.
Beth also had 106 blocked shots for the season, the most in a single season in program history. Morgan Johnson held the record with 79.
Bethany is third in Hawkeye history with 184 blocked shots.
“It definitely felt good,” said Bethany about last season. “It was nice to know that I could improve after a couple of years here. I’m still looking to improve and working on my game this summer.”
Samantha Logic came to Iowa as one of the top recruits in the nation.
Sam was a McDonald’s All American, Parade All American, Gatorade Player of the Year in Wisconsin and ranked as the 10th best recruit in America in the 2011 class by ESPNHoopGuriz.
When it came time to choose a college, Samantha knew where she wanted to come to the first time she came to Iowa City.
“I had a gut feeling about Iowa the first time I came here,” said Sam. “Even though they weren’t recruiting me. I liked the team, the coaching staff and it felt like a family here.”
Some of the schools Samantha was looking at included Marquette, DePaul, Kansas and Stanford.
As a freshman, Sam started all 31 games, was unanimous for the Big Ten All Freshman team and made the third team Freshman All American by Full Court Press.
She averaged 9.4 points and led the team in rebounds (7.1) and assists (4.4)
Samantha broke the school freshman record for assists with 136.
Kamille Wahlin was the starting point guard and Jaime Printy was the shooting guard so Samantha started out playing the three.
“After about two-thirds of the season I switched mainly to the one,” said Sam. “Kamille moved to the two, Jaime got hurt and then Dix (Melissa Dixon) was in.”
Samantha said it was an adjustment to play the three since all she ever played was the one, but it worked out well.
“I was just ready to do whatever coach Bluder wanted me to do for my team,” said Sam. “Just to be on the floor as a freshman was a blessing, so I was ready for that.”
As a sophomore, Samantha started every game, was named third team All-Big Ten and set a school record for single-season assists with 217.
She led the Big Ten in assists (6.4) and led the Hawkeyes in steals with 62.
Last year, Sam was unanimous first team All Big Ten, third team All American and surpassed Cara Consuegra as the all-time assists leader with 622.
Cara finished with 576.
Samantha is the first Big Ten Player to record three triple-doubles in a season.
Sam credits her teammates, including Melissa and Bethany, for her record number of assists.
“I played with Melissa in AAU ball for a year and I know her game,” said Samantha. “I’ve had great teammates the entire way. Dixon is just one of those. She gets on one of her streaks and she can get you five or six assists in a couple of minutes. Bethany can run the floor and knock down shots. They make you look pretty good.”
Iowa head coach Lisa Bluder likes what her starting center and point guard bring to the table.
“Bethany and Sam are entering their senior seasons as one of the best inside-outside duos in the Big Ten,” said coach Bluder. “Both have tremendous experience and should be among the best in the conference at their positions. We will count on their leadership and their work ethic to lead us.”
Both Bethany and Samantha are excited about the new recruits.
They will add depth and talent to a team that returns four starters and won 27 games last year.
Can they top that?
With Melissa, Bethany and Samantha leading the way, I think it’s possible.