Slowly, Iowa's Bluder joining Twitterverse
Iowa coach using it more as a tool to keep tabs on potential recruits than to post about herself
IOWA CITY -- She hasn't tweeted, and she follows precious few.
But Iowa women's basketball coach Lisa Bluder is now part of Twitter Nation.
"(Assistant) coach (Jan) Jensen has kind of made it a mission to get me to become better on Twitter," Bluder said of the social-media forum. "I have my account set up, and that's as far as I've gotten."
Bluder opened her account (@LisaBluder) in late October. Though 10 her players and two assistants are active on it, Bluder is dragging her feet somewhat.
"I haven't sent one Tweet yet," she said at Wednesday's press conference. "So I got the first steps and now I've got to get motivated on that. I'm better at Facebook; I'm much better at that because I'm more familiar with it now.
"I don't even know the process on how to Tweet yet, but I'm going to learn, so keep the faith."
Bluder said her staff uses Twitter to keep an eye on potential recruits, as a tool to learn about their character.
"I think employers are using it as a tool. We certainly have to use it as a tool," she said. "You're looking at Facebook and seeing a kid posting things that are questionable in your mind, it raises a red flag that you need to explore.
"Even just if they are down all the time and not positive and excited, and then obviously the social part of their life, too. So, yes, it's something that we are evaluating."
Bluder has no rules on Twitter for her players, other than common sense.
"Just make sure that any time you put something out there, you know Mom and Dad are looking, Coach Bluder's looking, and any small child in this state could be watching, so make sure it's appropriate," she said.
As of Wednesday afternoon, Bluder was following eight people on Twitter and was being followed by 48.
DIXON CONTENT COMING OFF BENCH
A starter in the first three games of the season, Melissa Dixon has treated her role as a reserve as anything but a demotion.
"My role is to bring a spark off the bench," Dixon said. "I'm here to keep everybody's energy up."
Dixon was a starter early this season, before Jaime Printy reclaimed her spot. Printy tore an ACL last February and quickly worked her way back into the lineup.
A sophomore guard, Dixon is averaging 8.5 points per game. She scored 15 in a win over No. 12 Purdue on Sunday.
"Melissa embraces her role," Bluder said. "To accept coming off the bench, we needed that. She handled it beautifully. She stayed positive and has a joy about her."
Not yet at the midpoint of the Big Ten season, and the Hawkeyes will have faced Wisconsin and Michigan twice by the end of the week.
"It's a weird quirk," Bluder said. "The one thing is it makes it easier on scouting; you don't have as many games to watch.
But I think also for the players, it's so close in their minds, they will remember the types of offenses and defenses they run a little bit easier."
Iowa (14-5 overall, 3-2 Big Ten) hosts Wisconsin on Thursday, then travels to Michigan for a Sunday game.
WISCONSIN (9-10, 1-5) at IOWA (14-5, 3-2)
Where: Carver-Hawkeye Arena
Tipoff: 7 p.m. Thursday
Radio: WMT-AM (600), KXIC-AM (800), WHO-AM (1040)
Notes: The Hawkeyes have won 11 straight games against Wisconsin, including a 65-56 win at Madison on Jan. 10. Iowa trailed by two points at halftime, then racked up 43 points in the second half to pull away. Wisconsin's leading scorer is Morgan Paige, a Marion native. Five Hawkeyes are averaging in double figures in Big Ten play. Morgan Johnson is the season leader at 16.9 points per game. The first 750 fans in the arena will receive a Johnson bobblehead.