116 3rd St SE
Cedar Rapids, Iowa 52401
IOWA CITY — Hannah Stuelke is making the most of her playing time.
And, Iowa Coach Lisa Bluder said, the freshman is earning more of it.
“We need to get Hannah more minutes,” Bluder said at a press conference Monday. “We’re trying to be creative, have her back up both the 4 and the 5.”
The Cedar Rapids native — and Miss Iowa Basketball 2022 — is averaging 8.4 points and 5.6 rebounds per game. She has played 68 minutes in five games.
Prorate her numbers, and she is averaging 24.5 points and 16.4 rebounds per 40 minutes. That rate ranks her third in points per minute among the Hawkeyes, and first in rebounds per minute.
Bluder probably wouldn’t subtract minutes from Monika Czinano in the paint to accommodate Stuelke. Same with McKenna Warnock at the “4.”
There’s another option.
“We might need to move McKenna to the ‘3’ sometimes, and she can do that,” Bluder said.
No. 9 Iowa (4-1) heads west this week for the Phil Knight Legacy tournament. They’ll face Oregon State (4-0) in a first-round game Friday at 7:30 p.m. (Iowa time) at the Chiles Center in Portland, Ore.
“Our opponent is very, very good,” Bluder said. “(Oregon State Coach) Scott (Rueck) was my assistant at the Pan-Am games, and he game-plans very well.
“They haven’t been tested like we have. I think we can be up-tempo with them.”
The Beavers are intriguing because of their size. Jelena Mitrovic, a 6-foot-9 sophomore, considered the Hawkeyes before choosing Oregon State.
You don’t face that every day.
“(Assistant Coach) Jan (Jensen) was looking for a footstool (at practice) so they would have to shoot over the top,” Bluder said.
Mitrovic averages 8.5 points, 8.8 rebounds and 2.5 blocks per game. A 6-2 freshman, Raegan Beers posts 17.0 points and 8.8 boards per game and shoots 68 percent from the floor.
That duo will provide a test for Czinano (19.2 ppg, 7.0 rpg, .684 FG%).
“(Oregon State is) definitely an NCAA team. There’s a reason they’re at this tournament,” Warnock said.
No. 3 Connecticut (3-0) faces Duke (5-0) in the other semifinal game. The championship and third-place games are Sunday.
The requisites for invitation to this event are, according to Bluder, “You’ve got to be a Nike school, a highly ranked Nike school.”
Iowa fits both criteria, especially with the star power of Caitlin Clark.
Bluder said the Hawkeyes already are penciled into the Florida Gulf Coast tournament next year.
“I try to schedule the best competition that I can beat. That changes from year to year,” she said.