NORTH LIBERTY — If you think the Iowa women’s basketball team is in dire straits after the graduation of All-American point guard Samantha Logic you should have been at the Game Time League Wednesday night.
Granted the GTL is a summer league where the shot clock is never needed, the defense rests and fouls are just suggestions.
But sophomore-to-be Whitney Jennings put on a show that should put some minds at ease. With both sets of grandparents in the crowd, having driven from Indiana, Jennings scored 43 points, including making 7-of-11 3-point shots, as her team won, 103-100.
Jennings overcame a severe bout of homesickness as a freshman, started 31 of 34 games, averaging 31 minutes per game, and became a key contributor as the two guard and as Logic’s backup at the point.
She looks more confident and comfortable heading into this season.
“I’m playing with confidence. I played with a lot of confidence in high school,” she said. “Having a year in me I know what to expect. Last year I didn’t know. I did a lot of learning last year, and I feel like I know our system pretty well now.”
Clearly a year of watching Logic go about her business has added to that learning curve.
“One thing about Sam is she has so much confidence in her teammates that they were going to hit every shot, that they were going to make the right decision,” Jennings said. “The biggest thing she did as a point guard is she made everyone around her so much better because she believed in them. So the biggest thing I got from Sam is the kind of leader she was on the court, and we’re going to need that going forward this year without her.”
People forget that this is a player with skills. She wasn’t Indiana Miss Basketball for nothing. She can score, but her ball-handling wizardry sets her apart. She has a deceptively quick first step and even drove around super quick freshman guard Tania Davis last night. She can create her own shot even with Davis guarding her.
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Jennings thinks Iowa will use both point guards at times. However, Jennings will be asked to score.