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November 14, 2013

Bluder's foresight helps land Jennings


Jennings’ size or lack thereof — she stands in at 5-foot-5 — caused some big-time coaches to overlook her. But not Bluder.

“It doesn’t bother me. I don’t think you can have a team of smaller sized players, but with one point guard that doesn’t bother me. It never shied me away from recruiting her at all. We’ve had success with smaller scoring point guards, great success,” she said. “Kamille Wahlin was a player for us with the same kind of stature and she was an All-Big Ten performer. Kristi Smith, another player, she was from Denver, Colo., she was All-Big Ten for us and she was the same type of size as Whitney. And after saying that, I think Whitney is a better scorer than both of those players were. So it doesn’t bother me, but again you can’t be recruiting a whole team of those, but you can certainly have one or two players on the floor that are smaller in size.”

Bluder was happy to land a top player from Indiana and added, “I’m always glad to get great players from out of state because Iowa in the Big Ten, we are one of the least populated states in the Big Ten. So we have to go farther out to get recruits. In fact in this recruiting class we don’t have anyone from Iowa, we have four players from out of state and one from out of the country even. So for us it’s something that we have to do and be able to convince players to go a little bit farther away from home to compete us. But I really believe once the players get here they feel like this is family, and that helps us counter the distance they are having to travel.”

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