Jennings is used to playing in front of large crowds for the Berries and that will continue next year for the Hawkeyes.
“Last year we were the 19th best attendance team in the United States. We average about 5,000 people at a game. We think that’s good but we also want to do better,” Bluder said. “So we’re striving to continue to grow that and we have great administrator support. Last year we were one of the 16 sites to host the NCAA first and second round and we’re doing that again this year. That’s based a lot on your fan support and it’s also based on your administrative support and quality of your program. We’re proud of that, and we’re excited about hosting again this year.”
Another recruiting advantage for Bluder is the Big Ten Network.
“For example this year we have eight games on the network but then every game other than that you can subscribe to it on the computer,” she said. “So when you have players that come from a little farther away, their parents can still see them play virtually every game.”
There could be a spike of online subscribers to the Big Ten Network in the Logansport area next year considering the large crowds she helps draw in town.
“She’s an exciting player,” Bluder said. “It’s almost like when she has the ball in her hands, don’t blink because something’s going to happen.”
The Hawkeyes are off to a 3-0 start to the season which includes a win over No. 14-ranked Dayton on Sunday.
Bluder said both the present and future are bright for the Hawks.
“Next year when Whitney comes in we’re only going to lose one senior. This year we lost three seniors, two that were starters for us, but I think we have all the components to have a really good basketball team again,” she said. “We’re off to a 2-0 start including beating Dayton, ranked No. 14 in the country last week. So that was a good win for us especially this early in the year. But we’re a team that we’re up-tempo, we score a lot of points, we play an exciting style. I think that’s why fans enjoy watching our team is not only do we have a fun style but they enjoy getting to know the players personally because we have great kids on our team.”
Bluder is not sure how the lineup will shape up next season but said Jennings will play as a freshman.
“It is a ways away. We don’t make those kinds of decisions until next fall when we need to. But I can assure you that she’s going to see plenty of playing time as a freshman,” she said.