June 19, 2024

Two words: Lucy Olsen.

The recent Villanova transfer will be an excellent replacement for the departing Caitlin Clark in terms of her ability to shoot from wherever on the court. While she may not have Clark’s playmaking talents to get her teammates engaged, she compensates with her defence.

Olsen’s 23.3 points per game ranks her third nationally, after only Clark and USC’s JuJu Watkins, and her stats have grown significantly in each season of her stay with the Wildcats. I believe this will continue with Iowa’s guard-friendly design.

It’s not only Olsen, though; Iowa will return two starters from last year’s roster, forward Hannah Stuelke and guard Sydney Affolter, who improved significantly on the court during their first season playing important minutes for the Hawkeyes.

Affolter averaged 12.6 points and 6.7 rebounds in Iowa’s postseason run. Stuelke has demonstrated her ability to guard top-tier post-talents such as Angel Reese and Aaliyah Edwards while playing centre. Losing guards Kate Martin and Gabbie Marshall will be a significant setback to the Hawkeyes, as they have played an important role in the program’s identity over the last four years. However, fellow guard Kylie Feuerbach emerged as a strong backup to Martin and Marshall, and he was one of the Hawkeyes’ most underappreciated perimeter defenders in the last stretch of the regular season.

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