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Iowa senior earns spot on preseason all-Big Ten squad

October 27, 2012
By TIMES-REPUBLICAN STAFF ( , Times-Republican

CHICAGO - The Big Ten Conference announced its annual preseason women's basketball teams Thursday at the Big Ten Conference Media Days. And Iowa center Morgan Johnson has been recognized by the league's coaches.

She was joined on the coaches' team by Minnesota's Rachel Banham, Nebraska's Jordan Hooper, Ohio State's Tayler Hill, Purdue's Courtney Moses and Penn State's Alex Bentley and Maggie Lucas. The preseason all-Big Ten team voted by the media consisted of Hill, Bentley, Lucas, Hooper and Moore.

The media's pick for Player of the Year was Hill, while Hill and Bentley were named co-Players of the Year by the league's coaches.

Johnson was a second team all-Big Ten selection last year in her junior season. The 6-foot-5 center averaged 15 points, 6.6 rebounds and 2.3 blocks per game. She led the Big Ten and ranked seventh nationally in field goal percentage (54.9) and also ranked second in the Big Ten and 26th in the country in blocks per game.

"I am thrilled that Morgan is returning," Iowa head coach Lisa Bluder said. "She's going to have a great senior year. I'm thrilled that she's been voted on the preseason sll-Big Ten team because it's deservedly so."

It is the third time the Hawkeyes have had a preseason selection on the all-Big Ten team. Guard Jaime Printy earned that distinction last year, while Kachine Alexander was on the squad in 2010.

Printy likely would have made it again if not for tearing her ACL in February last year. Bluder said Printy is recovering well and almost doing every drill at 100 percent in practice.

"She's doing very well," Bluder said. "Jaime, as you know, suffered an ACL tear the beginning of February, so kind of late in the year last year, but she's had a successful surgery, a great summer of rehabbing, and she is doing almost everything in practice at this time. Not completely 100 percent with everything in practice but just about."

Penn State and Nebraska were both selected as the top team picks to win the Big Ten title this season by the media and the coaches. Purdue is the coaches' pick for third, while the media went with Ohio State.

"One and two are really solid in our league," Bluder said. "There are a bunch of us that could be three through six, and we could definitely be in the mix of that discussion. But again, doesn't matter, and I always kind of like to throw that back into my players' face, too."

Johnson and the Hawkeyes host Quincy in an exhibition game Nov. 4 at 3:30 p.m.



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