IOWA CITY — She will still shoot. She will still slash.
But you won’t see Jaime Printy crashing the offensive glass any more.
“I’m a ‘get-back’ person this year,” she said Wednesday as the University of Iowa women’s basketball team met the media at Carver-Hawkeye Arena.
She’ll get back on defense. Out of the rebounding fray, out of harm’s way.
A senior from Marion, Printy has wrapped up her second stint of rehabilitation on the anterior cruciate ligament of her left knee, torn last February at Wisconsin. The first injury came during her sophomore year at Linn-Mar High School.
“It’s no fun, but it happens,” Printy said. “I think I’ll be ready to go and do whatever the coaches need me to do.”
That, primarily, is to score.
Printy averaged a team-high 16.9 points per game last season. She was on pace to set the school’s all-time scoring record before the mishap in Madison. That probably won’t happen now, but she’s projected to be back in uniform when the Hawkeyes host Northern Illinois in their season opener Nov. 9.
“I can’t tell you if she’ll be 100 percent at that point,” said Iowa Coach Lisa Bluder. ”I can tell you that she’s working as hard as she can to get to that point, and I can tell you that I have 100 percent belief in her when she shoots the ball and that she will help our team reach our goals.”
At the forefront of those goals in to play at Carver in March.
Iowa City is one of 16 first- and second-round sites for the NCAA Tournament. If the Hawkeyes are selected to the 64-team field for the sixth straight year, they’ll host.
“We have that expectation,” said Samantha Logic, a sophomore point guard. “It’s a really great opportunity to stay at home with the potential of playing the first couple games here.”
Iowa was 19-12 last season, finishing in a second-place tie in the Big Ten at 11-5. The Hawkeyes closed the regular season with eight straight wins, then lost in the Big Ten tournament opener (80-68, to Nebraska) and their NCAA tournament first-rounder (84-74, to California).
Bluder was asked Wednesday to project a starting lineup.
“I think you can tell that (senior post) Morgan (Johnson) and Sam are going to be starting for us,” she said.
“The 2, 3 and 4 are a little bit up in the air, although I’m feeling very good about Bethany (Doolittle) at the 4, but the 2 and 3 are really up in the air. I have Theairra (Taylor), I have Trisha (Nesbitt), I have Jaime (Printy), I have Melissa (Dixon), Kali Peschel.
“I have a lot to choose from. Isn’t that a great problem for me?”
Printy will wear a brace through her entire senior season. She went without on Wednesday though, exposing a scar as a reminder of what she’s been through.
During surgery, part of her right hamstring was removed and placed where the torn ligament had been.
“I’m doing really well. The past couple weeks, I’ve started full-court scrimmaging,” Printy said. “I’m doing almost all of the three-hour practices, but sometimes I have to be smart and rest my knee.”
Printy is out of the mix now for offensive rebounds, but she has the green light to shoot from outside. And to drive to the basket.
“Some things have been taken away from her, and (driving to the basket) won’t be one of them,” Bluder said. “We still want her to attack the basket and get to the free throw line.”
Before she could run again, Printy could shoot. And she did.
“The shot’s still there,” she said. “It’s still good.”
2012-13 IOWA WOMEN’S BASKETBALL, AT A GLANCE
Last season: 19-12 overall with an NCAA bid (lost first round to California, 84-74)
Big Ten finish: 11-5, tied for 2nd
Key departures: Kamille Wahlin, Kelly Krei
Key returners: C Morgan Johnson, G Samantha Logic, G Jaime Printy, G Melissa Dixon, C/F Bethany Doolittle, G Theairra Taylor
Key newcomers: G Kali Peschel, F Kayla Timmerman, G Kathy Thomas, G Claire Till, C Nicole Smith
First game: Northern Illinois (first round WNIT), noon, Nov. 9
First Big Ten game: Ohio State, Jan. 3
Key home games: Iowa State, Dec. 6; Ohio State, Jan. 3; Purdue, Jan. 20; Nebraska, Feb. 11; Penn State, Feb. 14