West Michigan’s 5-foot-7 transfer could see minutes at both point guard and shooting guard for the Hawkeyes.
The word around Molly Davis at the Carver-Hawkeye Arena during a women’s basketball availability session in Iowa on July 29 was experience.
Davis, of Midland, Michigan, moved from Central Michigan to Iowa this summer after three years in the Chippewa backcourt.
The 5-foot-7 guard has two more seasons of college tuition and will likely serve as Caitlin Clark’s backup to point guard this year, while also battling for minutes in the shooting guard spot.
Last season, Davis was a second-team All-MAC honorary, leading Central Michigan with 18.6 points per game. She scored double figures in 20 of her 24 appearances, averaging nearly 36 minutes per game.
As a sophomore, Davis earned nearly 21 points per game, starting and scoring more than 10 points in all 27 games. The first team roster for all conferences led the league, ranking 13th nationally with 76 three-pointers made.
Iowa head coach Lisa Bluder said Davis will not only play the role of backup point guard, but will also compete for off-guard time.
“To bring in that experience, I mean she has three years of Division I experience,” Bluder said. “…We love to have that depth in that point guard position. We didn’t have it last year – that was the one area we didn’t have. With the transfer portal, we managed that.”
When Central Michigan faced Iowa in the opening round of the 2021 NCAA tournament, Davis scored 18 points, six rebounds and three assists in 39 minutes of action.
Though Davis knows she’ll play a smaller role at Iowa than in Central Michigan, she’s focused on taking advantage of her chances to see the court.
“My goal is to take every opportunity I get,” Davis said. “Make sure I’m prepared. Coach Bluder reached out and said they needed a backup point guard to play for a few minutes. That’s what I was told my role was, but at the end of the day, just be ready for any chance.”
Clark, who played 35.9 minutes per game a year ago, told media that Davis’s collegiate experience is evident even after just a few summer practice sessions.
“I think she did a really good job,” Clark said of Davis. “You can really tell she’s been at university for a few years, she knows the game a bit better. The transition from high school to college is a bit more difficult, the physicality is very different. Obviously there’s still going to be that transition to the Big Ten, but it can’t really be [replicate] that until you’re in a real live game.”
RELATED: The Daily Iowan unanimously names Caitlin Clark 2021-22 Female Athlete of the Year
Clark believes Davis’ willingness to help the program in any way she can makes her a valuable asset to the Hawkeyes’ roster.
“She just wants to learn, she wants to contribute,” Clark said. “She’s going to do everything she can to get on the floor and give to this team. Those are the kind of players we like to have in our program, so I think she’s a perfect fit for her.”
Iowa will begin the 2022-23 season at home to Southern University on November 7.