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IOWA CITY, Ia. — Iowa women's basketball was already in a bit of an odd spot with two open scholarships for next season. Now, that number has jumped to three.

The Hawkeyes have granted rising sophomore guard Bre Cera a transfer release, the team announced Tuesday. Cera, from Mukwonago, Wis., played in 31 games this year and started 18, but her minutes dwindled as the season wore on. She averaged two points and 2.1 rebounds per game.

"We appreciate the contributions Bre has made to our team on and off the court as a Hawkeye," head coach Lisa Bluder said in a release. "We wish her the best as she pursues a career closer to home."

Playing time would've been hard to come by next year for Cera. Kathleen Doyle, Tania Davis and Makenzie Meyer are all locks for big-time minutes in the backcourt. Alexis Sevillian is no longer a redshirt. And coaches expect a lot from their lone incoming freshman, Davenport North wing Jinaya Houston.

Per NCAA rules, Cera will have to sit out one season at her new school.

In May, assistant coach Jan Jensen told HawkCentral the team was in no rush to fill its two open scholarships.

"We just believe that less is more," she said. "We don’t feel like you just have to take it and fill out a roster just to have the bodies. When we recruited in the fall, we had a small number. And we didn’t have a big need.

"We still have a little time to be able to do (add someone). And, like I said, we’re kind of investigating. But nothing is urgent, and it would only be (urgent) if it does make sense."

At the time, Jensen said that if the Hawkeyes were to add any player, they would look for a forward or center.

If Iowa does hope to fill Cera's scholarship, options are limited this late in the offseason. There are still some graduate transfers and junior college prospects available — but not many.

Iowa begins its summer team workouts this month.

Matthew Bain covers preps, recruiting and the Hawkeyes for the Iowa City Press-Citizen, The Des Moines Register and HawkCentral. Contact him at mbain@gannett.com and follow him on Twitter at @MatthewBain_.

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