Iowa women's basketball coach Lisa Bluder spent a majority of her weekly news conference Tuesday doing what she has done countless times over the past several months: praising her quartet of seniors.
She spoke at length about seniors Bethany Doolittle, Melissa Dixon, Samantha Logic and Kathryn Reynolds.
She highlighted individual attributes, recited records and spoke glowingly about each players' importance to the team, which this season is arguably one of the best women's teams in school history.
The highly-touted group of Dixon, Doolittle, Logic and Reynolds came to Iowa in the fall of 2011.
Highlighted by Logic, Iowa's foursome was touted as the 11th best recruiting class in the nation. What the group has accomplished on the court at Iowa outweighs anything Bluder ever could have imagined.
Entering Sunday's regular season finale vs. Minnesota, Iowa has a combined 89-40 record during the seniors' time in Iowa City.
Iowa has increased its win total each of the group's first three seasons and matched the mark for second-most wins in program history with 27 last season.
At 22-6 and currently ranked No. 17 in the nation, Iowa has a chance to surpass last year's win total beginning with Sunday's Senior Day meeting with Gophers.
"It goes by so fast," Dixon said. "When you are a freshman, you have the seniors telling you it is going to go by fast, and I don't think you really believe it until you are here and you're like, 'These last four years have absolutely flown by.' "
But there's no secret to the group's lasting on-court success, Doolittle said.
It started off the court, where the seniors formed a bond almost immediately.
"I would definitely like to think that we have made an impact here on the court, but I think the biggest thing for us is how close we are as a class, which I think translates into the rest of the team chemistry," Doolittle said. "I think that is kind of the legacy that we would like to leave behind is teams with good chemistry. You can see it on the court. I think the fact that we all love each other, the fact that everybody on this team loves each other, is a huge sign that this team works together well on and off the court, and I think that is really special."
Members of the group have excelled individually, but thrived together.
Doolittle, Dixon and Logic each have scored more than 1,000 points during their Hawkeye careers.
Logic will leave as Iowa's all-time assist leader — she has 840 and counting.
Dixon is the Hawkeyes' career leader in 3-point field goals (311), Doolittle is second on the all-time blocked shot chart (251).
"I just can't say enough about those three," Reynolds said. "The fact that those three names are going to be in the record for all of time is just the coolest thing."
The least accomplished of the four seniors on the court, Reynolds is perhaps the most respected off of it.
The Cincinnati native was named a Big Ten Distinguished Scholar and nominated for the Women's Basketball Coaches Association Allstate good works team as a junior.
She completed her undergraduate degree in three years and began her first year of law school this fall and was voted a co-captain this year despite playing fewer than 230 minutes during her career. She sat out the entire 2012-13 season after suffering an ACL injury during the off-season after her freshman year.
Doolittle says Reynolds is what every student-athlete should be. Dixon called her one of best leaders she's ever seen. Logic said she can't imagine playing a game without her.
"We'll never disregard her in any way, shape or form or downplay her role on this team," Logic said. "She is so essential to us."
Logic, as a McDonald's All-American coming out of J.I. Case High School in Racine, Wis., was the marquee name in the recruiting class four years ago.
Known for her energy and toughness, Logic has become the face of the program.
An All-American selection appearing on lists for national awards such as the Naismith Trophy and Nancy Liebermann Award is not what Logic will about her days at Iowa.
"People get wrapped up in stats and wins and just all kind of those tangible things, and I'll just remember the intangibles — how much fun we had playing together and how much passion we had for the game and how much we want to win for each other," Logic said. "It's not how many wins you get or how many assists or how many rebounds or anything like that, just how you played the game, how you played with your team, how you were on and off the court. I think that will be something better to remember."
The Hawkeyes have gone 44-23 in Big Ten play during the seniors' tenure and have reached the NCAA tournament all three years.
The team is a virtual lock to appear in the tournament again this season and is in line to possibly host first- and second-round games for the third straight season.
Hosting NCAA tournament games would allow Iowa fans another chance to see this year's group of seniors play in a building where they have gone 54-12 in their four seasons.
"We want to make it to the Sweet 16," Dixon said. "That's always been the goal and especially now."
What was most impressive about Bluder dishing out accolades for the seniors Tuesday was that she did it without shedding a single tear.
The long-time Iowa coach is already resigned to the fact there will be plenty of that when Iowa honors its four seniors on Sunday during its regular season finale against Minnesota at 2 p.m. at Carver-Hawkeye Arena.
"After the game, we will give those four seniors the opportunity to speak and talk about their feelings about being an Iowa Hawkeye, and I think it's going to be tough to have a dry eye for myself, my staff and the rest of the team during that time," Bluder said. "We are looking forward to sending them out on a good note. They deserve it."
MINNESOTA AT IOWA
- When: 2 p.m. Sunday.
- Where: Carver-Hawkeye Arena.
- TV/radio: BTN; KXIC 800-AM.
MEET THE SENIORS
- Height: 5-foot-9
- Position: Point Guard
- Hometown: Racine, Wis.
- Highlights: Holds school-record for assists in a game (14), season (269) and career (840) and ranks third all-time in the Big Ten for career assists. Currently ranks 11th all-time at Iowa with 1,456 career points.
- Height: 6-foot-4
- Position: Center
- Hometown: Oakdale, Minn.
- Highlights: Has the school-record for blocked shots in a season (106) and is second on the career list for blocks with 251. Has scored 1,257 career points.
- Height: 5-foot-8
- Position: Guard
- Hometown: Johnsburg, Ill.
- Highlights: Top 3-pointer shooter in school history has the program record for 3-pointers in a game (10), season (101) and career (311) and is currently third in Big Ten history in career 3-pointers. Has scored 1,387 career points.
- Height: 5-foot-7
- Position: Guard
- Hometown: Cincinnati, Ohio
- Highlights: Two-time academic All-Big Ten Honoree and two time Big Ten Distinguished Scholar. Completed undergraduate degree in three years and is a first year law student.