“It’s great timing": Iowa HC Jan Jensen optimistic about coaching new roster after departure of Caitlin Clark, Kate Martin and Gabbie Marshall

Iowa Hawkeye head coach Jan Jensen has spoken about Caitlin Clark
Iowa Hawkeye head coach Jan Jensen has spoken about Caitlin Clark's departure (Sources: @IowaWBB (X))

The Iowa Hawkeyes women's basketball team has had an incredible last couple of seasons. This is mostly down to Caitlin Clark, who became one of the most recognizable and accomplished college athletes of all time.

But now Clark is gone, alongside the team's other two stars, Kate Martin and Gabbie Marshall. The program (and women's college basketball as a whole) may never recover.

However, Hawkeyes coach Jan Jensen is putting a positive spin on the team's future. She told The Athletic about one impact that Clark has had on the program, and how her departure may help the team:

"It’s great timing, because now kids in California, they’re definitely watching Iowa and saying, ‘Oh, wow, who’s this team from Iowa? Who’s this player?’ And then they’re seeing how we play,”

The impact that Caitlin Clark had on women's college basketball was felt not only in Iowa but across the country. She is seen as the player who revolutionized the game, making it similar to its male counterpart, leading to increased interest in women's college basketball from people who would never normally pay attention to the sport.

The majority of this attention was directed to the Hawkeyes program solely due to Caitlin Clark. This increased attention not only turned the players into household names but also brought the Hawkeyes program an audience that would have never seen it otherwise.

These factors have impacted recruiting, as Jensen said. More people from outside the Hawkeyes' usual recruiting zone are considering committing to Iowa with the hopes of becoming the next Caitlin Clark. However, Jensen said that their recruiting is not going to change.

"We’ve been able to recruit farther, but we’re certainly not going to abandon a formula that’s worked so well for us,” Jensen said.

Which players have committed to Iowa since the departure of Caitlin Clark?

The Iowa Hawkeyes have had several players commit, with the hopes of being the next Caitlin Clark.

Addie Deal, a guard, could be seen as directly impacted by Clark's success with the Hawkeyes, as she chose Iowa over North Carolina, Oregon, LSU and Stanford. Deal is Iowa's first recuit from California, and with one more season left in high school, she has the potential to become a massive talent.

Another player from a state not normally known for producing Hawkeyes is center Ava Heiden from Oregon. She'll join Iowa in 2024-25. A four-star prospect, Heiden was voted 6A Pacific Conference Player of the Year when she committed to the Iowa program.

Finally, the Hawkeyes have gained a talent from much closer to home. Guard Callie Levin was Miss Iowa Basketball in 2024 after a season in which she averaged 22 points per game. She was also able to lead her high school to its first state championship in history.

Like Heiden, she will be joining the program in 2024 and will be able to take advantage of Caitlin Clark's departure to become a key part of the offense.

Which Iowa Hawkeye recruit do you think will be as strong as Caitlin Clark was?

What could Alabama basketball's 2024-25 starting lineup look like? Find out here

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