June 25, 2024

The 5’9″ guard announced Wednesday she’s transferring from Villanova to Iowa to join a backcourt that’s losing Kate Martin and Division I all-time leading scorer Caitlin Clark.

Olsen is coming off a big junior season. She was third in scoring average (23.3 points) while averaging 4.8 rebounds, 3.8 assists and 1.9 steals per game for the Wildcats.

The Pennsylvania native is familiar with having to fill the shoes of a WNBA-bound star. Her big offensive jump in 2023-24 came after Maddy Siegrist, the NCAA’s leading scorer the year earlier, graduated and moved on to the pros.

Olsen did sacrifice some efficiency while assuming a much larger role in the Villanova offense. She shot just 29.4 percent from beyond the arc and turned the ball over 2.8 times per game.

But Hawkeyes head coach Lisa Bluder probably won’t be leaning on Olsen to maintain the 35.9 percent usage rate she had this year, per Her Hoop Stats.

As much production as Iowa has going out the door, Clark’s departure could allow sophomore forward Hannah Stuelke to shine. Stuelke averaged 14.0 points and 6.6 rebounds in her 35 appearances.

Junior guard Sydney Affolter had double figures in four of the Hawkeyes’ six NCAA tournament games, and she’ll be helping the fill the void left by Clark and Martin.

More than anything, signing Olsen out of the portal marks a strong contrast to last offseason, when Iowa didn’t sign anybody. Bluder and her staff may not be doing targeting immediate improvements to the roster.

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