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Iowa women's basketball star Caitlin Clark named AP preseason first-team All-American


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More preseason love is heading Caitlin Clark's way.

The Iowa women's basketball star was named an Associated Press preseason first-team all-American on Tuesday. It was merely a formality given Clark's clear-cut prowess, but the announcement further emphasizes the lofty expectations on Clark and the Hawkeyes this season.

Clark has also been named the Big Ten preseason player of the year, while Iowa was picked as the preseason Big Ten champ and slotted fourth in the AP preseason rankings. After an exhibition Friday versus Nebraska-Kearney, Iowa opens the regular season Nov. 7 against Southern.

The Hawkeyes return a plethora of talent from a year ago, including all five starters that led the team to the Big Ten Tournament title and a share of the regular-season title. Iowa earned the No. 2 seed in the NCAA Tournament last season after another successful campaign under head coach Lisa Bluder.

More:How Iowa women's basketball has used the Creighton upset to fuel this season's expectations

During her sophomore campaign, Clark led the country in points per game (27.0), assists (8.0), total points (863), free throws made (200), triple-doubles (5), and 30-point games (11). She was named Big Ten player of the year last season.

Dargan Southard is a sports trending reporter and covers Iowa athletics for the Des Moines Register and HawkCentral.com. Email him at msouthard@gannett.com or follow him on Twitter at @Dargan_Southard.