#39 Iowa State Women's Basketball Preview

Iowa State Cyclones

Overall Rank: #39
Conference Rank: #6 Big-12
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The model of consistency in the Big 12 conference, the Iowa State Cyclone Women’s Basketball program has averaged 22 wins a season under Coach Bill Fennelly’s watch. The crowd support at the Hilton Coliseum is tough to top anywhere in Women’s College Basketball. The 2011-12 edition appears loaded to crank out another 20 plus win season and a trek back to the NCAA Tournament. They are anchored by a very tenacious defense as the Cyclones last year only allowed 55 points per contest.

2010-11: 22-11, 9-7
2010-11 postseason: NCAA
Coach: Bill Fennelly (354-160 at Iowa State, 520-213  overall)

Who’s Out:
Kelsey Bolte was the go-to player last season for Iowa State. She averaged 16.9 points, played almost 36 minutes per contest and was razor sharp from behind the three point line, shooting 42.1 percent.  The Cyclones are going to need to pick up the slack caused by her lost scoring production as the team only averaged just over 65 points per contest offensively.

Who’s In:
Incoming freshman Nichole Moody, ranked by many recruiting services, is a 5-8 guard from Euless, Texas.  She should come in right away and make an immediate impact in the quest to replace Kelsey Bolte and take some pressure off of Lauren Mansfield and help stabilize the backcourt for Iowa State.  

Who to Watch:
Senior Lauren Mansfield’s leadership is going to be crucial in the backcourt as she becomes the Cyclone’s floor general. She averaged just nine points and five assists in 2010-11. Chelsea Poppens, a 6-2 forward who had 24 starts and nearly a double-double average with eight points and seven rebounds, brings plenty of strength and defense down low for the Cyclones   Center Anna Prins also returns and should be in the starting lineup from day one. Sophomore Hallie Christofferson, a 6-3 wing, will be another huge player to watch. Her ability to open the post with her shooting from the outside for Poppens and Prins is going to very important in an attempt to increase the scoring totals for the Cyclones this season.

Final Projection:
The play in the post from 6-7 junior Anna Prins is going to be a wildcard for the Cyclones. She has the height to go after the likes of Brittney Griner of Baylor and Ashley Gayle of Texas but it is going to come down to staying in the starting lineup, staying healthy and just not being intimidated by that caliber of post player.

It’s about the system and the ability to recruit strongly in the Midwest and the Australian pipeline for Iowa State.  That Australian pipeline has produced players such as Alison Lacey and others who have allowed the Cyclone program to always stay highly competitive with the likes of Oklahoma, Texas, Baylor, and defending National Champion Texas A&M. The non-conference schedule will allow Iowa State to gain some traction as it is not overly daunting and should build some nice momentum heading into Big 12 conference play.

Projected Postseason Tournament: NCAA

Projected Starting Five:
Lauren Mansfield, Senior, Guard, 9.5 PPG
Nichole Moody, Freshman, Guard, DNP last season
Chelsea Poppins, Junior, Forward, 8.6 PPG
Hallie Christofferson, Sophomore, Forward, 9.3 PPG
Anna Prins, Junior, Center, 9.9 PPG