With this being my first women’s basketball Media Day with Iowa State I wasn’t quite sure what to expect. I can honestly say I was impressed. I did not expect the parking lot to be filled to the brim, or for it to turn into a standing room only by the time head coach Bill Fennelly began his opening statement. I knew it would be busy, but I think the amount of media covering the event is indicative of how far the program has come. Coach Fennelly sure made note of that as he opened up Media Day as well.
“It’s hard to believe this is the 19th time we have done this and we’ve moved up to live TV and cameras and all this stuff,” Fennelly said pointing at the Cyclones.tv set in the corner. “This is really cool.”
With the Media Day blitz underway it’s easy to guess what much of the talk was about. Hallie Christofferson. She is the understood leader of this young Cyclones team and was the player everyone was eager to speak to. However there were a lot more questions fired at Fennelly, so without further ado here are some quick hits for you.
- Starting lineup? Coach Fennelly indicated that nothing is set in stone at this point, but that Christofferson, Brynn Williamson and Nikki Moody should resume their starting roles. The other two spots are up for grabs for “whoever wants it.”
- Cyclone fans can expect to see a lot early on from freshmen Jadda Buckley and Seanna Johnson, with both impressing the coaching staff in preseason workouts.
- Fennelly clearly stated he expects a lot from Moody, putting it simply, “[In our program] the biggest jump is typically between their sophomore and junior year. Do you want to be a good player that plays a lot of minutes or do you want to be special? That’s a decision that she has to make.” Moody has recorded more assists than any Iowa State player in her first two seasons and finished third nationally with 7.4 assists per game.
- Look for a more defensive-minded team this season and a lot of that could be showcased with the play of Moody and Buckley, who both have shown to have some defensive qualities.
- With the loss of post players Chelsea Poppens and Anna Prins the 2013-14 Cyclone team looks to feature four guards.
Coach Fennelly One Liners:
- “I’m a big numbers guy. For you young people in here, you need to Google ‘Watergate,’ because I think we are about 18 ½ minute short to 200.”
- “I joke that we could practice in the library because we are so quiet [on the court].”
- “Hallie will probably score more points than words spoken in four years here.”
Jokes aside, it was clear there was a lot of excitement in the air about this year’s team. Whether it was in regards to the Big 12 being pegged as ‘up for grabs’ this year or because it seems to be a different team than year’s past, only time will tell.
As media day wound down and the clean-up crew arrived I remember thinking two things – that I can’t wait for this season to get started and next year I think we are going to need more chairs.