Last season Iowa State a health scare for coach Bill Fennelly and a 0-5 start in Big 12 play. The Cyclones rallied to finish 9-9 in the league and earn an NCAA Tournament bid. That's pretty much standard operating procedure for Iowa State under Fennelly; the Cyclones have made the NCAA field 13 out of the last 16 seasons. This season the Cyclones have a talented and veteran front line and will have to rely on a young backcourt.
Coach: Bill Fennelly, 18th season at Iowa State, 372-173.
Last season: 18-13 overall, 9-9 in Big 12, tie 4th.
NCAA Tournament: Lost first round.
Senior forward Chelsea Poppens (14.2 ppg, 10.6 rpg), junior forward Hallie Christopherson (10.2 ppg, 6 rpg), senior center Anna Prins (7.9 ppg, 4.4 rpg), sophomore guard Nikki Moody (10 ppg), sophomore guard/forward Brynn Williamson, freshman guard Nicole "Kidd" Blaskowsky, freshman guard Emiah Bingley.
Coach Fennelly says
"I think the biggest thing for our team ... if our guards can just know what color jersey to throw it to, defend a little bit, they can play with Chelsea and Anna and Hallie Christofferson. We have some inside kids that are experienced. But it's one thing to have really good players. But when you have good players that are post players, someone's got to give them the ball. ... You'll see a lot of times where we'll have a sophomore and two freshmen in the back court, and that's not an easy remedy for success in this league, but that's part of who we are."
Senior Chelsea Poppens has 999 career points. Teammates Anna Prins (781 points), Hallie Christofferson (623) could also crack the 1,000-point barrier this season. ... Poppens was a unanimous all-Big 12 selection, averaging 14.2 points and 10.6 rebounds - the only Big 12 player to average a double-double. She was second in the Big 12 with 14 double-doubles and ranked 13th nationally in rebounding. ... The Cyclones ranked sixth in the 10-team Big 12 with a 31.8 shooting percentage on 3-pointers. ... The Big 12 has led the nation in women's basketball attendance each of the last 13 seasons and Iowa State topped the Conference in attendance last season, averaging 9,805 per home game.
Nov. 11 Western Illinois
Top nonconference games
Dec. 6 at Iowa
Dec. 17 at Northern Iowa
Big 12 opener
Jan. 2 Texas