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    Twister Sister Summary - ISU wins very ugly game

    Well here I am back in the saddle again. What a weekend. Sitting on the 45 yard line Friday night to watch the football team upend OSU was like lighting the fuse on dynamite. Incredible tailgate that started about noon on Friday and went into the wee hours of the morning Saturday. Got to watch the Cyclone men take care of business in a not too pretty manner today at noon and then tonight it was our twister sisters in action. Well at times I'm not sure action would quite describe what I saw.

    Northern Arizona was a pretty salty ball club who came in 2-2 and has a couple of ladies who were capable of lighting up the scoreboard. Their leading scorer was averaging almost 60% from beyond the arc. That is a scary stat! The sisters started off rather slowly on the offensive end and NAU swished in the first three of the night to take a quick 3-0 lead. Our ladies slowly scrapped back and with about 14 minutes left the score was close with ISU holding a 12-10 lead.

    The hallmark of this team so far this season has been it's pressure defense. Coach Fennelly tossed in a full court press early in the game to jump start the offense and it worked. It clearly frustrated NAU and a couple of turnovers led to points for ISU. The defense really clamped down and NAU would go more than 10 minutes without scoring. By the time they would score again our ladies had slowly but surely separated themselves to hold a 30-14 halftime lead. Don't get too excited about that. The defense was great, but the offense was horrible. There were too many turnovers. Too many missed bunnies. The lid was on the 3 point basket all night long. Just to give you and idea how bad it was…our ladies were a combined 3-17 from beyond the arc. After 2 early shots by Williamson it was utter futility throughout the half.

    The one shining star throughout the night as Pop. I am so impressed with how she has developed into a real force on the court. She has always shown real grit but their is something about her level of determination this year. She seems to be everywhere at once. She is a major physical presence on the court and other teams should rightfully fear her. She tore town 11 boards tonight in 23 minutes of play. She has learned to take an inlet pass and not dribble before shooting which shows itself in a much higher percentage of made shots (going 7-9 tonight). Perhaps the biggest improvement is her free throw shooting. Gone are the experimental one handed shots we saw last year. Instead she looks like she is an old pro at it. She finally missed her first free throw of the year tonight while making 4 of 5 attempts. She is so close to being a complete player that no one thought she could be coming out of high school. Then again, perhaps Coach F. is just crazy like a fox when it comes to her.

    We got to see the upside and downside of the freshman phenom Miss Moody. As her name would suggest her play was up and down tonight. The upside was how she dished out 9 assists to only 3 turnovers. A 3-1 ratio is excellent. Yet there were times she was out of control as she committed a couple of fouls on the offensive end of the floor. She would be driving and dishing and just run over someone. Add to the plus side 3 steals and then counter it with very average 2 for 5 shooting and you get the picture. When she is on the court the sisters' game is elevated to a higher level and speed. As her game is refined I firmly believe that we will have one of the finest point guards in the conference.

    Big C also had an up and down game. Her shooting from deep was a bit off and she missed a few in close, but managed to score 16 for her efforts. Her long arms contributed a couple of blocks on the defensive end and she pulled in her usual basket full of rebounds. If she can clean up her outside shot she too could be a deadly piece of this team.

    What you can observe watching this team is that Coach Fennelly is developing depth to his bench. He obviously (and rightfully so from early appearances) thinks his freshman class is something special. Moody, Williamson, Mays and Ellis are all getting regular minutes. Ellis is someone to keep an eye on. She may not be the tallest on the court, but she adds another very real physical presence. She hits the boards hard, drives well and has great upside. In 10 minutes she had 5 points and 5 boards. I like that.

    Harris, Cole and Loz are getting the bulk of the guard play (beyond Moody). What I see so far is Loz showing the most confidence, but not having found her range yet this year. She's 1-10 from beyond the arc so far. Still handles the ball well. Harris seems to be lacking some confidence but has grown from last year. Needs to feel like she can make it every time she gets the ball. Cole hasn't changed much. When she is playing point our team really slows down and I see way too much dribbling and a short shot clock before things start to happen. Nerve wracking.

    We have some real stoppers and scrappers on this team and one is Jess. I like her defensive presence. She is a stopper and hustles after loose balls. She also seems to have a similar attitude as Pop. She is aggressive and fun to watch. She has shown she can score when needed and I hope this becomes a stronger threat as time goes on.

    Here is the real downside of this one game. When the starters left the floor this team just ground to a halt offensively. The game had been flown open with ISU holding a 30+ point margin and then it all stopped. This was probably the most painful basketball I've seen in a long time. The ladies went through a period of time (5-6 minutes) where we didn't score a point. We missed shots. We turned the ball over again and again in foolish fashion. These turnovers led to NAU points. The final score of 65-41 was much closer than the actual game. Coach Fennelly finally got frustrated enough he swapped the entire lineup and put the starters back in. I think this frustration was not only with his players but also with the officials. They were letting too much happen, made numerous crappy calls, and it appeared control of the game was getting out of hand. The starters promptly scored the last few points of the game and then returned to the bench after restoring order. There are several possible causes to what we saw tonight. Part of the blame might fall on the players not being familiar enough with each other. There was not continuity on the court. It also appeared some of the mistakes occurred because we were tired. In any case, this needs to be cleared up in a hurry.

    One side note - I'm not sure what is happening with Zimm. I'm assuming she is still having problems with her foot. She only saw the court for 3 minutes tonight and was largely unnoticed.

    Second side note - Prins was still in street clothes tonight. I'm worried about the time she is missing and the cohesion being created without her. Yet, we can definitely use her on the court.

    Eye openers - the team was a combined 6 of 30 from beyond the arc. Ugh. Remember the Commodores hit song "Brick House?" This was exactly that. 20 turnovers. Major ouch there. Free throw shooting. 72 percent is too low. If we want to win big games we need to be shooting in the mid-80's.

    What's next? Just Penn State in a tournament in Reno. Pregame show starts at about 5:30 our time (PM) on Friday. Penn State is ranked 11th in one poll and 12th in the other. Huge test. Am just glad its on a neutral court. Its been interesting to see this 3-1 team having played three close games. Nothing impressive in their resume yet. Elena Delle Donne threw in 40 points for Delaware in PSU's lone loss. I'm hoping we get Miss Prins back for this one. I'm anxious to see how our youth mixed with veterans react to playing a really good team.



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    Re: Twister Sister Summary - ISU wins very ugly game

    Quote Originally Posted by acoustimac View Post
    Eye openers - the team was a combined 6 of 30 from beyond the arc. Ugh. Remember the Commodores hit song "Brick House?" This was exactly that. 20 turnovers. Major ouch there. Free throw shooting. 72 percent is too low. If we want to win big games we need to be shooting in the mid-80's.
    Are you serious? I couldn't remember the last time a Big 12 team averaged FT's in the 80's so I looked. Here are the leading team's % for all of the years the stats are posted on the Big 12 site. Keep in mind this is just for the best FT shooting team each year.

    10-11 76.9%
    09-10 76.1
    08-09 73.2
    07-08 75.4
    06-07 79.0
    05-06 74.0
    04-05 75.0
    03-04 75.8
    02-03 75.4

    Not a single team has even averaged 80% say nothing about mid 80's. Let's set some realistic expectations.


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    Re: Twister Sister Summary - ISU wins very ugly game

    I'll rephrase my intent about free throws...if they don't hit at or near 80% they will lose games because they aren't hitting the outside shot right now. Free throws will be their savior or curse. It is also critical to hit free throws at the right time. So far our point guards are missing 1-1 front ends and are using them to close out games.



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    Re: Twister Sister Summary - ISU wins very ugly game

    Quote Originally Posted by acoustimac View Post
    I'll rephrase my intent about free throws...if they don't hit at or near 80% they will lose games because they aren't hitting the outside shot right now. Free throws will be their savior or curse. It is also critical to hit free throws at the right time. So far our point guards are missing 1-1 front ends and are using them to close out games.
    You do a great analysis overall. But citing FT shooting is probably a stretch. In fact, here is the FT stat excluding Cole and Arganbright: 12-15 or 80%. The latter two shot FTs when it did not matter.



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    Re: Twister Sister Summary - ISU wins very ugly game

    Quote Originally Posted by cydney View Post
    You do a great analysis overall. But citing FT shooting is probably a stretch. In fact, here is the FT stat excluding Cole and Arganbright: 12-15 or 80%. The latter two shot FTs when it did not matter.
    Thanks. If you look back at the statistics of the more successful teams we've had you'll see that there were at least two people who hit a very high percentage. These were also the same people who drew the greatest number of fouls. Last year it was Bolte (nearly 89%) and Big C at 83%. The shooter that hurt the worst was Pop at 65%. Obviously that has changed for the better this year and she will be the woman who gets to the line the most. In 09-10 the people who stepped up were Aus who shot 88%. When she was gone you could see the impact (and we lost nearly every game she didn't play in) as Pop shot only 63% and jess 71%. Bolte hit a high percentage but didn't go to the line nearly as much (she was a perimeter only player). In 08-09 we had three high percentage shooters with The Big EZ (81%), Aus (86%), and Niz (79%). The results showed in their record and run into the tournament. 06-07 is another prime example. You had Medders (78%), Weiben (79%), Ross (79%), and Aus (82%) on that 26-9 team.

    A hallmark of ISU being successful is having high percentage free throw shooters in the starting five. This year those who are going to get fouled the most (Pop, Big C, Jess, and perhaps Moody) need to be those 80+% free throw shooters. Having two is good. Having three is going to be the difference between and NCAA appearance and moving into the tournament.



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    Re: Twister Sister Summary - ISU wins very ugly game

    One more tidbit. I don't think this can be found anywhere, but I'm sure the coaches track it. What is the free throw shooting like down the stretch run? We've seen great shooters like Aus, Bolte, and Medders that you knew would be nearly 100% during the clutch moments of the game. That would be an interesting stat to see.



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    Re: Twister Sister Summary - ISU wins very ugly game

    Thanks for the recap. BF's presser was a real downer. I know it means a lot to wear the ISU uniform, but personally, I don't think as he hinted that our youth are the problem. Where was Loz, Harris and Cole at last night?

    I know BF gets POed at Moody's turnovers in the lane, out of control, etc, but her creation of drive and dish, and in the lane baskets, and assists more than compensate.

    As accoustimatic stated, 9 assists and 3 to 1 TO ratio, and her TOs were dead ball fouls. And her length and quickness is apparent on defense too. I will say that I think our freshman are still "learning" our match up zone defense, which I have never been a big fan of anyway.



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    Re: Twister Sister Summary - ISU wins very ugly game

    I had a short visit with Anna yesterday before the game and she is hoping her first game will be the Michigan game. She said it's very unlikely she will play in Reno.



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    Re: Twister Sister Summary - ISU wins very ugly game

    I really don't know what happened to Loz. She was amazing in the first part of the season last year and then just disappeared. She has yet to re-appear. Cole has never and will never be a threat to score or be an impact player on this team. She is pretty solid with the ball and can distribute OK but she is mostly there to get rest for everyone else. I was REALLY hoping that Harris would step up this year and be or next Bolte. She just makes too many little mistakes on defense and with the ball and not being where she is supposed to and not passing the ball where she is supposed to. You can tell that Bill is really frustrated with her. Luckily she is only a Soph. and has 3 more years to learn and get better.

    Moody and Williamson are going to be the real deal. Brynn looks a bit slow to me but she also looks like she knows what she is doing and some confidence. Moody is a star in the making. Once she gets her shot down and learns to control her tempo.... man she is going to be unstoppable!



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    Re: Twister Sister Summary - ISU wins very ugly game

    Quote Originally Posted by CRAZYGREG View Post
    I really don't know what happened to Loz. ...
    Lauren was injured over the summer, so lost out on quite a bit of off-season work and conditioning. Then she went back to Australia for a couple weeks this fall. She is a smart player who thinks and works very hard. You can already see that she's running the floor better with each game. Now she just needs to get strength and confidence back in her shot. Hopefully that will come back.



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    Re: Twister Sister Summary - ISU wins very ugly game

    Quote Originally Posted by twistedredbird View Post
    Thanks for the recap. BF's presser was a real downer. I know it means a lot to wear the ISU uniform, but personally, I don't think as he hinted that our youth are the problem. ...
    Maybe he was hinting that maturity is the problem. Overall, this is a young team in terms of Division I basketball maturity, outside of the juniors (of which only one who is playing has had significant consistent playing time in the past (Pop)). The two seniors are transfers. Lauren has only been in the program a year. Yet she is with Pop as a captain. Last year, I recall stories about Bolte taking on the burden of leadership in practice, much as Aus did. That is maturity. As frustrated as BF would get with Bolte before her senior year, she earned his respect and everyone else's as a senior. That mature leader is probably missing so far on this team, and it's worse because BF cannot communicate as effectively himself. Hopefully everyone keeps growing into their roles.



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    Re: Twister Sister Summary - ISU wins very ugly game

    Quote Originally Posted by acoustimac View Post
    Well here I am back in the saddle again. What a weekend. Sitting on the 45 yard line Friday night to watch the football team upend OSU was like lighting the fuse on dynamite. Incredible tailgate that started about noon on Friday and went into the wee hours of the morning Saturday. Got to watch the Cyclone men take care of business in a not too pretty manner today at noon and then tonight it was our twister sisters in action. Well at times I'm not sure action would quite describe what I saw.

    Northern Arizona was a pretty salty ball club who came in 2-2 and has a couple of ladies who were capable of lighting up the scoreboard. Their leading scorer was averaging almost 60% from beyond the arc. That is a scary stat! The sisters started off rather slowly on the offensive end and NAU swished in the first three of the night to take a quick 3-0 lead. Our ladies slowly scrapped back and with about 14 minutes left the score was close with ISU holding a 12-10 lead.

    The hallmark of this team so far this season has been it's pressure defense. Coach Fennelly tossed in a full court press early in the game to jump start the offense and it worked. It clearly frustrated NAU and a couple of turnovers led to points for ISU. The defense really clamped down and NAU would go more than 10 minutes without scoring. By the time they would score again our ladies had slowly but surely separated themselves to hold a 30-14 halftime lead. Don't get too excited about that. The defense was great, but the offense was horrible. There were too many turnovers. Too many missed bunnies. The lid was on the 3 point basket all night long. Just to give you and idea how bad it was…our ladies were a combined 3-17 from beyond the arc. After 2 early shots by Williamson it was utter futility throughout the half.

    The one shining star throughout the night as Pop. I am so impressed with how she has developed into a real force on the court. She has always shown real grit but their is something about her level of determination this year. She seems to be everywhere at once. She is a major physical presence on the court and other teams should rightfully fear her. She tore town 11 boards tonight in 23 minutes of play. She has learned to take an inlet pass and not dribble before shooting which shows itself in a much higher percentage of made shots (going 7-9 tonight). Perhaps the biggest improvement is her free throw shooting. Gone are the experimental one handed shots we saw last year. Instead she looks like she is an old pro at it. She finally missed her first free throw of the year tonight while making 4 of 5 attempts. She is so close to being a complete player that no one thought she could be coming out of high school. Then again, perhaps Coach F. is just crazy like a fox when it comes to her.

    We got to see the upside and downside of the freshman phenom Miss Moody. As her name would suggest her play was up and down tonight. The upside was how she dished out 9 assists to only 3 turnovers. A 3-1 ratio is excellent. Yet there were times she was out of control as she committed a couple of fouls on the offensive end of the floor. She would be driving and dishing and just run over someone. Add to the plus side 3 steals and then counter it with very average 2 for 5 shooting and you get the picture. When she is on the court the sisters' game is elevated to a higher level and speed. As her game is refined I firmly believe that we will have one of the finest point guards in the conference.

    Big C also had an up and down game. Her shooting from deep was a bit off and she missed a few in close, but managed to score 16 for her efforts. Her long arms contributed a couple of blocks on the defensive end and she pulled in her usual basket full of rebounds. If she can clean up her outside shot she too could be a deadly piece of this team.

    What you can observe watching this team is that Coach Fennelly is developing depth to his bench. He obviously (and rightfully so from early appearances) thinks his freshman class is something special. Moody, Williamson, Mays and Ellis are all getting regular minutes. Ellis is someone to keep an eye on. She may not be the tallest on the court, but she adds another very real physical presence. She hits the boards hard, drives well and has great upside. In 10 minutes she had 5 points and 5 boards. I like that.

    Harris, Cole and Loz are getting the bulk of the guard play (beyond Moody). What I see so far is Loz showing the most confidence, but not having found her range yet this year. She's 1-10 from beyond the arc so far. Still handles the ball well. Harris seems to be lacking some confidence but has grown from last year. Needs to feel like she can make it every time she gets the ball. Cole hasn't changed much. When she is playing point our team really slows down and I see way too much dribbling and a short shot clock before things start to happen. Nerve wracking.

    We have some real stoppers and scrappers on this team and one is Jess. I like her defensive presence. She is a stopper and hustles after loose balls. She also seems to have a similar attitude as Pop. She is aggressive and fun to watch. She has shown she can score when needed and I hope this becomes a stronger threat as time goes on.

    Here is the real downside of this one game. When the starters left the floor this team just ground to a halt offensively. The game had been flown open with ISU holding a 30+ point margin and then it all stopped. This was probably the most painful basketball I've seen in a long time. The ladies went through a period of time (5-6 minutes) where we didn't score a point. We missed shots. We turned the ball over again and again in foolish fashion. These turnovers led to NAU points. The final score of 65-41 was much closer than the actual game. Coach Fennelly finally got frustrated enough he swapped the entire lineup and put the starters back in. I think this frustration was not only with his players but also with the officials. They were letting too much happen, made numerous crappy calls, and it appeared control of the game was getting out of hand. The starters promptly scored the last few points of the game and then returned to the bench after restoring order. There are several possible causes to what we saw tonight. Part of the blame might fall on the players not being familiar enough with each other. There was not continuity on the court. It also appeared some of the mistakes occurred because we were tired. In any case, this needs to be cleared up in a hurry.

    One side note - I'm not sure what is happening with Zimm. I'm assuming she is still having problems with her foot. She only saw the court for 3 minutes tonight and was largely unnoticed.

    Second side note - Prins was still in street clothes tonight. I'm worried about the time she is missing and the cohesion being created without her. Yet, we can definitely use her on the court.

    Eye openers - the team was a combined 6 of 30 from beyond the arc. Ugh. Remember the Commodores hit song "Brick House?" This was exactly that. 20 turnovers. Major ouch there. Free throw shooting. 72 percent is too low. If we want to win big games we need to be shooting in the mid-80's.

    What's next? Just Penn State in a tournament in Reno. Pregame show starts at about 5:30 our time (PM) on Friday. Penn State is ranked 11th in one poll and 12th in the other. Huge test. Am just glad its on a neutral court. Its been interesting to see this 3-1 team having played three close games. Nothing impressive in their resume yet. Elena Delle Donne threw in 40 points for Delaware in PSU's lone loss. I'm hoping we get Miss Prins back for this one. I'm anxious to see how our youth mixed with veterans react to playing a really good team.

    I like to know this too. She is suited up to play so don't think injury is the reason. With Anna out how do you not play another post who can take opp. both inside and outside.


    Quote Originally Posted by cyowan View Post

    Rulzzz 3:16 says I just liked your post!

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    Re: Twister Sister Summary - ISU wins very ugly game

    Quote Originally Posted by cydney View Post
    Maybe he was hinting that maturity is the problem. Overall, this is a young team in terms of Division I basketball maturity, outside of the juniors (of which only one who is playing has had significant consistent playing time in the past (Pop)). The two seniors are transfers. Lauren has only been in the program a year. Yet she is with Pop as a captain. Last year, I recall stories about Bolte taking on the burden of leadership in practice, much as Aus did. That is maturity. As frustrated as BF would get with Bolte before her senior year, she earned his respect and everyone else's as a senior. That mature leader is probably missing so far on this team, and it's worse because BF cannot communicate as effectively himself. Hopefully everyone keeps growing into their roles.
    His statement, the youth will have to learn what it means to wear the uniform, or be off the team is a pretty bold statement if you ask me. I didn't care for it.



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    Re: Twister Sister Summary - ISU wins very ugly game

    Quote Originally Posted by cydney View Post
    You do a great analysis overall. But citing FT shooting is probably a stretch. In fact, here is the FT stat excluding Cole and Arganbright: 12-15 or 80%. The latter two shot FTs when it did not matter.
    Along the same lines, I'm skeptical of overall stats which include the significant time Cole, two walk-ons and two frosh are running out the clock. At least, that ought to be considered when judging the team.


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    Re: Twister Sister Summary - ISU wins very ugly game

    Quote Originally Posted by twistedredbird View Post
    His statement, the youth will have to learn what it means to wear the uniform, or be off the team is a pretty bold statement if you ask me. I didn't care for it.
    That did come across as harsh, but, I suspect it relates to perceived effort and attitude in practice. Bill historically places great weight on how a player practices rather than just game time performance.


    “We’ve got a pretty good football conference, and we’ve got a pretty good conference overall. We’re still walking around with our heads held high and our chest out, about that.” Paul Rhoads

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  • TV: FOX
  • Iowa State vs. Baylor
  • September 27, 2014
  • 07:20 PM