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    Twister Sister Summary - Season comes to a close 71-57

    I’m sorry to say, but the end of another chapter in the Twister Sister saga has arrived. I always take a small bit of xolice knowing that every team but one in the tournament ends their season with a loss. Big or small, its still a loss. Some are more painful than others. Yesterday? Nothing that was a surprise happened.

    It was a tale of two halves. In many ways it is fortunate that the halves happened as they did so I could walk away from Hilton knowing some good things happened. But let’s talk about that first half.

    The other day I wrote there were five keys (IMO) to the sisters winning a game against the #10 ranked team in the country.
    1. Pop, Prins, and Big C have big games. Zimm steps in and provides valuable relief.
    This just didn’t happen. Pop, according to the stat line had a decent game with 11 points and 8 boards. But the stat line doesn’t tell the whole story. She struggled early when it mattered most missing three layups and picking up those dreaded fouls. Mixed in with that were four turnovers. As for Anna? Outside of some good rebounds she only took one shot…a three…and missed badly. Big C? She scored 12, but seemed lost on the court on defense. She was listed with only one turnover, but mishandled several inlet passes. It was just not a good day to be a post player for ISU. Much of this is directly related to #2.

    2. Consistent play by our guards. Driving the lane to create or score. Double the assists versus turnovers.
    This is an area that I would call the disaster of the game. Between Moody and Loz the point guards had SIXTEEN turnovers. Their play was just not good. Early on I thought it was a good sign when Moody drove the lane hard and scored both times. And then something happened…instead of driving to the hoop they would pick up their dribble and Green Bay’s quick players would surround them and steal the ball. It was like a kid being picked on by a group of bullies on the play ground. I wasn’t as if they shot badly…they didn’t. But when a team averages slightly more than a turnover a minute in the first half you aren’t going to get many shots up. We didn’t. At the end of the half Green Bay had made as many three point shots as we had made baskets. They had taken twice as many shots as we had attempted. That is not a recipe for success. Our guard court panicked and no one came to help.

    3. Fouls. Pop and others have to stay out of foul trouble.
    The fouls weren’t really a problem except for Pop. She and Loz had four, but it was Pop going to the bench that hurt. We actually had the benefit of the charity stripe over the Phoenix even though we fouled and put them on the line several times at the end of the game.

    4. Defense.
    There are some days when nothing you do goes right. The first half of this game was ALL Green Bay. They didn’t seem able to miss. They out hustled us. They swarmed on defense. They moved the ball quickly on offense. And…they didn’t seem to be able to miss from distance. They hit 9 three’s in the first half and built a 19 point lead that we couldn’t overcome. One second we were down only four and the next it was ugly. I told my wife that Green Bay’s shooters reminded me of the Fennelly teams of a decade ago when you had Frese, Taylor and others that could light things up from outside. Green Bay was impressive.

    5. The Crowd.
    We had a great crowd at Hilton. Guess what? Green Bay had one heck of a following too. It was a great atmosphere to watch a game.

    The first half was somewhat back and forth for a while with Green Bay taking a lead they would never relinquish, but ISU hanging around and battling back. As I mentioned, it was a four point game before Green Bay lit things up during the last 6-7 minutes of the half. When they got going it was an amazing thing (if you were a Green Bay fan) to watch. There is a reason they are ranked #10. They are good. Their defense was better than ours. They were quick and scrappy. Our size didn’t matter as their speed made our posts ineffective. You would swear that every player on the ISU team forgot how to handle a double team. Their offense was light years better than ours. Their passing and hustle was a thing of beauty to watch in the first half. Where we have a tendency to stand around and see if someone comes open, they were constantly passing. Against our man defense they eat us alive. We either missed shots or turned the ball over (remember…21 in the first half alone) and that led to points on the other end. Green Bay scored 28 points off turnovers. Wow.

    Fortunately, a game has two halves and the second was much better than the first. There were multiple factors to this. To me the most important was Coach changing the defense to a zone. As soon as this happened, Green Bay was frustrated. It cut off their team speed on offense. We had closer coverage on the deep shot. We outrebounded them (as we did all game). Another, unfortunately, was Moody spending the rest of the game on the bench. This may have been her most frustrating and poorly played game of the year. I still have faith in what she will bring next year. Lessons learned baby. All of a sudden it was ISU getting the stops and when we did we started making some shots. Big C, Loz and Brynn all sank balls from deep. I think Green Bay’s biggest lead was around 22 (memory failing right now) and ISU worked their way back to cut it to 10. Unfortunately two things were working against us. The clock and switching to the zone too late. The comeback started at about the 8 minute mark and we ran out of time. The final margin was more indicative of the late free throws GB got to shoot than the Cyclone effort. I felt good that the ladies didn’t collapse after taking a near knockout punch. They fought hard. Pop got involved inside on both ends. The players showed pride.

    Bottom line? We got beat by a better team. I saw some things I wished ISU had and I hope the incoming class brings a bunch of it. GB was quicker than we were…by a large margin. They had shooters. As we all know, our shooters have a tendency to be streaky. GB seemed to be on a mission and I’m sure the game two years ago was a motivating factor.

    So, the end of another chapter in the Twister Sister’s legacy has come to an end. Remember when they were 0-5 in the Big 12? Remember when they lost close games to Michigan and Penn State on the road? Remember the turmoil at the beginning of the Big 12 season when so many were calling out the Coach? Well, this team fought through it all and Coach did a masterful job of getting players to buy into what he sells. They finished 4th in the conference after going 7-2 in February. They qualified for the big dance. Not bad ladies, not bad. So we say goodbye to defensive specialist Chas Cole and gutsy Lauren Mansfield (Loz). We’ve loved you ladies and are so thankful for what you brought to this team. You are true Cyclones and we will miss you.

    One more installment to go and then I’ll wrap up for the year. I’ll take a look ahead at next year and focus on our recruits and the competition. ‘Til then….



  2. #2
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    Re: Twister Sister Summary - Season comes to a close 71-57

    We looked ploddingly slow and totally out-athleted.


    I'd agree with you, but then we'd both be wrong.

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    Re: Twister Sister Summary - Season comes to a close 71-57

    A lot work of to be done before next season....and pray for no more transfers.


    Carrying the banner for ISU.


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    Re: Twister Sister Summary - Season comes to a close 71-57

    Quote Originally Posted by Palmer View Post
    A lot work of to be done before next season....and pray for no more transfers.
    There may be transfers but none I've heard about that will be of major impact



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    Re: Twister Sister Summary - Season comes to a close 71-57

    I was at the game and it may have been one of the sloppiest games I have ever seen ISU play. You can't commit 30 turnovers and expect to have a chance to win even against a bad team and a lot of those were careless passes and decisions. I hope this team has some talent coming in next season because there are so many flaws and holes on this team right now. Poppens leads by her hard play but this year's team seemed to really lack that vocal leader that when things went bad they took the game into their own hands and had a calming influence. We need another Allison Lacey type of player who the team just feeds off of and everyone else plays better because of their leadership.


    Go Cubs Go!

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    Re: Twister Sister Summary - Season comes to a close 71-57

    Quote Originally Posted by CYdTracked View Post
    I was at the game and it may have been one of the sloppiest games I have ever seen ISU play. You can't commit 30 turnovers and expect to have a chance to win even against a bad team and a lot of those were careless passes and decisions. I hope this team has some talent coming in next season because there are so many flaws and holes on this team right now. Poppens leads by her hard play but this year's team seemed to really lack that vocal leader that when things went bad they took the game into their own hands and had a calming influence. We need another Allison Lacey type of player who the team just feeds off of and everyone else plays better because of their leadership.
    There will be three senior post players next year who will have to supply the leadership. I think Pop is up for the challenge, the other two, not so much. Hallie will have to come back big, and Nikki is going to have to grow on her experience this year. Emiah and the Kid are going to have a huge opportunity to step in and play. Vanloo hopefully will be in that mix. Quickness with guards apparently was exposed big time by GB. That should get better, but time will tell.



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    Re: Twister Sister Summary - Season comes to a close 71-57

    Looking back at the game I think it was decided in the first two minutes, maybe even the first two possessions. The game plan was good and the starters executed it twice resulting in potential layups both times. For whatever reason, as happens sometimes, those first two bunnies didn't go in.

    When that happened the players got frustrated with themselves and Bill got frustrated with them. In general I have not seen that this team or their coach is tough enough and confident enough to put those mistakes behind them. Substitutions get made, players get timid, the other team recognizes that and gets aggressive and the cycle feeds on itself with last night's result.

    Regarding transfers, I am concerned for Nicky. During the last timeout, the team was gathered around the coaches except for her. She was outside the circle and no one reached out to draw her in, not a player or coach. Young players must feel included or they never develop. I hope I'm wrong and that was just an isolated instance but her body language was really bad at the time. If anybody sees her, congratulate her, she's helped us and we need her next year.



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    Re: Twister Sister Summary - Season comes to a close 71-57

    There were two challenges for this team all season -- consistently scoring and consistently taking care of the ball. The story of this game was entirely the latter. In that sense, GB took control of what they could, which is good coaching and playing on their part. It's actually amazing that ISU was still looking at making it single digits under the circumstances. That says something about ISU's tenacity and talent -- they did finish the season with some pride intact even when they had essentially lost their edge by the end of the season.

    The challenges are not that surprising given that the team lacked the ISU-style point guard of the past. Lauren and Chassidy worked hard, and ISU needed them (much thanks to them for their time at ISU). But the fact is the first-round exits the past two years can be linked to experience and leadership in the point. ISU should have that back with Moody. A lot was put on her shoulders this year, and she had to learn the hard way. Hopefully she will take the lessons to heart, learn, grow, and mature, and be ready to help lead the team.

    Both of the challenges can be worked on in the off season. This team can come back very strong. As long as there is not a key transfer out and assuming the new players come in ready to contribute, the future is very bright. Every player can improve. Conditioning and fitness. Quickness. Shooting. Ball handling. Defense. Any and all of these take commitment and hours in the gym. I'd love to see Zimmerman come back as a "new" player for her senior season. Work with a trainer on quickness and fitness. Be ready to play anything from the 3 to the 5. She has too much talent to sit on the bench. But she needs to do the work in the offseason. If she can do it, the rest of the team can do it. This team has the talent to be special next season ... if... .



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    Re: Twister Sister Summary - Season comes to a close 71-57

    everyone is talking about a possible transfer...... am i missing something? whose wanting to possibly transfer?



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    Re: Twister Sister Summary - Season comes to a close 71-57

    [QUOTE=HuskerClone;2763604]Looking back at the game I think it was decided in the first two minutes, maybe even the first two possessions

    "Looking back, I think you may be right."

    Regarding transfers, I am concerned for Nicky. /QUOTE]

    "I, too, am concerned, but not for the same reasons. I think she's been told the point position is hers to lose. Last night, every time when I was watching (I won't say every time because I don't know that to be true) immediately after making a TO, she looked to the bench. I don't know what was said during the timeouts and sideline talks, but I wonder if she was anticipating being pulled. I truly want her to be the best pg ISU has had, but whether that happens depends a lot on what happens before the next season.

    I want nothing more than our players to play to their potential, but I admit I'm glad this season is done. Never once did I feel the confidence and excitement that comes from watching a well-oiled machine, a team with that same confidence in each other and excitement in their game. Instead, I wished that things would get better, the way they have been. I hoped that the next game would be the one with the breakthrough. I wanted the players to work well together and be able to count on each other.

    Lest we forget: these are college-aged young people, expected by many to do everything, be everything and provide everything we as fans want. I never would have been able to do this, and admire them regardless of any game score."


    Last edited by Ms3r4ISU; 03-18-2012 at 07:26 PM.

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    Re: Twister Sister Summary - Season comes to a close 71-57

    I think something to remember about this group is both of the seniors were transfers. Chassidy was here for three, Lauren for two. Neither will go down as the best player in ISU history, but they did work very hard. The class that was here left. Although the transfer thing seems to be working out okay for the men, I feel like the system Fennelly has is different. These ladies also didn't have the year sitting out like the guys did to get used to the system. It seems like it takes players, probably true for any I'd assume, time to adjust to the scheme.

    I mean, Lauren came in and was expected to play from the start. There were miscues, scary moments, and the like. I can only imagine the pressure of transferring in and being asked to take a starting point guard spot. Same goes for Moody this season (besides the transferring part, of course :) ). It's a big role with a lot of pressure, especially at Iowa State Also, I think we all knew from the beginning that Chassidy wasn't going to be a prolific scorer, but would be focused moreso on defense and ball handling -- which she has done very well, especially as of late.

    I appreciate what those transfers have done because I'm sure it wasn't easy. We may not have always been the best team on the court this year, but that didn't seem to stop us from playing hard. This season could have gone downhill fast. Making the NCAAs and finishing with our record (overall & in the conference) was a great feat in itself. It's still been a fun season, and some players really showed huge strides of growth from the exhibition games to today. I'm simply excited for what the future may bring!

    No reason to hang our heads (players or fans) about last night. Green Bay has continued to be an impressive team year in and year out. I remember in 2010 when I thought we were very lucky to squeak past the Phoenix. They've done very well for themselves, and the #10 ranking proves that. I can't say I've watched many Kentucky women's games this year, but if they play at all like they did last night, Green Bay will run away with the game tomorrow night.

    As for the talk about some of the team leaving, I remind people that some also said that Z was leaving last year. That didn't exactly seem to happen. If someone decides to leave, which I think we all hope isn't the case, we'll deal with it then. Message boards always are the place that rumors usually begin, but even so, that doesn't have to be the case.

    Looking forward to next year!



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