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  1. #1
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    Twister Sister Summary - Western Illinois observations

    Ive reviewed the game and there are a couple of quick observations that Ill make. A little bit different write-up since I wasn't able to attend. Some would think that being involved in a close game to a mid-pack pick Western Illinois team is a bad thing. I dont think so. This early in the season it is giving some young players the confidence they need to win the tough ones down the road. They are finding their way and this game showed several aspects of toughness being developed.

    Observation 1- we have more players capable of hitting the three this year than in any time in recent memory. Key word capable. Im not painting this team as the queens of the 3 point line, but look at the list of options that you wouldnt be afraid to go to Williamson, Kidd, Prins, Pop, Hal, and if needed Emiah and Hagedorn.

    Observation 2 28 assists on 31 field goals. That is a great statistic showing this team will share the ball. Emiah had ELEVEN assists to 3 turnovers. How many of us would take a nearly 4:1 ratio in that area? Sign me up.

    Observation 3 Im being picky here, but seeing Pop with 3 fouls is still worrisome. Its part of her style of play, but Coach F. has often said we have to keep her in the game. She played 36 minutes which is great, but she has to keep working at this.

    Observation 3a Pop. What can you say? She joined the 1000 point club Sunday. That is elite status in our program. In ANY program. If you remember what she was like when she arrived at ISU she was a work in progress. But you know what? She is the epitomy of a work ethic. Kudos to you Pop. 23 points, 15 boards, 4 assists and another 3 pointer. Biggest stat in my opinion? 4-5 from the free throw line.

    Observation 4 Im loving what Im seeing from our freshman guards. Emiah needs to find her shot, but she handles the ball fairly well and then there were those 11 assists. Exciting things to come from her. Kidd. Not afraid to shoot the three and what is really nice is that she moves. Shes not a static 3 point shooter.

    Observation 5 Post play in general. All three of our bigs scored the majority of our points inside and out. Was kind of surprised that Ellis only had 7 minutes of playing time after her last game. Your guess is as good as mine as to why.

    Observation 6 Defense. This team will only go as far as its defensive effort will take it. Our offense comes from the defense. We play good transition ball. The first and second halves were clinics on what not to do and what to do. Night and day difference. This is a hallmark of Bill Fennelly ball.

    This was another step in the early development of this Cyclone team. The veterans are leading the way as expected and the young guard court is learning the ropes in the absence of Moody. While it hurts Moody right now, it will pay dividends for Emiah and Kidd. Biggest change that I see needing to happen is for this team to come out focused and with intensity from the opening whistle. Another game next weekend and in this case its a double header with the men playing at 6pm. Great chance to come out and see some great basketball.



  2. #2
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    Re: Twister Sister Summary - Western Illinois observations

    Quote Originally Posted by acoustimac View Post

    Observation 3 Im being picky here, but seeing Pop with 3 fouls is still worrisome. Its part of her style of play, but Coach F. has often said we have to keep her in the game. She played 36 minutes which is great, but she has to keep working at this.



    Observation 5 Post play in general. All three of our bigs scored the majority of our points inside and out. Was kind of surprised that Ellis only had 7 minutes of playing time after her last game. Your guess is as good as mine as to why.
    I thought Pop got a couple of questionable calls on her attempts to pick up charges. I'm afraid that might be a theme this year, because she has been so good at it for so long.

    I think when a player gets less minutes than we expect, 9 times out of 10 its when they aren't at the right places on defense. That and going for a steal and not getting it are the things that get you sat down quickly. I hope Ellis' shooting percentage inside continues to rub off on the other posts.

    The Leathernecks were making some amazing shots in the first half; if they aren't a conference contender, I'll be surprised.



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    Re: Twister Sister Summary - Western Illinois observations

    I watched the replay and have a few thoughts myself:

    Kidd and Williamson both have extremely quick releases.

    3 fouls on Pop doesn't worry me much for two reasons: the block calls were iffy (and if she isn't getting those calls, she's capable of hanging the way she plays defense), and she played 36 minutes. If she gets one foul for every 12 minutes she's in the game, that's a great ratio for her.

    Emiah does have a tendency to drive into trouble. She's not the first guard to do that, and she won't be the last. It's something she'll have to work on. She made a lot of really nice passes, and she would have had at least 16 assists if we had shot better.

    This game shouldn't have been close. We looked much better than Western Illinois, but we had some problems with perimeter defense (which we also had in the exhibitions) and we shot poorly for long stretches, which was a recurring problem last season. When those got better late in the game, we ran away from them.



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    Re: Twister Sister Summary - Western Illinois observations

    One more thing: Brynn isn't Denae Stuckey or Chassidy Cole out there on defense, but she's getting closer.



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    Re: Twister Sister Summary - Western Illinois observations

    Brynn is coming along very nicely. Much improvement over last year already. A whole different level of confidence it seems. Emiah is trying to do things she has done before and finding out that there are better athletes on the other side now. She'll quickly get used to driving and either scoring or pulling defenders. When she "sees" the court action better she will hit the open person. I have no doubt about that. She's a gamer. Also agree with MRed...Kidd has a very quick release. I just really like the fact that she moves and can spot up quickly.



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    Re: Twister Sister Summary - Western Illinois observations

    Emiah needs to find her shot,
    A light cannot illuminate a room if the switch has been turned off!!



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    Re: Twister Sister Summary - Western Illinois observations

    Quote Originally Posted by rbingley View Post
    A light cannot illuminate a room if the switch has been turned off!!
    I'm guessing you are talking about Fennelly telling the freshman guards to remember that they are the 4th/5th option on the court to score (at least that's what he's said on the radio). I hope he backs off that statement, because good, consistent perimeter shooting is what will draw defenders out and open up the post. There wasn't enough of that last season.



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    Re: Twister Sister Summary - Western Illinois observations

    Quote Originally Posted by mred View Post
    I'm guessing you are talking about Fennelly telling the freshman guards to remember that they are the 4th/5th option on the court to score (at least that's what he's said on the radio). I hope he backs off that statement, because good, consistent perimeter shooting is what will draw defenders out and open up the post. There wasn't enough of that last season.
    I am guessing it is more about transitioning to becoming a point guard on the college level. There needs to be a change in mindset from getting my shot to getting a teammate shots. If you look at the great ISU point guards even the great scorers were pass first (with the exception of Lindsey Wilson's SR year, which resulted in the ONLY losing season of BF's career). I think EB will be allowed to become more of a scorer once she gets a bettter grasp of the offense and her options in it. She seemed very hesitant on Sun, she seemed to have to stop to consider her options, once it becomes more second nature I would think they will give her more of a green light to look for her shot.



  9. #9
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    Re: Twister Sister Summary - Western Illinois observations

    Emiah knows how to score. She is adjusting to a much different game (bigger, quicker, etc.) than she has been used to. Every freshman goes through this. She is showing she can definitely dish the ball. As for shooting...she hasn't exactly been told not to put it up. Its a matter of the shots beginning to fall (hence my statement "finding her shot"). She has gone 1-6, 2-6, and 2-10. She is getting shots, but for various reasons hasn't been able to get them to start dropping. The reasons could be all over the board...rushing, poor shot selection, defense, etc. Given time (which she has!) she will find her shot and they will start to fall. In the mean time, she needs to continue to dish the ball, run the offense and play defense. When the shots begin to fall...look out...



  10. #10
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    Re: Twister Sister Summary - Western Illinois observations

    I don't think the plan is for Emiah to be a point guard, but combo guard, and maybe some "relief" duty for Moody when they are both on the court. Having two good ball handling guards on the court at the same time will be more important as tougher foes approach.

    His statement of the freshmen are the 4/5 option, was also followed by if they are open to take an open shot. I think in general what he meant by this, is patience and work the ball through the offense and work for the best open shot.

    Clearly, we need them to score when they are open, and Emiah's mid-range will be a benefit big time when we get to tougher opponents like KSU and KU who will work to deny the 3-ball as much as possible.



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    Re: Twister Sister Summary - Western Illinois observations

    Quote Originally Posted by twistedredbird View Post
    I don't think the plan is for Emiah to be a point guard
    That is why her game will change when Moody is back at the one. Em played out of her normal position in her first start and prior. For a Freshman to get all those assists she was doing her job. At the two she will present more options to score.



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    Re: Twister Sister Summary - Western Illinois observations

    I think Em would rather pass it anyway. She needs to shoot and all the players need the red light. Saying that, this year we want to get the ball inside as much as possible because we have three or more good inside scorers. That is the way to win. I don't have any doubt that is what Fennelly is stressing. I like this team, we are much more athletic and much better potentially on the offensive side. We have to worry more about defense and the offense will come. We have a load of people that can score. If we can defend, we will be very good.


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    Re: Twister Sister Summary - Western Illinois observations

    I have probably watched Emiah play more over the last five years than anyone on the board other than her Dad. I think she is a team player who will do whatever her coach wants her to do. Even playing for, at best, a mediocre coach on a pretty mediocre team in high school, she stayed true to the team. Watch Emiah on the court, and I think you will catch on to BFs game plan because she will be the one carrying it out to a "T".



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