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  1. #1
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    Time for the real deal...

    And so it begins…the Big 12 conference season is upon us and there are two questions to ask: what do we know about our team right now and what’s ahead?

    Its been a bit of a tumultuous non-conference season with the Bingley exit. I’ll start with my nitpicks first. Some things I’ve seen are a bit disconcerting. One is our lack of guard depth. Outside of Moody and Kidd we don’t have anyone ready to play at the Big-12 level right now. It was scary to watch Hal bringing the ball up court in the Cyclone Challenge as the guards in our conference would steal her lunch on a regular basis. So what happens? I suspect Moody had better be in great shape because she will be like Pop last year and playing 38-40 minutes per game. I still hope the free throw shooting continues to improve. Right now our top six are hitting around 82%. This is up from earlier in the season and Brynn is shooting perfect right now. The biggest area for improvement is (a) Moody being at 90% or better and (b) seeing out bigs get to the line as much as Hal has been. It shows aggression. That is pretty much it for downside in my opinion.

    The upside is that the team is starting to find its identity. Brynn and Kidd know they are the three point threats followed closely by Hal. If this trio can hit in the upper 30% range it will make a huge difference in our success this year. Last year we had one 3 point threat…having three makes me smile. I would like to see Moody become more of a consistent threat from deep. Enough that you have to respect her. The inside game, as we expected, is our strength. Prins and Pop are turning into a powerhouse tandem around the basket. Both are rebounding strong. Anna needs to covert more close shots, but even that is better than it has been. We have a +12 rebound margin and a +25 scoring margin.

    What is different about this team from past teams is glaring. Our three point shooters aren’t “stand around the arc and wait for the pass” shooters. They move to get open and can stop and pop. We don’t have a player on the offensive end that is a liability. In the past we’ve had a defensive stopper that wasn’t an offensive threat. Not this year. Our bigs are playing like the seniors they are. They are providing leadership and have a level of confidence that shows on the court. I also think we are quicker than previous teams. Nikki can take anyone to the hole whenever she wants. We run the court well.

    Perhaps the biggest change from last year is in our coaching staff. Obviously we no longer have Jack on the sidelines. I’m not sure how well Coach Fennelly’s son has worked into the crew, but time will tell. What is more telling is Coach Fennelly’s health. Last year had to be incredibly frustrating and I think it showed throughout the season. This year he’s back to normal. Hoo-rah!

    The Big 12 starts at home…
    If you look at our first opponent’s record you’d think Texas (7-4) should be an automatic win. You have to look more closely to see that they have had a pretty tough schedule with losses to #16 UCLA, #12 Tennessee, and Iowa. The only head scratcher was their loss to a 6-6 Central Michigan team Sunday. Their win against a ranked St John’s team lost its luster as St John’s struggled to a 6-5 record to date. They have several ladies averaging double figures, but (like us) no depth. They have one gal that should be familiar to us all from last year – Fussell – who is their primary three point threat. She’s hitting 39% this year while leading the team with 17 points per game. Last Jan 18, she lit us up for 20 points while hitting 60% of her shots from the field. She is complemented by Nneka Enemkpali (15ppg) at forward. She is strong inside and will be a challenge for us. Their post player – McGee-Stafford has been playing well of late averaging 17 points and 10 rebounds over the last three games. An interesting note is that volleyball player – Sara Hattis – is joining the basketball team for the rest of the season. She was a top 100 hoop player coming out of high school.

    My take…
    Texas will struggle establishing their inside game against our crew of Prins, Pop, and Hal. It will be interesting to see who Coach Fen decides to place on Fussell as a defender. This may be the most critical matchup of the game. Hal will probably contend with Enemkpali while our bigs will handle McGee-Stafford. I suspect this game will be a battle early on. The team that hits its free throws and makes the critical three pointer will win. As often is the case, that team will be Iowa State. Clones to open the Big 12 1-0.



  2. #2
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    Re: Time for the real deal...

    HELLO cyclone fans, this is Geewago from Waco Tx. I have long been an admirer of Cyclone WBB and have read this forum for several years. Decided to join today and start checking in a little more often as we head into the Big 12 race. I truly believe 2nd place is up for grabs especially due to the injuries at WVU & OU, and I am certainly rooting for you all to finish high. Hope you folks travel as well to Dallas this year as you always have to KC for the tourney.

    Barring any injuries I'm pretty confident that BU can make it back to the final 4, and really should take it all. After this year, not only do we lose the big girl, but four other Seniors as well that have carried us to a level that we just weren't ever used to here years ago. Baylor will be good next year but believe me it is going to be a different ballgame around here.

    I want to express my confidence in your chances with Texas. They are having major problems down there just keeping a team on the floor. Injuries, allergies, broken feet, broken hearts, quitters, you name it. Their preseason got worse & worse as it went on. They are even adding volley players, and so is OU. I saw them 3 times on TV and twice in person. YOU CAN BEAT THIS TEAM!!!!

    Good luck to ya'll. Hope to see some of you at the Big 12 tourney. And by the way, I have a lot of friends down there in the town of Ottumwa. If you ever drive through, honk at em for me. Goodbye.



  3. #3
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    Re: Time for the real deal...

    Nice post Geewago.

    Do not forget that we have beaten Greiner once. It could happen again.



  4. #4
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    Re: Time for the real deal...

    I need cliff notes I cant read that much but bottom line we need to get some depth I hope our girls are well conditioned we could get thin on our bench by the end if injuries happen, if we stay healthy and play to our potential we'll compete in the top 3 of the big 12.



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    Re: Time for the real deal...

    Quote Originally Posted by acoustimac View Post
    My take…
    Texas will struggle establishing their inside game against our crew of Prins, Pop, and Hal. It will be interesting to see who Coach Fen decides to place on Fussell as a defender. This may be the most critical matchup of the game. Hal will probably contend with Enemkpali while our bigs will handle McGee-Stafford. I suspect this game will be a battle early on. The team that hits its free throws and makes the critical three pointer will win. As often is the case, that team will be Iowa State. Clones to open the Big 12 1-0.
    Don't forget Reed. She's a 6-4 senior averaging 10 pts / 5 boards and getting to the line. IMO, if she gets hot and/or gets one of our bigs in foul trouble, it will be tough on us.



  6. #6
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    Re: Time for the real deal...

    Quote Originally Posted by mkcrawford View Post
    Don't forget Reed. She's a 6-4 senior averaging 10 pts / 5 boards and getting to the line. IMO, if she gets hot and/or gets one of our bigs in foul trouble, it will be tough on us.
    Prophetic?



  7. #7
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    Re: Time for the real deal...

    Quote Originally Posted by acoustimac View Post
    Prophetic?
    I think we should give him some rep on that post!



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