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  1. #1
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    Twister Sister Summary - looking back on a magical season

    Time to reflect. After letting some of the emotion of last nights season ending loss dissipate, I thought it time to look back at what has been a tremendous season.


    The first thing of note is something Coach Fen said after the game and was in this morning's Register. “If anyone says Iowa State didn’t compete tonight, come see me. I’ll be in the hallway,” Cyclones coach Bill Fennelly said. “I loved coaching this team. They gave me something back that I thought I lost. I will always be indebted to them for that."


    That says it all. This was a very special team. They had tremendous wins and a couple of frustrating losses. But in the end, they were a team. I'm not sure there is a greater compliment that can be paid to these ladies than that.


    The closing images of their last game together was legendary stuff. They gave it all they had. Hal kept firing until the shots did fall at the most critical of times. Pop left everything on the floor as she fought for every rebound and point. Despite shooting problems Brynn continued to play lock down defense. Moody kept pushing and pushing. Anna kept us in the game. They were a team.


    When I look back at this year there are several things that come to mind that are very special. Perhaps none quite so much as seeing the player Pop has developed into. Sure, she was an all conference player last year, but this year? She turned into one of the best free throw shooters on the team. She found other ways to score and was even more aggressive under the hoop if that's possible. She was the heart and soul of this team. Remember when she was taken out with a concussion in the early tournament? This squad missed her, but still found ways to win. But when she returned, the team just picked up the pace. No one, in all of Coach Fennelly's tenure here, has developed more than Pop has.


    All of us wondered about the player Anna might have been if she had been healthy for four years. Don't have to wonder any longer. We saw that player in the Big 12 tournament and the big dance. She came into this season healthy and assumed a leadership role as a senior. She spoke at the pressers. Yes, she got engaged at half court. Anna simply came into her own this year and showed what she is capable of. A huge inside/outside threat at all times she did struggle through the early and middle parts of the season with her 3 shot. Yet, when she found it she was deadly. Her run through the two tournaments was nothing short of amazing. She dominated. 'Nuff said.


    The last senior spent most of her time on the bench. This is where she played a big role that many never noticed. She didn't sulk or bemoan the lack of playing time. No. She was the lead cheerleader on the sidelines. She was always positive and did what she could to help the team. It was always about the team. My wife loved to watch her when the ladies would play. She loved her animation and desire.


    What we saw this year was the continued emergence of a young point guard. Someone who still makes plays that make you scratch your head with an "why did she do that?" or an "how did she do that?" We got to see Byrnn become the defensive stopper and a more consistent threat to light up anyone from deep. With a team short on help at point, we got to see the growth of a freshman who spelled Moody and on any given night could drain a killer three. Even more impressive was watching Kidd fight for rebounds with Pop-like tenacity. Other players on the team showed they deserve to be there. This is the first year I've seen our bench get into games and either hold or extend leads the starters created. There is much growth opportunity and the months ahead will see how the returning players approach things.


    This was a team you always knew could win any game. Sure we lost to Iowa when we didn't have two of our starters on the court. Yes, there was the mystifying loss to TCU. Yet, this team was one I expected to win every game. Even playing mighty Baylor I felt this was the only team in the conference with a chance. They never let us down. After a rare loss they came back more determined and woe to the team they played next. They exceeded expectations...probably everyone's but their own.


    This will be a team to remember. No, they didn't make the Elite 8 or even the Sweet 16. But they were special and I'll always remember them that way. A team with passion and desire. A team.



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    Re: Twister Sister Summary - looking back on a magical season

    very well put. cant wait to see what next year brings, the future is bright. i hope yall have watched the post game locker room speech! wow very POWERFUL great coach and great team. GO CYCLONES



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    Re: Twister Sister Summary - looking back on a magical season

    Interesting to figure out what BF thought he had lost . The past couple of years have not been kind to BF and the Team: his fight with cancer and subsequent treatment, players transferring (including in the middle of the season), losing first round games in the NCAA, player dismissed from the team, etc.



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    Re: Twister Sister Summary - looking back on a magical season

    Quote Originally Posted by cyclone13 View Post
    Interesting to figure out what BF thought he had lost . The past couple of years have not been kind to BF and the Team: his fight with cancer and subsequent treatment, players transferring (including in the middle of the season), losing first round games in the NCAA, player dismissed from the team, etc.
    your answer

    2:00 Timeout | Steve Malchow's blog on Cyclone Athletics



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    Re: Twister Sister Summary - looking back on a magical season

    It was an ordinary season for Iowa State.



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    Re: Twister Sister Summary - looking back on a magical season

    Quote Originally Posted by Senolcyc View Post
    It was an ordinary season for Iowa State.
    Ordinary? Perhaps in the won-loss record, but there were so many things that far exceeded those accomplishments.



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    Re: Twister Sister Summary - looking back on a magical season

    Quote Originally Posted by Senolcyc View Post
    It was an ordinary season for Iowa State.
    An ordinary season that MANY MANY schools strive to achieve once every few years!



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    Re: Twister Sister Summary - looking back on a magical season

    Quote Originally Posted by mwwbbfan View Post
    An ordinary season that MANY MANY schools strive to achieve once every few years!

    Yes. If the Vermont State Fightin' Lumberjills made the second round of the tournament, and this was LumberjillFanatic.com, I wouldn't have said anything.



  9. #9
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    Re: Twister Sister Summary - looking back on a magical season

    Sometimes its best not to say anything anyway when your perspective is only measured by how far a team goes in the Big Dance.



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    Re: Twister Sister Summary - looking back on a magical season

    This season was wonderful and disappointing at the same time. How many seasons in my lifetime have been just disappointing? The only way that a season would not have some disappointment is to win a national championship, therefore you have to balance disappointment with rational expectations. My hopes went down when that recruit, I forget her name already, jumped ship. I have been exceedingly surprised at what the team has accomplished anyway on so little bench.

    You have to be nuts not to have loved what this team accomplished. Sure everyone wishes it were more, and I think we should have beaten Georgia and perhaps gone further, but the players and the coaches also believe that, the shots didn't fall, and the other teams shots did. When that happens, it is hard to win. I don't believe it was the defense that they played, it was an anomaly and no one really knows why it happened. So lets move on, but remember the team for what they were, one of the best teams in ISU women's basketball history, maybe even the best. I could certainly make an argument for that, certainly the best front line.


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  11. #11
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    Re: Twister Sister Summary - looking back on a magical season

    I just watch the games. Pretty normal for the average sports fan.

    Quote Originally Posted by acoustimac View Post
    Sometimes its best not to say anything anyway when your perspective is only measured by how far a team goes in the Big Dance.



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    Re: Twister Sister Summary - looking back on a magical season

    Hope next year is as good.


    CFH HMagic bball season next year.
    Let my Fred's Four Horsemen ride: Georges, Hogue, Nader, and McKay.

  13. #13
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    Re: Twister Sister Summary - looking back on a magical season

    Senolcyc...I'd suggest going to a few other universities and take in their women's programs. You'll find that Iowa State is definitely an exception to the rule. As many head coaches say, this program does it right. They play the game the way it should be played. They represent like you want players to represent. We have the 2nd highest attendance in the land. Iowa State women's basketball is far from normal or average. So many other universities aspire to get remotely close to what we have in Ames.



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    Re: Twister Sister Summary - looking back on a magical season

    Quote Originally Posted by Senolcyc View Post
    I just watch the games. Pretty normal for the average sports fan.
    Very average.



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    Re: Twister Sister Summary - looking back on a magical season

    For me the season was a mix and a little bit of a "push". This is just my feeling, not looking to tell anyone else how they should feel (there is plenty of "I know better than you" and "how dare you think that" stuff here already) or how the team should feel. I don't know any of you, I don't know the coach, I don't know the current players and am only an alumni acquaintance of a couple of gals we played 10-15 years ago.

    Because of guard defections and lack of depth I was figuring 9-9 to 10-8 for Big 12 and make the NCAA but not with a great seed or great expectations. Well, we obviously beat that by going 12-6 and had some players step up the way they needed to, Halle and Prins stand out for me. The Big 12 regular season and Big 12 tournament raised my NCAA expectations to Sweet Sixteen which we could not quite get done. I underestimated but I don't think that equals overachieved. Individuals played to their capabilities and we avoided injuries and illness other than Poppen's early concussion.

    Still a bit disappointed on how the season ended, because you just don't get that many opportunities to make runs in the NCAA. Sort of like just missing the Final Four in volleyball a couple of years ago. Like that volleyball team, we were good enough to go farther without thinking upset or overachievement. Like it or not, program success is judged by others by if you make the NCAA and if you do it's than how far did you advance. Sweet Sixteen and Elite Eight have those cool acronyms while the lower levels are just First Round/Second Round. Our average over the last seven seasons is second round so, while better than the last two seasons (for sure!), this was a good to very good year but not great by our own program benchmarks.

    Hopefully this year can be the first year of another four year run like 1998 - 2001 and 2007 - 2010 periods. No reason to not have that as a realistic goal if the new gals prove up to the task. Four years ago I watched an early season game against Minnesota where the than unheralded Poppens, and fellow freshman Schroll and Zimmerman combined for 27 points to beat the Gophers on the road. Why not that for next year?



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