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  1. #1
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    Twister Sister Summary - Ladies start things off right

    Sorry for the delay today, but on our way home from the game we had to stop and visit our three month old grandson. I think that’s a pretty good excuse!

    Hilton had a surprising crowd of around four thousand awaiting the unveiling of the 13-14 edition of the Twister Sisters. The starting five included two freshmen in Buckley and Johnson. Of course the really strange thing to see was watching Hal jumping at center.

    The game got underway and you could tell this was a work in progress. I’m honestly feeling glad that the team has a less than daunting schedule over the next month. It should give Coach Fen some time to get things worked out and for players to find their roles.

    The beginning of the game was all about the Sisters launching threes and missing most of them. Call it first game jitters, nerves or just early season, in any case it wasn’t very pretty. Fortunately Hal came to play and she put the ladies out to an early lead. The much anticipated debut of Buckley and Johnson didn’t start out looking like anything special, but as you’ll soon read, it didn’t stay that way.

    Wayne State looks like they have potential to be a pretty good DII team this year. They have size and some nice guards that can hit when left open. They stayed in the game throughout the first half as ISU’s defense looked more than a little rusty during the first 7-8 minutes of the game. What seemed to kick start things is when Kid came in off the bench and all of a sudden you had Johnson and four veterans on the floor. The defense locked down and it allowed ISU to overcome lots of missed shots and moved from a narrow 17-12 lead to pull out by 14 at the half.

    Coach Fen was playing with lots of different lineups as you would expect. The primary group of players went from Hal, Brynn, Johnson, Buckley, and Moody to include Kid and Baier. This front seven gradually pulled away from Wayne State in the second half to take a 76-52 win. So what did I take from the game?

    Baier has improved tremendously. She was in against some big bodies and showed some nice movement around the basket. She spelled Hal nicely and really showed some hustle. The coaches commented that she had really changed her body composition from last year and it shows. She wasn’t a liability in any way, shape or form. This was the biggest surprise of the game. Three points and four boards were a nice addition.

    The other surprise was watching Moody play. It seemed to be a game of halves for her. I tried watching her body language on and off the court. In the first half she seemed a step slow, made some bad mistakes, and overall didn’t contribute much. There was an overall appearance of lack of hustle and when she came out of the game she seemed disinterested. The second half was something very different. She had some outstanding assists (9 total), was active, and was a real team spark. Am hoping the staff can find a way to get that out of her from the start. It was a real pleasure to watch.

    The thing that makes you go “hmmmm” was Hal’s game. You’d think seeing her get 24 and 10 would be a pretty good thing. Yet I walked away thinking we saw her play a very average game. She made several mistakes and is definitely adjusting to being the “5” on the floor. None of the moving around and hitting three’s from deep. Her’s was a workmanlike performance that will only get better.

    Brynn and Kidd hit some nice three’s and played stellar defense. Yet, Brynn was missing for most of the second half on the offensive side of things. Kidd appeared to be a real mosquito-like pest on defense as she really pestered the Wayne State guards. I hope she is consistently able to come of the bench and contribute this way.

    So the news everyone has been waiting for. How were the freshmen? If you looked at Buckley’s stat line it wouldn’t appear too impressive – 3 boards, 5 points, 3 assists. What you can’t tell by that is how solid her play was. The coaches commented she is a pass first player that they need to work into creating opportunities for herself. She didn’t make mistakes. She is quick and scrappy. Big upside here. Johnson on the other hand opened some eyes. Like Buckley, her first half wasn’t anything to write home about, let alone set off fireworks. You could see that she could jump and she could play defense. Then the second half arrived and wow…the showed that she could develop into a “4” that will surprise some people. Seeing her and Moody was like watching a duo who had played together for much more than a couple of months. Moody obviously enjoyed feeding her the ball and it led to some spectacular plays. Johnson just seemed to be in the right place at the right time for rebounds or to take passes for baskets. Getting 15 points your first time out the gate is nothing to sneeze at. She was fun to watch in action. My dad noted she was the best freshman he had seen here in years.

    A few notes…

    My favorite stat line (and you’ve heard me preach this before) was free throws. Coach Fen always wants his ladies to make more than the other team attempts. Check. I always preach that a good starting five is going to shoot right at 80% from the line. How about nearly 86% on 21 attempts! The purest shooter at the line was Brynn. Her’s were effortless and simply left her hand and did the nothing but net thing. Beauty.

    The coaches weren’t wearing their usual semi-formal garb as Bill and crew were in polo-type ISU shirts. Interesting. Will it be long term? Will we miss the opportunity to see Bill throw off his jacket?

    New rule changes to note. The 10 second half court count didn’t matter. Probably won’t to this team. The hand check rule was ignored by officials much of the first half, but came into play in the second. They did a nice job of calling it both ways. An obscure change is when a team calls a time out within 30seconds of the 4 minute media timeout. They automatically eliminate the media timeout when this happens.

    So it was a solid start, very workmanlike overall, and definitely lots and lots of potential. As Buckley and Johnson (I keep wanting to call them Masters and Johnson) settle in this could get fun. One more exhibition midweek against DIII Carthage. This is a team that is a good DIII school and I believe made it to the Elite 8 last year. I'll be missing that one in person but will catch it online. See you at Hilton next Sunday for North Dakota!



  2. #2
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    Re: Twister Sister Summary - Ladies start things off right

    Good game, gals! Lots of potential there!



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    Re: Twister Sister Summary - Ladies start things off right

    Thanks for the summary. Good overall assessment.

    On the coaches' polos, IIRC, they wore them last year also for exhibition games, then switched into business for the regular season. Likewise, the men's coaches tonight also were in their Nike polos.

    Nikki made a statement right away with her long 3 from several feet behind the line. If she's been practicing those from that distance, and that swish wasn't just luck, that will be a real advantage.

    The other cool aspect of the offense was taking and making the pull-up or turn-around mid-range jumper. We have never been very good or comfortable with those. Players still passed up some open ones, but several players took advantage there (Nikki, Seanna, Hallie, Jadda).



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    Re: Twister Sister Summary - Ladies start things off right

    Acoustimac, you always do a good job with these recaps.

    I know it was against D2, but I was very impressed with the freshmen. Should be an exciting season.



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    Re: Twister Sister Summary - Ladies start things off right

    Nice recap. It was a good game to really experiment with different things.....like an exhibition game is supposed to be used for. Wayne State does look like they'll be a pretty solid team this year. And I'm sure with several players form Iowa (one being from Ames) and the coach being an ISU grad and intern under BF, I'm sure this team was pumped for the chance to play the Cyclones.



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    Re: Twister Sister Summary - Ladies start things off right

    Click image for larger version. 

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    Go Clones !


    (However, and just as for the men's poster, I would still like to see the whole team, and not just a few players.)



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    Re: Twister Sister Summary - Ladies start things off right

    Cous,

    Thanks for the write up; we couldn't make the game. I am so exited to hear of your comments on Baier. With all of her excitement, how can anyone not be a fan of hers? Now, if she can provide some on-court contribution, that will be great!



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    Re: Twister Sister Summary - Ladies start things off right

    I heard Jensen was cleared for the game, but did not play. I wonder how her development will factor into playing



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    Re: Twister Sister Summary - Ladies start things off right

    What is the deal will Ellis? I thought after Pop and Prins were gone that she could be some muscle inside. It appears that is not going to be the case.



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    Re: Twister Sister Summary - Ladies start things off right

    The word on Ellis is that she has to show in practice that she can contribute on the court. I was curious about whether Jensen would play too. Am guessing....she just hasn't had the practice time to be able to get on court and know what she is doing. Am anxiously awaiting seeing what she can bring.



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    Re: Twister Sister Summary - Ladies start things off right

    Jensen was just cleared on Saturday. So, yes, needs some practice time.


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    Re: Twister Sister Summary - Ladies start things off right

    I have two comments to make, Kidd was an animal, (I say that in the most positive and uplifting way) and we have to get her more open looks from the three point line. Secondly Baier deserves more playing time at least until she proves that she doesn't. She really did well.


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    Re: Twister Sister Summary - Ladies start things off right

    I was shocked when Maddie was the first big off the bench. Everybody on here pretty well had written her off for this season. She played well and I had to remind myself that this was her first substantial playing time of her career. Holding her own against Niggling and Lehman was nice to see and her one score showed a good move to the basket. I was surprised that Ellis didn't get into the game until the walk ons did. She must be deep in the BF doghouse.

    A quick shout out to the Women's Cross Country team for winning the Big 12 Conference Championship...

    Lastly, a thumbs up to the staff for a great job on the recruiting of the 2014 class. Maybe the new assistant coach hire wasn't so bad after all. The Sister's keep rolling along. Go Clones...



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    Re: Twister Sister Summary - Ladies start things off right

    Quote Originally Posted by 907CY View Post
    I was shocked when Maddie was the first big off the bench.
    I was relieved with Jensen's slow rehab Maddie showed she could step in . At 6'4" she has size we need (and was known for her shot blocking in HS). Maddie was slowed by an ankle problem last season. Ellis is under-sized in the front line so really Maddie was the go to girl who may prove to have game.



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