By Kirk Haaland, CycloneFanatic.com blogger
Kirk’s Women’s Basketball – All-Decade Team
G Lindsey Wilson G Lyndsey Medders G Alison Lacey F Megan Taylor F Angie Welle
Honorable Mention: Megan Ronhovde, Stacy Frese, Tracy Gahan, Anne O’Neil, Heather Ezell
Note: Stacy Frese only played in 2000 so I bumped her off the top five, but she was a key to the foundation of this great program. Wilson, Medders, Taylor and Welle were my no-brainer members.
Decade MVP – Angie Welle 1998-2002
Welle is still the all-time leading scorer by 274 points and leading rebounder by 243 boards. She is also the all-time leader in field goals made, field goal percentage, free throws made, free throws attempted, and is second in career blocked shots.
Biggest Regular Season Win – ISU 64 – TTU 63, 2004
Ultimately, this win didn’t prove much for the 2003-04 Cyclone women’s team that went 18-15 and only qualified for the WNIT. That said, when you beat the number one team in the land on what is essentially a buzzer beater—courtesy of Anne O’Neil—it is a big win.
Biggest Post Season Win – ISU 69 – Michigan State 68, 2009 NCAA Tournament
A dramatic comeback for the ages had the Cyclones erase a seven point deficit in the final 70 seconds. Doing so, they advanced to the Elite Eight for only the second time in school history.
Most Crushing Loss – ISU 65 – Penn State 66, 2000 NCAA Tournament
The year after, the Cyclones made the improbable run to the Elite Eight through top-seeded UCONN, Iowa State was looking to make it to the final eight for the second straight season. But it wasn’t meant to be for the Cyclone,s who were ranked 10th nationally and seeded third, as they lost a heart-breaker to the second seed, Penn State.
Kirk’s Men’s Basketball – All-Decade Team
G Jamaal Tinsley G Kantrail Horton G Curtis Stinson F Marcus Fizer F Craig Brackins
Honorable Mention: Tyray Pearson, Will Blalock, Jared Homan, Jackson Vroman, Rahshon Clark, Stevie Johnson, Jake Sullivan.
Note: Horton was just too much of a winner to leave off. Tyray Pearson might be the best player of the decade, that is the most forgotten. Stevie Johnson and Rahshon Clark were both such great team guys to go along with their skills.
Best writer that was once in the program: Paul Shirley
Decade MVP – Jamaal Tinsley 1999-2001
As a point guard in two seasons Tinsley was undefeated at home, two regular season conference titles, one conference tournament title, one trip to the Elite Eight, Big 12 Player of the Year as a senior, and a second team All-American as a senior. Not bad.
Biggest Regular Season Win – ISU 63 – Kansas 61 OT, 2005
Wins against the second-ranked team in the nation are rare. That is exponentially true when the win is on the road. This was the seventh straight win for the Cyclones after starting 0-5 in the conference and eventually propelled them to the NCAA Tournament.
Biggest Post Season Win – ISU 80 – UCLA 56, 2000 NCAA Tournament
This win to advance to the Elite Eight for the first time since the NCAA Tournament had been expanded to 64 teams wasn’t against all that highly ranked of a team. It was however the antithesis to what most of the experts had predicted. UCLA came in seeded sixth in the region and was the “hottest team” in the country before being shredded in every facet by ISU.
Most Crushing Loss – ISU 64 – Michigan State 75, 2000 NCAA Tournament
Just two days later the Cyclones squared off with the Spartans for the right to advance to the Final Four. We all know how it went down. The Cyclones were given the poo-covered end of the stick by only receiving a two-seed and being placed in the same region with the best team in the country. If that wasn’t enough, the game was played in their backyard of Auburn Hills, MI. Does anyone honestly believe that had Kansas would have gotten the same treatment had they finished the conference tournament play with a record of 29-4 (14-2) and having won the Big 12 regular season and tournament championships?
Best Regular Season Individual Performance – Craig Brackins, 42 points & 14 rebounds, Kansas, 2008
It wasn’t so much what he did, who he did it against, the lack of support around him or the fact it was a nationally televised game. It is the fact it was all four of those things combined. It was his coming out party for the nation to see when the bright lights were on and the ultimate catalyst to his draft stock soaring before he decided to return to Ames.
Best Post Season Individual Performance – TIE – Jared Homan, 14 points, 13 rebounds, & 7 blocks, Minnesota, 2005 NCAA Tournament & Jamaal Tinsley, 14 points, 11 assists, & 9 rebounds, UCLA, 2000 NCAA Tournament
It would be an impossible decision to pick between these two outstanding performances in the NCAA Tournament. Jared Homan was a monster in his only trip to the tournament and followed up this game with a 19 point 20 rebound game against North Carolina. Tinsley nearly notched a triple-double in the biggest win of the decade for ISU.