Last Thursday night in Iowa City, Iowa State sophomore guard Jadda Buckley played one of the best games of her career against the Iowa Hawkeyes when she scored 25 points in the loss.
When the Iowa State women’s basketball team (6-2) took the floor Sunday for their 82-56 victory over Arkansas-Pine Bluff, Buckley wasn’t suited up and had a walking boot on her right foot.
“They found it early, it’s not a stress fracture,” Iowa State head coach Bill Fennelly said. “But it’s something that we had to fix.”
Buckley had been bothered by soreness in her foot for a while but the current injury was new, according to Fennelly.
“We’d been monitoring it but this was something that came up a little bit out of surprise. She complained a little bit about it to Denise, our trainer, after the Iowa game,” Fennelly said. “Jadda’s pain threshold is very high and she doesn’t like to say anything because she doesn’t want to miss practice or games. She’s a very, very tough kid. So when she does complain, you better listen.”
Fennelly first learned of the injury on Friday and Buckley was put into the walking boot for precautionary measures that afternoon. Buckley had been averaging 9.7 points and 2.7 assists per game this season but had really turned it on lately, which led to her big performance in Iowa City.
“You always feel bad when a kid gets hurt when you’re coaching. There’s very few things worse than seeing a kid get hurt,” Fennelly said. “But it really came at a really bad time for her, because she had really had a really good week, and was coming off an amazing game against Iowa.”
According to Fennelly, Buckely could be back in 7-10 days but there is very little chance that she will be back on the floor next week when Fairfield comes to Hilton Coliseum. That opens the door for junior Kidd Blaskowsky, who scored 17 points and made five 3-pointers in the 82-56 win, in just her fifth career start Sunday afternoon.
“I think it’s just motivating to come in and play the role that I need to play,” Blaskowsky said. “Having Jadda out, that’s a big factor of our team, so I just wanted to benefit the team in any way I could, and get some rebounds and make some shots.”
Even though Blaskowsky doesn’t have a great deal of starting experience at the college level, Coach Fennelly doesn’t have any doubt that she will be able to step in and fill the void.
“There isn’t anyone that truly, I think, cares more about the team, program, than Kidd does,” Fennelly said. “She really loves playing here, she loves the fans, she loves being on this team. I get more texts from her than anyone that say, ‘Coach, tell me what to do. I’ll do anything you want me to do. I want to help the team.’ And she means it. We all get texts or calls from people that say what they think you want to hear and they don’t really mean it. Kidd means it. She loves playing basketball. She loves playing basketball at Iowa State and it was really neat to see her have her moment, and play so well.”
Blaskowsky’s big performance most likely puts her in position to start again against Fairfield on Sunday, but Fennelly hopes to have Buckley back when the Cyclones host Howard in the Cyclone Challenge on Dec. 29.
“They feel like they got it at a good time,” Fennelly said. “Hopefully with these 10, 12, 14 days of rest she’ll be ready to go and we can get her back for the tournament after Christmas.”