Iowa State women’s basketball will take the court at Hilton Coliseum for the first time in a new chapter for the program Wednesday against Truman State (6:30 p.m. No TV). Here are five things to look for:
- The freshman class
On Wednesday, the highest rated freshman class in program history will take the floor for the first time in their college careers.
The class features a trio of ESPN Top 100 recruits in Addy Brown, Jalynn Bristow, and in-state phenom Audi Crooks.
Arianna Jackson, who’s brother played football at Iowa State, and Kelsey Joens, the younger sister to Ashley, are each in the class as well, and rated in similar spots depending on the recruiting service.
Those rankings will get thrown out the window once the season gets going. This is the final dress rehearsal.
- The rotation
Don’t take too much stock into what Iowa State does in the final 39 minutes of this game.
This staff brought in a lot a new players at one time and many players are seeing their first minutes of D1 basketball when the season officially starts on Monday, November 6 at 11:00 a.m. against Butler.
What could be telling is Bill Fennelly’s starting five he selects. The longtime head coach values using the starting five to identify the five players that would be on the floor late in a close game.
It doesn’t always work out that way, obviously, but pay attention to who is put out there.
- An early reunion
Truman State transfer Hannah Belanger was brought in to be a 3-point shooting threat for the Cyclones.
She’ll get her first shots up in a live game at Hilton while facing off with her former team to begin her final season of college basketball.
- A post transfer
Another new face for fans to get to know will be Sacramento State transfer Isnelle Natabou.
She’s gotten the nickname, ‘Nelly,’ and is another member of the international pipeline Iowa State has, being a native of Ceska Lipa, Czech Republic.
She’s been working with former Cyclone Stephanie Soares, who’s helping out in Ames while rehabbing her injury, on improving her post game.
- The great unknown
For the first time in more than a few years, Iowa State didn’t appear in the preseason bracketology selections from ESPN.
It’s hardly a measurement of talent and doesn’t impact anything on the court, but the expectations Iowa State shouldered in years past aren’t there yet.
This team is writing a new story for itself, and point guard Emily Ryan as well as fellow returners Nyamer Diew, Izzi Zingaro, Shantavia Dawkins and Mary Kate King will be there to help them write the start of it.