Twister Sister Summary - at long last...the forwards

Discussion in 'Women's Basketball' started by acoustimac, Jul 19, 2013.

  1. acoustimac

    acoustimac Well-Known Member

    Jan 8, 2009
    Associate Professor
    Lamoni, IA
    This has been a long time coming, relatively speaking, but here it is – a look at the forwards of the upcoming version of the Twister Sisters.

    This is a position with returning players and some new added to the mix. Let’s chat about the later first. Jordan Jensen is going to be an “x†factor this year. She was a real power for her high school and AAU squad before exploding her knee a year ago. So, she hasn’t played basketball in 12 months. The questions I have are going to be (a) how will the rust impact her play and (b) how will missing a year of development impact her development as a college player. We are essentially adding someone jumping from her junior year to college freshman. So what do we know? She’s tall (6’3â€) for a forward and is used to playing the post. She might see some time there, but I think she will get time outside of the post so I included her here. She is strong and moves both directions well. Unlike our other forwards her outside shot is unproven. I like her athleticism, but its hard to say much with the mysteries that surround her. I know she’s working hard, but currently “banned†from getting on the court for games with the other players.

    Everyone else at the 4 is a returning player and the list is short – Hal and Brynn. Hal developed tremendously last year. Her conditioning was superb and unlike the year before when she faded late, last year she was a powerhouse all the way to the end. Every aspect of her game from defense to three point shooting improved. So much so that she was selected as a unanimous All Conference selection. Hard to imagine how she missed out on the national team. So what to expect this year? More leadership for one. She is one smart cookie and this team will revolve around her. The game is going to run through her as well. Not that she will be a black hole, but she is the top proven scorer on the team. She should also serve as a good distraction to open up other players in the middle. The nice thing is that if she drives, she will pull double teams and she can dish very nicely to whoever comes open. So what do I expect from her this year? More of the same. If she can perform at the same level as last year (which will be a challenge with Pop and Anna gone) it will lead to success for the team.

    So what about Brynn? At times last year she showed flashes of brilliance from deep, but she had some of Kelsey Bolte’s non-senior habits such as setting up in set spots waiting for a pass. She needs to learn how to get her self open to create her shot. The real thing that emerged last year was how she became the team’s defensive stopper. That role has usually fallen to a smaller guard in the past and having a 6’ stopper is a good thing. So what about this year? Here is what I think we need from her. First, create her 3 point shot from all over the court. Second, score more. I’d like to see her improve here by about 4-5 points per game minimum. Third, get to the free throw line more. That means she is going to have to drive if she is hounded at the line. She is an 80% shooter so that is a good thing. She is going to get called on to play D again, but I’m hoping one of the guards – Moody, Johnson, or Buckley – step up to handle defensive stopper chores more.

    Overall, this is the position with the most proven strength on the team. With consistent play from Hal and mild improvement from Brynn it will be a solid part of the team. Then we just hope to get some depth out of Jensen while hoping she gets the year to grow. Thoughts?
  2. StClone

    StClone Well-Known Member

    Dec 17, 2009
    Brynn and Hallie's experience will be one of our biggest assets this season.

    Adding to her deep threat and masterful defense having Brynn develop an inside game would make her extremely dangerous. In my discussions with WBB observers they seem to believe she is tall but not a nifty ball handler and so avoids driving. Well Aus at 6' did. Working hard on defense may also take some energy from the offensive side of her game. Do not agree with that either. I will agree that Fennelly works to her strength, and weaknesses, and uses them and that is what we are seeing in her game.

    I hate to pick favorites, but Hallie, Brynn and Kidd are mine. Hallie will be Hallie. She is now one of the most complete players I've seen at our forward position. Few times last season she was outplayed, out of position or dominated. You can't ask much more out of her. But it would not surprise me if she exploded this final season as she did back in HS.
  3. Royalclone

    Royalclone Well-Known Member

    Jun 22, 2008
    Lee's Summit, MO
    Hallie is going to go down as one of ISU's best. In fact she would be on my all-time Fennelly starting five:

    1 - Stacy Frese
    2 - Alison Lacy
    3 - Megan Taylor
    4 - Hallie Christopherson
    5 - Angie Welle
  4. cykadelic2

    cykadelic2 Well-Known Member

    Jun 10, 2006
    #4 cykadelic2, Jul 20, 2013
    Last edited: Jul 20, 2013
    I would not necessarily classify Jensen, HC and BW as "4s".

    Hallie played 3 most of the time last season with Poppens and Prins. I doubt she'll play much 3 this season (which is her best position) but she will swing between the 4 and 5 this season out of necessity. Gambino (no offense), Baier (talent development issues), and Jensen (knee issues) are all huge question marks heading into this season. If none of those 3 are positive contributors when playing extended minutes, then Hallie is going to be the primary 5. If one of those 3 do emerge, then they likely will be the primary 5 with Hallie playing the 4 most of the time.

    BW was a 2 for the most part last season. If HC plays most of the minutes at the 5, then BW is going to play mostly at the 4, again out of necessity. Her best position is to swing between the 2 and 3 like she did last season. The defense will suffer if Brynn is not guarding wings but instead guarding 4s in the post as she is an excellent wing defender. At the 4, she will create some match-up issues with her outside shooting ability, I doubt she will ever emerge as a low post threat.

    Johnson may also see time at the 4 if Hallie is forced to play the 5 most of the time.

    You also didn't mention Ellis. She is too short to play the 5 and she definitely is not quick enough to play any 3. She is locked in at the 4 (like last season) and likely won't see much time at all if she doesn't improve.
  5. acoustimac

    acoustimac Well-Known Member

    Jan 8, 2009
    Associate Professor
    Lamoni, IA
    Cykadelic...I do agree that I "mislabeled" Hal as a 4. She was a 3 last year. I agree that she will probably end up in the 4 position this year UNLESS Jensen emerges or Ellis evolves. Ellis is a little small, but she is strong and has the body for it. In many ways I don't think we will play a "5" if Gambino or Baier don't step up. I think that a new type of offense with 3 guards, a small forward, and a hybrid (Hal) will be used. Using this type of scenario would stretch a traditional team to cover us. A center simply can't cover Hal. More teams will be forced to play a zone hoping to keep us in check. As for Brynn...she has to develop into the 3 position this year to help this team out. She needs to become a (this is a bad word) "lesser" version of what Hal did last year by adding the ability to drive to her game.

    Ellis is one of those people who mystify me in a way. She is a post stuck in a too short body. She has the desire and the drive, but not the height to play as a 5. So yes, that does put her in the 3-4 mix somewhere...most likely as I mentioned, as a 4. Her grit help to overcome some of the height deficiencies. Time will tell. I can't believe I missed her as I love watching her play!
  6. CyberJJJ

    CyberJJJ Well-Known Member

    Dec 19, 2006
    Sales & Marketing
    Johnston, IA
    At least there is one less 6'8" player for them to have to guard in the post.

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