Bill Fennelly and the Iowa State women's basketball team picked up its first commitment of the 2015 recruiting class last week in versatile 6-foot-1 wing Bridget Carleton out of Ontario, Canada.
Carleton, who is regarded as one of Canada's top women's basketball prospects, chose the Cyclones after visiting Michigan, Michigan State, Villanova and Nebraska during the recruiting process. It was her relationship with Associate Head Coach Jodi Steyer that made the difference.
"Coach [Jodi] Steyer and I spoke the most," Carleton told AllCyclones.com. "She came up to one of my high school games and me and my entire family just felt most comfortable working with her. She seemed so genuine and honest throughout the process and that was a big part of my decision. After she came up we all got a good feel from her from the beginning, and that's how I really started to get more interested in Iowa State."
2015 pledge Bridget Carleton
A second–team all-star last season in the Junior Elite League of Ontario, Carleton is vying for another opportunity to play for the Team Canada National Team again this summer. As co-captain of her team in the U16 FIBA Americas tournament in Cancun last summer, Carleton 11.4 points per game, including 43 percent from the field and 50 percent from three-point range to capture the silver medal. Carleton has qualified for the U17 World Championships this summer.
It's no surprise Carleton was drawn to Iowa State's style of play — the Cyclones led the Big 12 in three-pointers made in 2013-14 — on a December visit to Ames.
"I'm definitely a shooter," she said. "I like to shoot the ball. And I've been told that for being 6-foot-1, my ball handling is pretty good. [The Cyclones] didn't say specifically what position I'd play, but they did say that I could play the 1 [through] 4 on the floor and be used at all positions in any given situation."
Having made her commitment, Carleton is ready to concentrate on improving.
"I need to learn to finish at the rim after contact," she said. "I really want to work on that this year and getting stronger before I get to the next level. It's a huge relief now that I've made my decision. Now I can focus on basketball and school and enjoy my senior year."