ISU's Fennelly Meets the Press

Iowa State head coach Bill Fennelly looked ahead to the upcoming season while introducing his 2003-04 squad Tuesday afternoon during media day. CN was there and has all of Fennelly's comments verbatim.

Bill Fennelly:

"I think the points from this team are going to have to come from every single person that plays. That sounds kind of silly, but we don't have a star player. We've always had a go-to player in the past, but don't this year. But we may have five games and in each of those you may see five different leading scorers. We have to find a way to score easier baskets. Every basket we scored last year would be like getting a tooth extracted. We didn't get any easy baskets. We have to score better on the block. We have to be a better free throw shooting team.

"Last year I thought we defended as well as we ever defended, and our turnovers were as low as they've been since I've been here, but you've got to make baskets in this game. Until we figure out a way to do that, we're going to struggle in this league. You can't win in women's college basketball in the 60s, consistently. We've got a lot of shooters, but do we have a lot of makers?"

"When a kid scores 31 out of 35 points in the second half, sometimes that's not the best way to win a game. This team all feels like they can do it. Even the freshmen will tell you they want that chance. Whether or not you can go out and do it against good players is the challenge."

"It's been the best fall we've had since I've been the coach here, as far as their work ethic, the experienced players coming back in the best shape ever, and our freshmen coming in not intimidated ready to go. I think we have some more options, so hopefully that will give us some chances to maybe score one or two more baskets. And instead of losing by one to Colorado on the road, we win that game. Maybe we can make a basket in the end to beat Texas. When the ball goes in the basket, you can look darn good."

"I'm not someone that ever believed you have to hit the bottom to rise to the top, or lose a few to appreciate winning. I think the people who say that lose too much and lose a lot. We've all worked as hard as we could, and our players played as hard as we could. We weren't as talented as we've been in the past and didn't have the depth we thought we'd have through some recruiting situations. Most importantly, we got outplayed by some people."

"I don't think anyone went home this summer feeling good about what happened. I think they feel like they let themselves down and their teammates down."

"I think we're going to be a better team. Whether or not this team is better in getting more wins, I don't know. But I think we'll be a better team for our fans to watch. I think they'll play in a way that gives themselves a chance to win."

"I have a lot of faith in Lyndsey Medders and that's why she's here. She's the one to start with that will get that chance. Playing with a freshman point guard can be the greatest thing in the world, or the worst thing in the world. We don't have time for her to learn the game; she's got to learn how to play it the way we want it played.

"The challenge for our point guards is going to be to show some patience. Her teammates have to help her. They all have to play better to take some pressure off of her. She's not Lindsey Wilson and we don't want her to be. She's probably not going to get the same number of shots Lindsey Wilson got. But I think she's going to be a very good player here."

"You want to put five players on the court that have a chance to make a basket, and it's going to be Lyndsey Medders and Anne O'Neil's job in particular to find the people who are open at the right time. It's going to be one of those deals where we have to figure out who's hot on a given night and get that person the ball."

"(Anne) played really well overseas. She didn't shoot well, but that might be more of a function of the bigger ball. But she played very hard and it was a learning experience for her. The game is very physical over there. The teams that we played were very good. The Italian team was as good as any team I've coached against. She played a lot for us, at the point and the two. With the exception of her shooting, I was very proud of how well she played."

"Anne relishes the role of having high expectations. I don't know if she ever got in complete shape last year and in the flow of the game. But she's someone that is going to have to score. At the end of the season she was scoring in double figures for us. She's got to find a way to make shots. She's going to be an additional ball-handler, and will have to improve defensively a bit. She's going to play point guard or off guard for us."

"Lisa (Kriener) has had the best fall of anyone on our team. She is in phenomenal shape. You watch her run and you can't believe it. She can run with anybody on this team. She's in her third year, is older and more mature. She understands now what we need from her. We have to do a better job of moving her around. I think she has the capability, at some point, of being an all-conference player. She has those kinds of talents and skills, and has shown them at times. The challenge for her is to be more consistent, that her lows aren't too low and highs aren't too high. She also has to rebound better and make more free throws."

"We're still going to run it up and down the court, shoot it and change defenses. But I think we're going to try to do some things different, because we don't have a go-to post player or a guard that can break people down off the dribble. You're going to see Lisa Kriener coming off double screens shooting the three, and Anne O'Neil posting up. We have to play that way to create offense. We need to find a way to be more diverse and different."

"All of our players can play more than one position, which allows us to go really small and play Lisa and Brittany together. We will play the hot hand if we can."

"Every team goes into a season hoping that you can play in the postseason. I don't know if we can or not. I think our schedule puts us in a position where if we win enough games, we're going to be in a postseason tournament. This is not a team that can win the Big 12. I'm not going to say that's possible, because I don't think it is. Can we win the Big 12 Tournament? Maybe. We have three teams in our league that are going to be in the top 10." (Texas, Kansas State and Texas Tech)

"The challenge will be getting through the preseason doing the best you can and win the games you're supposed to win and steal a few games along the way. Hopefully we stay healthy, because we don't have a lot of room for error, injury-wise, and then try to get to 17, 18 or 19 wins kn owing that the first and second rounds are here."


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