ISU women's basketball has a whole new look

ISU womens' basketball coach Bill Fennelly has questions heading into the 2005 season. Juniors Lyndsey Medders and Megan Ronhovde will provide some answers, but who will step up and fill the shoes of the five departed seniors?

This year the ISU women's basketball team will have a whole new look with the graduation of five seniors.  


"It's going to be a totally different team," said head coach Bill Fennelly. "We go from a bunch of older experienced players to new kids who don't know where the gym is, but that's part of college basketball. That's the world we live in."


Juniors Lyndsey Medders and Megan Ronhovde and senior Brittany Wilkins will return the most playing experience. Kandice Beenken, Abby Reinert, Lisa Bildeaux and Seirra Dawson saw limited action a season ago.


The team will bring in five newcomers this season: Rachel Pierson, Nicky Wieben, Heather Ezell, Gillian Bjerke and Amanda Nisleit.


The majority of the women's basketball team has been in Ames for summer, including the five freshmen. Fennelly and his staff can't work with the players, but strength and conditioning coach Andy Moser has been working with the team.


"Moser has done a great job this summer," Fennelly said. "He's kept in contact with us. They're playing, so from a far it's been good."


Medders led the team in assists last season averaging six a game; she was fourth on the squad in scoring with an average of 9.7 points per game. Ronhovde was right behind Medders with a 9.2 scoring average, she was second on the team in 3-point field goals made.


At one point during the season, Ronhovde hit 11 consecutive 3-pointers during a three-game span, including a 6-of-6 performance against Colorado.


"I think without question Lyndsey and Megan will be the foundation of our team," Fennelly said. "They have the experience, but they have to go from being good role players to playing at another level and then everyone else has to do the same thing.


"Brittany is a fifth years senior and we need something from her. Lisa Bildeaux and Seirra Dawson have gotten through the freshman year. They have go to from being happy to being here to wanting to play and then we have five freshmen and part of the reason they came to Iowa State I think was the opportunity to play."


Fennelly said he's told every one on the team besides Medders and Ronhovde if they don't play it will be their own fault.


"There aren't any eight players in the country with a better opportunity to play at a high level than those eight," Fennelly said. "The ones that do the work this summer and adapt to the game and what we want to do the quickest are going to play the most."


Medders and Ronhovde will bear the burden of carrying the load early in the season as the other players adapt and find their roles on the team.


"When you're a freshman I worry more about you adjusting to the college life, classes and being away from home and every one asks how good they are," Fennelly said. "They'll be okay once we get them to practice."

Fennelly said there is both good and bad news to this season – the good news being there's opportunity; the bad news is there are questions.


"Last year we didn't have a whole lot of question marks and this season we have a lot of them and hopefully we can find a few answers in those eight players," Fennelly said.

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