Rachel Pierson packs a punch at post

For the past few years ISU women's basketball player Rachel Pierson has been coached like a Division I athlete.

Dan Rolfes, her high school coach at Incarnate Wood Academy High School in Missouri was a former post coach at St. Louis University.


"I feel that he prepared me with my post moves," Pierson said. "The physical aspect of the game is what I love most. So hopefully I'll be able to contribute a little bit and not get into foul trouble."


The 6-foot-3 center was the 2005 Missouri Gatorade Player of the Year; she averaged 15.2 points and 7.6 rebounds, shooting 58 percent from the floor as a senior. Pierson finished her career as the Red Knights' career scoring and rebounding leader.


"It's been an adjustment," said Pierson on her transition to Iowa State. "I've been here since May though. I feel that I've adjusted a bit and I feel this year will be all right."


Currently Pierson is the lone freshman securely penciled in to start when Iowa State opens their season in an exhibition game against Concordia on Nov. 6.


"There's a lot of things I need to improve upon," Pierson said. "Game speed is a big difference, getting used to the passes. I'm not really used to playing with guards like Megan Ronhovde and Lyndsey Medders and those passes were hard to get used to this summer."


Pierson expects to see most of her time down low this season, but over the next couple of years she said she'd like to expand her game to the perimeter.


The right-hander said she's actually got some pretty good skills with her off-hand.


"When I was younger I randomly started working on it one day and ever since I realized I was kind of talented with my left hand, so I've been working on it," Pierson said. "Inside I'd actually rather shoot left handed than right handed."


Pierson said she chose Iowa State for two reasons, Coach Fennelly and team chemistry.


"I actually think that our team chemistry is very well early on for having five incoming freshman," she said. "Almost half of our team is new, so I think our team is doing extremely well. We actually just had a team retreat at Okoboji, so we've been bonding pretty well."

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