Reshaping the Roster: Iowa State Women’s Basketball Prepares for Change

Amidst the aftermath of the season’s closure, Bill Fennelly, the Iowa State women’s basketball coach, found himself contemplating a significant concern regarding the team’s future. The departure of five players into the transfer portal at the season’s end necessitated a substantial reconfiguration of the roster. Fennelly anticipates further alterations looming on the horizon for the Cyclones.

“I am uncertain about the composition of our roster,” Fennelly candidly remarked post his team’s 87-81 defeat to Stanford during the NCAA Tournament’s second round at Maples Pavilion. “I am being truthful. The future is unpredictable. Presently, my focus is on commending our team’s efforts, guiding them through tonight’s disappointment, and upon returning home, evaluating our position.”Change is inevitable, particularly in the era of transfer portals. The extent of transformation during the offseason will be pivotal for the Cyclones. While Iowa State bids farewell to significant contributors like Nyamer Diew and Hannah Belanger, the core of the roster from the successful season is expected to remain intact.Navigating the Madness: Comprehensive coverage of NCAA tournament brackets, scores, schedules, teams, and more.A Glimpse into the Roster’s OutlookThe projected starting lineup for the Iowa State women’s basketball team for the 2024-25 season is largely established, barring substantial shifts in the transfer portal. However, this doesn’t discount the possibility of adjustments.Emily Ryan, Arianna Jackson, Audi Crooks, and Addy Brown are anticipated to resume their starting positions next season.Belanger’s departure due to the conclusion of her eligibility marks the sole expected change in the starting lineup. Her void could be filled by Kelsey Joens, a proficient shooter, or Aili Tanke, a promising recruit from Johnston.Should the Cyclones opt for a larger lineup, Jalynn Bristow could secure a starting role.Potential Impact Players Among the FreshmenTanke stands out as a potential significant contributor for the Cyclones. Her prowess as a sharpshooter and versatility have drawn parallels to Cyclones’ legend Ashley Joens. Tanke’s impressive senior season statistics include averaging 15.2 points, 7.5 rebounds, and 1.8 assists per game, with a shooting accuracy of 47.3%. The incoming freshman class also features Reagan Wilson, a 5-foot-8 guard hailing from Indiana.Players Primed for Breakout PerformancesMany players on the roster showcased their potential during their debut seasons. However, a newcomer and two freshmen are poised to assume more prominent roles in the upcoming season.Bristow, despite primarily coming off the bench, displayed versatility and length, contributing significantly to Iowa State’s performance.Joens, who spent a considerable part of the season as a bench player, demonstrated her capability with crucial shots throughout the season. Yet, consistent playing time eluded her during her freshman stint.Forward Alisa Williams, set to make her debut for Iowa State after a season of inactivity following her transfer from LSU, adds length and versatility to the team.