- ‘Tis the Season: London florist creates $4.6 million Christmas wreath
- No tailgating allowed at Super Bowl XLVIII
- Pentagon to transport African troops to Central African Republic
- Chinese man fed up with his girlfriend’s shopping jumps to his death
- Ukraine leader to talk with protesters; Washington urges caution
- Pope Francis: A nun saved my life
- Israeli P.M. Netanyahu backs out of Mandela funeral
- Elian Gonzalez makes first trip outside Cuba since custody battle
- U.S., British intelligence agents enter online sci-fi world to spy on gamers
- Sarah Palin to host the outdoors show ‘Amazing America’
Iowa State women looking for new leader
AMES, IOWA (AP) - Through the years, the Iowa State women’s basketball team almost always found a go-to player, someone to serve as the face of the program.
But Bolte is gone, taking with her a 17-point scoring average, four seasons of experience in the Big 12 and an understanding of how to play in coach Bill Fennelly’s system. So the search is on to find someone else to give the Cyclones their identity.
“If I’m the face of this program,” he cracked, “we have a major problem.”
Fennelly was totally serious, though, when he said finding that special player was a major concern.
“We’re searching for leaders, we’re searching for consistency,” he said Tuesday at the team’s media day. “I’m not going to lie to you, it’s the worst offseason we’ve ever had. We’ve had more people hurt that we’ve ever had hurt. So there’s great concern that we’re not as ready to go at the start of practice as I’d like to be.”
Prins, a 6-foot-7 junior and the team’s top returning scorer with a 9.9 average, is among those who missed time this summer. She was out from mid-July until about a week ago, the latest stint of inactivity in a career rife with injuries and illness. Fennelly figures Prins missed at least 60 days in each of her first two seasons.
When healthy, Prins can be a handful for opponents. She can score inside, she knocked down 27 3-pointers last season and made 73 percent of her free throws. She averaged only 20 minutes a game last season, yet just missed a double-figure scoring average in helping the Cyclones to a 22-11 record and their fifth straight NCAA tournament berth.
“Hopefully now that she’s a junior all that stuff’s behind her,” Fennelly said. “She’s very, very capable of changing the dynamic of our team. That only changes if she’s playing and practicing.”
Mansfield, a senior who transferred in from a junior college last season, started all 33 games and spent most of the time at point guard. But in five of her six highest scoring games, she played in the shooting guard spot, where Fennelly wants to use her this season.
Wherever she plays, Mansfield knows more will be expected of her after she averaged 8.8 points and shot a respectable 39 percent from 3-point range.
“I’m definitely ready to be a leader of the team,” she said.
Christofferson might be the player with the most potential to improve her game significantly. She’s long and athletic at 6-3, shot 52 percent from the field and showed a knack for hitting an occasional 3. She spent part of the summer with her high school coach in her hometown of Exira, a town of about 800 in western Iowa, working on a hook shot and shooting 3s on the move.
Fennelly said she’s the team’s most complete player and could become one of the program’s best players ever.
“I’m feeling a lot more confidence in myself,” Christofferson said. “Last year everything was hitting you all at one time. You didn’t know how to take things. This year, you just have a better sense of what’s going to happen.”
Should Christofferson and her teammate need any more incentive, photos of the Iowa State players who have been drafted by WNBA teams hang on one wall of the lounge in the Cyclones’ practice facility. It’s something they see every day.
“I’m waiting for someone on this team to earn a spot on that wall,” Fennelly said. “That’s the challenge we have to find in practice. If we find that, I think we’ve got a chance to be a decent team. If we don’t find that, there will be moments when we struggle to find an identity and find a way to be successful.”
By Tom Fitton
- Chinese man fed up with his girlfriend's shopping jumps to his death
- MILLER: Brady Campaign says Colorado recalls due to NRA, not grassroots opposition to gun control
- CURL: Obama tells a whopper on IRS scandal
- MSNBC host: Obamacare a 'wealthy white men' racist word
- Ted Cruz sees legal landmines ahead for Obamacare
- WOLF: The president's other Obamacare lies
- Lawmakers see 'false narrative' of Obama as a terrorist fighter
- Obama lied about Syrian chemical attack, 'cherry-picked' intelligence: report
- Satanists petition for statue at Oklahoma Statehouse
- Israeli P.M. Benjamin Netanyahu backs out of Nelson Mandela funeral
Independent voices from the The Washington Times Communities
Richard Ivory, editor-in-chief of Hip Hop Republicans and HHR at Communities Digital News, turns his interests, and pen, to the people making news today.
Find the latest news and happening that effect those in the Washington D.C., Northern Virginia and Maryland Metro region.
The world impacts us. What happens in our towns, cities, states, country and on this planet makes a difference to us.
Happiness is attainable. Morning to night. I love to teach, deal with folks that have an issue and really wish to tackle it and write.
White House pets gone wild!
Let it snow