The Iowa State Cyclones are preparing for the 2023-24 women’s basketball roster and below is a preview of every player on the roster entering November’s opening game.
Below are the returning players, the transfers and the freshmen that will play a role in Iowa State’s upcoming season.
Expected to Return
The time is now for the 6-foot-2 senior to emerge as a star. She’s always been a glue player for the Cyclones, but with the departure of key players like Ashley Joens and Lexi Donarski, there is opportunity for her to shine. Last season she had career highs of 6.1 points and 4.1 rebounds in 20 minutes per game, despite only starting nine games. She’s aiming to be a full-time starter this season.
The 5-foot-7 sophomore guard was the only member of Iowa State’s freshman class a season ago. She only played 12 games, averaged 5.0 minutes, 0.8 points and 0.7 rebounds. She played behind an experienced backcourt and she should get more opportunities to contribute this season. As a reminder, she represented Canada at 2022 FIBA U18 Women’s Americas Championships, helping lead her team to the silver medal and helping her team qualify for the 2023 FIBA U19 Women’s Basketball World Cup.
It’s the 5-foot-11 senior guard’s team now. She’s the only returning double-digit scorer after averaging 10.6 points and 5.4 rebounds last season, along with dishing out a team-leading 204 assists. She is a two-time All-Big 12 selection and with the departures of Joens and Donarski the scoring will fall to her, especially early in the season. This is a good time to remind everyone that before Ryan joined ISU she scored more than 3,000 points in high school in Kansas and was just the third player to do it. The others were Jackie Stiles (3,603) and Laurie Koehn (3,160).
Mary Kate King
There is opportunity for the 5-foor-3 junior guard, who played in 10 games last season behind a stacked backcourt.
The 6-foot-4 redshirt junior forward settled into a rotational role last season after the season-ending injury to Stephanie Soares was hurt. She finished the season with 3.2 points and 2.0 rebounds per game. She’ll have to compete for playing time, but the path is clear for her to win a Top 8 rotational role.
Arrivals Via Transfer
The 5-foot-8 guard can score … at the Division II level. With Truman State, she was a two-time Division II All-American who averaged 21.3 points per game and shot 47.1 percent from the 3-point line last season. She was a 46.5 percent 3-point shooter, which fits perfectly into the Iowa State system. The senior likely has one year of eligibility left and is hoping to fit into a starting role and make her transition to Division I basketball look as seamless as Soares’ last season.
If you’re looking for a player that could potentially give the Cyclones what Soares did a year ago, the 6-foot-5 junior could be it. She transfers to Iowa State as a two-time Big Sky Conference award winner who averaged 15.8 points and 9.4 rebounds last season for Sacramento State. She’s a junior but already has three years of college experience, with a year at Iowa Western in 2020-21. And now you see why she’s back in the state.
Williams, a 6-foot-2 forward, played just one season for LSU, averaging 0.9 points per game for the national champions. She played behind a front line that included Final Four Most Outstanding Player Angel Reese and Sa’Myah Smith, who was SEC All-Freshman. So she’s looking for more playing time. The Denton, Texas, product was named to the Texas Girls Coaches Association Class 5A All-State Team as a sophomore.
Class of 2023 Recruits
The 6-foot-2 forward was the highest-ranked recruit in a class that was considered a Top 10 class by ESPN. The Derby, Kansas, product was No. 31 on 2023 HoopGurlz Recruiting espnW 100, the 2022-23 Gatorade Kansas Girls Basketball Player of the Year and a 2023 McDonald’s All-American.
The 6-foot-3 forward was ranked the No. 47 player in the country and was a Class 3A State Champion and Tournament MVP at Rider High School in Wichita Falls, Texas. Was named the Texas Girls’ Coaches Association (TGCA) 1A-2A-3A-4A Girls Basketball Athlete of the Year and a Class 3A All-State member.
The 6-foot-3 forward scored more than 2,000 points for her high school career and was ranked No. 57 on 2023 HoopGurlz Recruiting espnW 100. She was a two-time Class 1A State Champion at Bishop Garrigan High School in Algona, Iowa.
The 5-foot-9 guard from Roosevelt High School in Des Moines was the Iowa BCA All-Star Game MVP, a three-time IGCA All-State honoree and posted team-highs with 438 points, rebounds (193), assists (61), and steals (75). This is the part that coach Bill Fennelly will love. She was a 43 percent 3-point shooter in high school.
G Kelsey Joens
You know the name. The next Joens sister is in Ames. The 5-foot-9 guard from Iowa City, Iowa, was a three-time IGCA All-State member, three-time IPSWA All-State member and led Class 3A in points scored (591) last season.
Starting Five: Ryan, Diew, Natabou, Belanger,Dawkins
First Four off Bench: Zingaro, Williams, Brown, Bristow
You can find Matthew Postins on Twitter @PostinsPostcard