Iowa State women’s basketball was in the same boat as the men’s team last winter: a young team trying to find its way. The Hilton faithful saw glimpses of greatness, but never enough consistency to build off it.
Looking ahead to 2018-19, the Cyclones return a handful of key pieces and are reinforced by a trio of freshmen.
The first name to know when it comes to Iowa State women’s basketball is senior guard Bridget Carleton. Last year, Carleton averaged 19.2 points, 6.5 rebounds and 3.4 assists per game, and she proved her durability by starting in all 31 games.
Outside of Carleton, coach Bill Fennelly will look to Alexa Middleton. Middleton was inactive last year due to NCAA transfer rules after the senior guard transferred out of Tennessee.
While playing for a highly-competitive Tennessee team, Middleton played in 97 games, totaling 18 starts. In her junior season, Middleton was a weapon from outside, draining 42 3-pointers with a 38.9 3-point percentage.
Middleton and Carleton will likely shoulder most of the load at the guard positions, but the Cyclones have a pair of experienced players to back them up, as well as three newcomers.
Nia Washington and Rae Johnson found minutes throughout last season as well, and will be fighting for minutes at the point guard position alongside newcomer Jade Thurmon, a JUCO guard from Kilgore College.
Iowa State will likely play a three-guard lineup often, especially with the addition of Gatorade Iowa Player of the Year Ashley Joens. Joens was a 5-star recruit who comes to Ames from Iowa City High.
The final newcomer at the guard position will be 6-foot freshman Maddie Frederick from Tipp City, Ohio.
Madison Wise had a strong freshman season for the Cyclones in 2017-18, averaging 8.7 points per contest on 41.4 percent 3-point shooting.
She has a strong case to be a starter this coming season, but she will have competition from Adriana Camber in the small forward role.
Camber, a junior from Lund, Sweden, is a deadeye 3-point shooter and a strong rebounder who started 26 games in 2017-18.
Meredith Burkhall, a forward from Urbandale, Iowa, has been playing at center for much of her career at Iowa State. The senior averaged 6.3 points per game last season but had a strong finish to the year, including a career-high 20-point, 13-rebound performance against Kansas State.
Battling with her for minutes will be sophomore center Kristin Scott. Scott battled a concussion the second half of the season but still finished second on the team with 20 blocks.
Incoming freshman Morgan Kane and redshirt freshman Lauren Mills round out the roster for the Cyclones.