Iowa State women's basketball roster projections and breakdown for the 2024-25 season

by 24USATVMarch 25, 2024, 7:01 p.m. 27

STANFORD, Calif. − The season was barely over, but Iowa State women's basketball coach Bill Fennelly couldn't avoid talking about one of the program's biggest concerns heading into the offseason.

Fennelly had to go through a massive makeover with his roster after five players entered the transfer portal at the end of last season. He's already bracing himself for more change to hit the Cyclones.

"I don't know what our roster is going to look like," Fennelly said following his team's 87-81 loss to Stanford in the second round of the NCAA Tournament at Maples Pavilion. "I'm being honest. Who knows what's going to happen? My approach right now is to celebrate what our team did, help them through the disappointment of tonight and we will get back home and evaluate where we are."

Related:Iowa State women's basketball March Madness upset bid comes up short vs Stanford

Change will likely occur. That's life in the transfer-portal era. But how much the Cyclones will change in the offseason will be the key. Iowa State is already losing key contributors Nyamer Diew and Hannah Belanger, who wrapped up their college careers with the Cyclones. But barring any major developments, Iowa State will return a strong core of its roster from this successful season.

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Here's a look at where things stand with the roster.

Barring any big moves in the transfer portal, the majority of Iowa State’s lineup is set. That’s not to say that changes won't happen.

Emily Ryan, Arianna Jackson, Audi Crooks and Addy Brown likely will be back in their starting roles next season.

Belanger, who has wrapped up her eligibility, is the only expected departure from the starting lineup. Her spot could be filled by Kelsey Joens, another strong shooter, or Aili Tanke, an incoming freshman from Johnston.

If the Cyclones want go to with some size, they could move Jalynn Bristow into a starting spot.

Could any of the Cyclones’ incoming freshmen be instant contributors?

Tanke has a chance to be a significant contributor for the Cyclones. She is an elite shooter who, thanks to her versatility, has drawn comparisons to Cyclones icon Ashley Joens. Tanke is coming off a senior season in which she averaged 15.2 points, 7.5 rebounds and 1.8 assists per game while shooting 47.3% from the field. The freshman class also includes Reagan Wilson, a 5-foot-8 guard from Indiana.

Which Iowa State players are poised for a breakout season?

Nearly everyone on the roster had big first seasons. But a newcomer and two freshmen from this season could play even bigger roles for the Cyclones next season.

Bristow came off the bench most of the season and provided Iowa State with versatility and length. She can rebound and score from multiple spots.

More:Expectations higher than ever after successful season for Iowa State women’s basketball

Joens also spent the majority of the season coming off the bench. The Iowa City native came up with some clutch shots throughout the season. But like Bristow, the opportunity to consistently stay on the floor wasn’t available during her freshman campaign.

Forward Alisa Williams will make her Iowa State debut. She sat out this season after entering the transfer portal late and coming to Ames from LSU. Williams will give Iowa State more length and versatility.

Tommy Birch, the Register's sports enterprise and features reporter, has been working at the newspaper since 2008. He's the 2018, 2020 and 2023 Iowa Sportswriter of the Year. Reach him at [email protected] or 515-284-8468.


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