Selfless senior allows Cyclones to shine


Photo: Nicole Wiegand/Iowa State Daily

Senior guard Chassidy Cole wipes a tear while addressing the crowd at Hilton Coliseum following the ISU women’s basketball game against Kansas State on Wednesday, Feb. 29. The Cyclones defeated the Wildcats on senior night by a score of 57-33. 

Caitlyn Diimig

For most seniors, the thought of having a freshman take away their hard-earned playing time would be maddening.

Chassidy Cole has a different mindset.

“I feel like if someone is better than me or that they’re capable of contributing to the team more than I can, then go for it,” Cole said before the Oklahoma game on Feb. 18. 

Freshman Nikki Moody came to Iowa State from Euless, Texas, this fall and has quickly become one of the best players this season.

Moody shares the guard position with Cole and senior Lauren Mansfield. There isn’t always a need for three guards, so someone was going to get less playing time.

That person was Cole.

Iowa State needs scorers, and Moody and Mansfield are hot beyond the arc. Mansfield has scored 41 3-pointers and Moody 38, the second- and third-most on the team.

Not getting as much playing time may have fueled Cole to step up her game, but it wasn’t due to jealousy.

“I am behind her a 110 percent,” Cole said of Moody. “That’s my teammate and she’s capable of doing whatever she puts her mind to.”

Cole can’t shoot 3s like Moody and Mansfield can, but she’s got a knack for a particularly big part of any game: defense.

”I don’t score much on offense, but if I can contribute on defense and get some assists, I think that’s going to help our team a lot,” Cole said.

Cole dished out a career-high 11 assists against Kansas on Feb. 15. Cole also has fewer turnovers than Mansfield and Moody, with a 1.6 average.

“I look up to Chas defensive wise,” Moody said. “She’s our lockdown defender and I know that when she graduates and when she leaves, somebody else needs to step up.”

For the two teammates, it isn’t about who is the best guard, it is about being teammates and improving their guard play together.

“She wanted me to play well and I wanted her to play well,” Moody said. “We knew we could win together.”

Moody said she frequently asks Cole for tips on how to improve her defensive game.

As the season has worn down, Cole has seen more minutes on the court.

In the first home conference game against Baylor on Jan. 7, Cole played just 22 minutes. At her last home game Wednesday, Cole played 38 minutes — the most playing time out of any player for Iowa State or Kansas State.

The 38 minutes were played against a tough guard, KSU junior Brittany Chambers, who averages 14.8 points per game. That night, Cole held Chambers to just four points.

Junior Anna Prins remembers Cole stepping up at the home game against Oklahoma on Feb. 18.

“Chas was really huddling everyone together in the game and keeping us calm when things were getting really riled up,” Prins said at news conference following that game. “She was just saying, ‘Ladies we’re not losing this game.’”

Iowa State went on to defeat Oklahoma 77-71.

Prins said Cole has become more comfortable with her leadership role.

“She’s come out of her shell a lot in that senior leadership position,” Prins said. “I’m really proud to say that I play under her.”

Cole played her final home game on senior night Wednesday. The Cyclones won 57-33 against Kansas State.

Cole concluded her final night in Hilton Coliseum giving her senior speech to thousands.

Although she teared up halfway through her speech, her voice did not quiver as she read the final line: “Once a Cyclone, always a Cyclone.”