ISU women’s basketball team begins search for Medders’ replacement

Matt Gubbels

Of all the questions surrounding the ISU women’s basketball team, one may be the biggest key to success for the Cyclones: Who will replace four-year starter at point guard Lyndsey Medders?

Medders was the floor general and team leader for coach Bill Fennelly since 2003 and took the Cyclones to the postseason four times and the NCAA Tournament twice.

Fennelly said sophomore Alison Lacey will start at point guard to begin the 2006-07 campaign.

“The challenge for us is finding a point guard in our system that can score,” Fennelly said. “She did a great job last year; she didn’t turn the ball over.”

Lacey scored 7.7 points per game last season and only turned the ball over 35 times in 35 games.

She and juniors Denae Stuckey and Heather Ezell will try to account for the 12.8 points and 6.5 assists per game that Medders provided in her senior season.

Fennelly said Lacey’s willingness to play the point says a lot about her.

“She’s strong-willed and the biggest thing is she wants the ball,” Fennelly said. “I told her if this doesn’t work there are two people that are going to be in a lot of trouble.

“Her comment was ‘you have a longer contract than me.'”

Stuckey, who will be Lacey’s backup, is a junior college transfer from Butler Community College in Kansas.

She scored 16.3 points and had 4.8 steals per game last season, while leading her team to the Region VI semifinals.

Fennelly said tangibles such as points and assists can be replaced, but it is the intangibles, like Medders’ leadership, he is worried about.

“I think we have people that can do it, but, without question, you can’t just snap your fingers,” Fennelly said. “That’s the nature of college sports; players change, faces change, but hopefully you can still maintain your team.”

Lacey said everyone will have to play their part to take the place of what Medders did for the Cyclones.

“Whoever is on the court at that time is going to have to lead in their own way,” Lacey said. “I don’t think we’re going to have one set leader.”

After playing with Medders on last season’s NCAA team, both Lacey and Ezell said they learned several things about what they will have to do to be successful.

“She really taught us how to distribute the ball, and, if I want to get someone the ball to shoot, what play do I set up,” Lacey said. “She was smart at thinking what plays would work best for our team.”

Ezell said she did not realize how much she had learned from Medders until she was gone.

“I learned practically everything that I need to learn,” Ezell said. “She passed down so much to me, just everything from being a leader on the court and off the court.”

Ezell is a player who has contributed major things the last two seasons and will mainly play shooting guard. She will try to up her production from 7.5 points per game a year ago, but can also slide over and play the point as well.

Ezell said she can play either position, depending on what Fennelly wants to do.

“I will be kind of interchangeable with those,” Ezell said. “I’m going to do whatever’s best for the team and be flexible.”