Wilson takes leadership of team for new season

Emily Arthur

Coach Bill Fennelly was bold enough to come out and say it’s her team now.

Her teammate and fellow senior Holly Bordewyk said the same thing.

But Lindsey Wilson?

She’s trying to stay humble.

“I think Holly and Mary [Cofield], we all feel like it’s our team,” Wilson said of the three seniors on this season’s ISU women’s basketball team.

“Definitely as a point guard you feel some responsibility and being a senior, but it’s everybody’s team.”

With All-Big 12 players Angie Welle and Tracy Gahan gone to graduation and Wilson being the only player left behind from “The Big Three,” Fennelly said she’ll have to take on more of a leadership role.

He doesn’t see that as a problem.

“It’s her team now. I don’t think anybody can deny that,” he said.

“She’s the undisputed leader of our team and she likes that role. I think she’s wanted it in the past but never really got the chance with the other kids we had here.”

Bordewyk agreed.

“She’s established herself as a big-time player for us,” Wilson’s good friend and roommate said.

“Just the way she leads the team and conducts herself, she definitely is the leader of this team.”

And Iowa State may need Wilson to take on more of an active role in the offense this year.

Of all the returning players in the Big 12 Conference, she’s coming back as the the leading scorer with 19.1 points per game, but Fennelly said with the loss of Welle and Gahan, who combined for 35 points a game, the Cyclones will need Wilson to score more this season — although she’ll also have to be careful not to do too much.

“Early on that will be Lindsey’s biggest weakness,” Fennelly said.

“Ultimately there’s got to be trust between the coaches and the players and there’s got to trust between each of the players,” he said.

“Lindsey Wilson is going to have to trust to drive and kick and ball to a freshman, and she’s going to have to trust throwing the ball into Lisa Kreiner and Brittany Wilkins in the post.”

“Not that I don’t think she’s going to want to take over a game and be capable of that,” Fennelly said.

“But she’s smart enough to know that she can’t do it herself.”

Bordewyk said she doesn’t think trust will be a problem.

“I don’t think it’s that she doesn’t trust us,” she said.

“She just has that much confidence in herself. She wants the ball when it’s on the line. I think she’s come to understand over the years how to play when the game gets in situations like that and how to use her teammates.”

Although Fennelly said he wouldn’t trade Wilson for any point guard in the country, Wilson’s not content with the praise, and she spent a lot of time in the offseason working on the weaknesses in her game.

“Since I was five years old, I’ve been playing point guard and I’ve always had the ball in my hands,” she said.

“I’ve worked on moving without the ball. There’s going to be times when I’m not going to have the ball in my hands and I’m going to have to fight through screens.”

Bordewyk has seen how Wilson’s improved over the past three years and said if there’s anybody who’s always working to make herself better, it’s her teammate Wilson.

“She’s always working on her game. Every year she comes out and she can do something different,” Bordewyk said.

“She worked extremely hard on her three-point shot when she first got here. She wasn’t a very good three-point shooter in high school, so immediately she worked on that and now she’s an awesome outside shooter. She’s gotten stronger, quicker and every part of her game has improved.”

With a lack of height and experience in the middle for the Cyclones, Fennelly said the team is going to be guard-oriented.

Wilson plans to take advantage of that.

“I’m excited to be so much more up-tempo,” she said.

“We’ll just get the rebounds and then go. It’s definitely going to be different. It should be fun.”

And she’s also excited to play a little bit more in the paint and post up when she needs to.

“Sometimes it might be the best matchup,” she said.

“There are a lot of guards who are smaller than me. I’ll post up once in a while in motion. It will be fun. It will be awesome to kind of push people around down there.”