Kidd Blaskowsky’s team meeting to shifts ISU women’s focus to New Orleans

Trey Alessio

After the ISU women’s basketball team lost to Drake on Sunday, a lot of the players were frustrated, but no one was more frustrated than senior Nicole “Kidd” Blaskowsky. 

Blaskowsky texted ISU coach Bill Fennelly the Monday night following the Drake game.

“What do I do?” Blaskowsky wrote. “How do I get the post players more involved?”

Iowa State only scored two points in the paint against Drake. Blaskowsky recognized this and called a team meeting the morning before Wednesday’s practice.

“I just made sure we were all on the same page and laid down a few rules to keep everybody on the same page,” Blaskowsky said.

The rules focused around holding each other accountable and not having phones before practice. Blaskowsky said she wanted everybody to be more involved with each other before practice, which would allow the focus to be on basketball and getting better.

“Kidd has been through it and she understands,” Fennelly said. “It’s a little more personal to her because it’s her last year. She wants to do well, she wants the team to do well, but she’s got to bring three freshmen, a redshirt freshman and two sophomores with her. She’s an easy person to follow.”

Blaskowsky said Wednesday’s practice was the best the Cyclones have had all year. Fennelly also said Wednesday, Thursday and Friday were going to be the three hardest practices of the year after the start of the season for Iowa State regardless if it won or lost to Drake.

But the players bought in after Blaskowsky’s team meeting.

“[The practice on Wednesday] was very intense. We came ready. Everyone had energy and enthusiasm,” said junior Seanna Johnson.

Now Iowa State’s sights are set on New Orleans. It had a competitive few days of practice and now has shifted its focus to the next game after the Drake upset.

The Cyclones used a tally method in practice. If the offense didn’t score, the defense got a tally and vice versa. The loser had to run up and down the court. It made practice more competitive and like a game situation.

“There’s a lot more focus drawn into [the tallies],” Blaskowsky said. “You want to get stops. You want to score. It’s about creating a great shot versus a good shot. Getting rebounds defensively and offensively is very important, so we’ve been really focused on that.”

New Orleans has only played two games for Iowa State to scout against: TCU LSU-Alexandria. The team brings in a lot of players off the bench.

Iowa State will also face some full-court pressure, which it hasn’t seen much this season. However, Fennelly emphasized that the week of practice leading up to the New Orleans game was about improving and getting better as a team.

“It’s all game prep. For us, it’s like an open week in football,” Fennelly said. “You can self-scout and work on yourself. In basketball, you don’t get that very often but hopefully we’ve done some things to make our team better.”

Iowa State is more focused and more ready than ever going into the New Orleans game.

“Two games don’t define who you are, but it helps you build on [the progression],” Johnson said.

The Cyclones will take on the New Orleans Privateers at 2 p.m. Sunday, Nov. at Hilton Coliseum.