Football fan Fennelly set to tip-off his 18th year at ISU.


Bill Fennelly is a huge sports fan and throughout his media day presentation, the 18th-year Cyclone talked about the prospects for his women’s basketball team with repeated references to football.

He holds Paul Rhoads’ program in high regard and is one of its biggest fans.

Fennelly’s basketball team this winter will be built around senior Chelsea Poppens. He called her the ultimate Cyclone student-athlete.

“She reminds me of what (Cyclone linebacker) Jake Knott has done,” Fennelly said. “A kid who might have gotten overlooked a little bit but has dramatically impacted our whole department. (Poppens) understands the mindset of being a Cyclone.”

Fennelly went on to say that his do-everything forward Hallie Christofferson must be utilized more fully in 2013.

“(Hallie) is like the football player that you put in the slot, put in the backfield or just snap the ball to,” Fennelly said. “You just find ways to get her the ball. She can score it.”

The key for Fennelly’s team, however, might be guard play. Nikki Moody played the point as a freshman and will need to be a leader in the backcourt this year. She could have two freshmen perimeter players with her on the court at times.

“It’s just like the quarterback on the football team,” Fennelly said of Moody. “If the point guard doesn’t play well, they get a lot more attention. It’s part of the business. But, the good ones want that.”

Saturday, Fennelly’s crew will probably be on the court honing their skills at practice. But, I’ll bet Fennelly will also find a TV or at least a DVR to watch Rhoads’ crew take on TCU, too.

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