Iowa State Women’s Team Braces for Clash with Maryland: A Favorable Mismatch in March Madness

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As the Iowa State women’s basketball team gears up for their NCAA Tournament clash against Maryland, one question looms large: Who can stop Cyclones freshman post player Audi Crooks? 

The 6-foot-3 Crooks has been a dominant force in the paint, and her presence poses a significant challenge for opponents.

Crooks’ emergence as a key player for Iowa State has been remarkable. Beginning the season on the bench, she quickly made her mark and secured a spot in the starting lineup. 

Her imposing size and skill set have provided the Cyclones with a true post player they’ve lacked in recent years.

Iowa State’s Secret Weapon in the NCAA Tournament

Iowa-state-women's-team-braces-for-clash-with-maryland-a-favorable-mismatch-in-march-madness
As the Iowa State women’s basketball team gears up for their NCAA Tournament clash against Maryland, one question looms large: Who can stop Cyclones freshman post player Audi Crooks?

Throughout the season, Crooks has been a nightmare matchup for opposing teams, averaging 18.9 points, 7.7 rebounds, and 1.1 assists per game. 

Her stellar performance earned her recognition as an All-Big 12 Conference first-team selection and an honorable mention Associated Press All-American.

Iowa State’s strategy against Maryland revolves around exploiting Crooks’ strengths. With Maryland’s lack of size inside, the Cyclones aim to feed Crooks the ball early and often, capitalizing on her ability to score in the paint. 

While Maryland boasts perimeter length and athleticism, they may struggle to contain Crooks in the post.

Even Crooks acknowledges the potential difficulty Maryland might face in defending her. Despite their tendency to front and provide backside help, Crooks remains confident that getting the ball inside will work to Iowa State’s advantage.

Beyond Crooks’ on-court prowess, the Cyclones find themselves in a unique familial situation during March Madness.

Read Next: Caitlin Clark Dominates: Unanimous Pick for 2023-24 AP All-American Team

Rising Star of Iowa State’s NCAA Tournament Campaign

Addy Brown, a key player for Iowa State, shares the tournament experience with her sister Kennedy, who plays for Duke. 

Both sisters, competing as seven seeds, harbor dreams of a potential family showdown in the national championship—a testament to their competitive spirit and familial bond.

For Crooks, the accolades keep pouring in. Prior to departing for California, she received the news of her selection as an Associated Press All-America honorable mention—a remarkable achievement for a freshman. 

Crooks humbly attributes her success to the support of her teammates, recognizing their role in her accomplishments.

As Iowa State embarks on their NCAA Tournament journey, all eyes will be on Audi Crooks and her impact on the court. 

With her blend of size, skill, and determination, Crooks is poised to lead the Cyclones deep into the tournament, proving herself as a force to be reckoned with on the national stage.

Read Next: Star Freshman JuJu Watkins Leads USC Women’s Basketball to Top Seed

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