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Joens on preseason watch lists

Ashley Joens

Iowa State women’s basketball has high hopes ahead of a season unlike any other — and the No. 15 Cyclones’ star player is receiving national attention.

Iowa State junior Ashley Joens was named to two preseason award watch lists Tuesday — for the Wade Trophy and the Jersey Mike’s Naismith Trophy, two of the biggest individual awards in women’s college basketball.

The Wade Trophy watch list was gathered together by the Women’s Basketball Coaches Association (WBCA)’s NCAA Division I Coaches’ All-America Committee and is reviewed midseason by the same group.

The Naismith Trophy winner is honored on April 3, 2021 and is usually given out during the Women’s Final Four. This is the first time Joens has made the Jersey Mike’s Naismith watch list in her three-year career, and it also coincides with being named honorable mention AP preseason All-America.

These preseason honors are a product of Joens’ breakout 2019-20 season. As a sophomore, she became the first player in Iowa State women’s basketball history to reach 1,000 career points before their junior season. Averaging 20.5 points and 10.9 rebounds per contest — the only player at the Divison I level to do so — the Iowa City native was unanimously named a First Team All-Big 12 selection and honorable mention All-American.

Last year Joens was a finalist for the Cheryl Miller Award and was named to that was list as well recently.

The Cyclones were a likely NCAA Tournament team before COVID-19 resulted in the tournament’s cancelation, and the expectations will be raised for Iowa State as its preseason ranking of No. 15 shows. The Big 12’s coaches picked the Cyclones to finish in third place in the conference in 2020-21 behind Baylor and Texas.

The season gets underway for Iowa State Nov. 25 at Hilton Coliseum with a game against the Omaha Mavericks. Tip-off is scheduled for noon, and attendance for the opener will be limited to family and close ties of the athletes and coaching staff due to COVID-19. Future attendance plans have not been finalized yet.

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