Iowa State women's basketball roster takes hit with key transfers of Madison Wise and Kylie Feuerbach
Ever since the Iowa State women's basketball season ended, there were high hopes for the 2021-22 season. The hope was that with a roster full of experience with younger and older contributors coming back, an even bigger season could be in store for the Cyclones.
Two of those key contributors are leaving.
Iowa State senior Madison Wise and freshman Kylie Feuerbach, who both have starting experience, have entered the transfer portal. Wise, in a statement posted to social media on Tuesday, wrote that she was transferring to a school close to her family that lives in Indiana and one that offers the master's program she wants to pursue. Feuerbach did not return a message from The Register.
The two were major contributors for the Cyclones during a successful season that ended with a 17-11 mark and a trip to the NCAA Tournament. Iowa State, which finished 12-6 in Big 12 Conference play, also tallied two ranked wins against West Virginia and at eighth-ranked Baylor, ending a 61-game home winning streak for the Lady Bears. Wise and Feuerbach both helped.
Wise, a 6-foot-1 senior from Indiana, provided a big boost off the bench for most of the season for Iowa State, averaging 4.2 points and 4.2 rebounds per game. She appeared in 26 games, started three and averaged 20.5 minutes per game. Wise, a five-star recruit out of high school, was a quick contributor and a mainstay in Iowa State's rotation over four seasons. She appeared in 111 games at Iowa State and averaged 6.4 points and 4.2 rebound per game.
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Wise's junior season nearly came to an abrupt end when she dealt with migraines and persistent headaches and appeared in just 19 games. She dealt with even more adversity this season following the death of her infant nephew. Wise, who briefly returned home for the funeral, had to meet up with her teammates later in the NCAA Tournament bubble in San Antonio, Texas. Wise plans to take advantage of the extra season of eligibility provided to players due to the COVID-19 pandemic. It just won't be at Iowa State.
"As many of you know, these past few months have been very emotional for my family and me," Wise wrote in her statement. "I have faith that God will continue to provide strength to make it through this difficult time, but feel like I need to be closer to them."
Feuerbach, a 6-foot guard from Illinois, was part of one of the most decorated recruiting classes in program history. She was ranked the 71st-best player in her class by ESPN and made an instant impact at Iowa State. Feuerbach, who appeared in 26 games as a freshman, started 22 and averaged 5.7 points and 3.1 rebounds per game. She logged considerable playing time with guard Maggie Espenmiller-McGraw missing most of the season with an injury. After Feuerbach jumped into the starting lineup to begin the season, she was swapped in and out with fellow freshman Aubrey Joens. Feuerbach got the majority of starts and playing time.
Even with Feuerbach and Wise departing, Iowa State will have high hopes for next season. The Cyclones return Joens' older sister, Ashley, along with Lexi Donarski, the Big 12's Freshman of the Year. Two other parts of Feuerbach's recruiting class, Aubrey Joens and Emily Ryan, are also expected to return with Donarski.
Tommy Birch, the Register's sports enterprise and features reporter, has been working at the newspaper since 2008. He's the 2018 and 2020 Iowa Sportswriter of the Year. Reach him at firstname.lastname@example.org or 515-284-8468. Follow him on Twitter @TommyBirch.