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Women’s College Basketball: No. 8 Iowa State announces top-10 2023 signing class

Head coach Bill Fennelly and his staff announced the highest-rated signing class in program history, with five student-athletes on board to join the Cyclones in 2022-23.

AMES – For Iowa State women’s basketball, making history is happening even beyond the court. Head coach Bill Fennelly and his staff announced the highest-rated signing class in program history, with five student-athletes on board to join the Cyclones in 2022-23.

The new additions are forward Jalynn Bristow from Wichita Falls, Texas, forward Addy Brown from Derby, Kansas, center Audi Crooks from Algona, guard Arianna Jackson from Des Moines and guard Kelsey Joens from Iowa City. This quintet ranks at No. 10 in the 2023 ESPNw/HoopGurlz Recruiting Rankings at the time of publication.

“This is a great day for Iowa State women’s basketball,” Fennelly said. “We are adding five great young people and their families to our Cyclone family. Our staff knew that the 2023 class would be an important one, and they have delivered with one of the highest-rated ones in our program’s history. We add five players who will provide versatility at both ends of the floor. They are already a very connected group, and are very excited to get to campus, and play in front of the best fans in the country.”

Jalynn Bristow – Forward, 6-2, Wichita Falls, Texas (Holliday)
Bristow checks in at No. 47 in the ESPNw/Hoop Gurlz Class of 2023 recruit rankings. In three seasons at Rider High School, Bristow put up 2,060 points at 22.4 per game and grabbed 1,139 rebounds at 12.4 per game, earning All-State, All-Region and District MVP all three seasons. Bristow will play her senior season at Holliday High School. Teaming up with fellow future Cyclone Addy Brown, Bristow helped lead the 17U Team Lex Nation team to a National Title at the Adidas 3SSB Tournament this past summer.

Coach Fennelly Says…
“Jalynn is rated as one of the best players in Texas and nationally. She has great length and has a skill set that allows her to impact the game in a variety of ways at both ends of the floor. JB fits our style of play perfectly, and helps to fill what we will lose in our frontcourt.”

Addy Brown – Forward, 6-2, Derby, Kan. (Derby)
Brown checks in as Iowa State’s highest-rated signee on the ESPNw/Hoop Gurlz Class of 2023 rankings at No. 31. A two-time First Team All-State honoree and conference MVP and three-time all-conference honoree, Brown helped lead Derby to a Kansas Class 6A runner-up, averaging 14.5 points per game and 9.3 rebounds per game while shooting over 60 percent from the field. With fellow future Cyclone Jalynn Bristow, Brown helped lead the 17U Team Lex Nation team to a National Title at the Adidas 3SSB Tournament this past summer.

Coach Fennelly Says…
“Addy is coming off a great summer and was recognized as one of the best players in the country. She is a very talented offensive player who can score at all levels and, in our mind, is one of the best passers we have seen in this cycle. She is another frontcourt player we will be counting on with what we graduate.”

Audi Crooks – Center, 6-3, Algona, Iowa (Bishop Garrigan)
Crooks is at No. 57 in the ESPNw Hoop Gurlz Class of 2023 recruit rankings and is wrapping up a decorated prep career across multiple sports. On the basketball court, Crooks is the three-time Iowa Class 1A Player of the Year and has led Bishop Garrigan to the Class 1A state title game three times, claiming the title last season. Individually, Crooks has racked up 1,845 points at 71.1 percent shooting. She also has 955 rebounds and 287 blocks across three seasons. In track and field, she has won the last two Class 1A shot put state titles, breaking the division record last year with a throw of 45-1. In volleyball, Crooks was a three-time all-conference honoree and led the Golden Bears with 254 kills and 70 blocks this past season.

Coach Fennelly Says…
“Audi will help us fill a major need in the post next season. She is a very skilled low-post player who has great hands and footwork. Audi is a player who has gained national attention for her play, and it is exciting that she is from our state. I know our fans will love to see Audi in a Cyclone uniform.”

Arianna Jackson – Guard, 5-9, Des Moines, Iowa (Roosevelt)
Jackson, a four-star guard, has been a three-time All-State honoree (earning First Team honors in 2022) at Roosevelt High School in Des Moines. She helped lead the Roughriders to last year’s Class 5A State Tournament for the first time since 2008. A three-time all-conference recipient, Jackson has racked up 787 career points and 301 rebounds, leading the state in 3-point shooting percentage as a sophomore at 64.3 percent. Jackson is another multi-sport star, having made the state championships in cross country and track and field three times. Jackson is a legacy Cyclone, with her father Hez playing football for the Cyclones from 1995-99 and brother Kendell currently a linebacker with ISU.

Coach Fennelly Says…
“’AJ’ was born to be a Cyclone; her parents are Iowa State graduates, her father and brother played football at Iowa State. Arianna is someone who has excelled in the classroom and on the court while showing great leadership traits. She can play the point or off-the-ball and is a willing defender.”

Kelsey Joens – Guard, 5-10, Iowa City, Iowa (West Liberty)
Another member of the Joens family is headed to Iowa State and will ensure Joens family continuity in the Iowa State program following older sister Ashley’s graduation following this season. The fourth Joens sister to play Division I basketball, Kelsey earned 2022 First Team All-State honors and was a three-time all-conference selection at Iowa City High. In helping lead City High to the state tournament twice, Joens racked up 1,056 points across three seasons, including 124 3-pointers. She will play her senior season at West Liberty High School for oldest sister Courtney, who took over as head coach over the summer.

Coach Fennelly Says…
“We are excited to add another member of the Joens family to our program. Kelsey is a dynamic scorer who can score at all three levels. She can play across the perimeter and that will allow her to fill many roles on our team. Kelsey has tremendous work ethic and love for the game.”

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