AMES — Iowa State senior Maddie Wise missed most of last season with a concussion and, later, migraines she couldn’t shake.
She thought about redshirting, but decided against it and finished the 2019-20 season.
Her production dipped because of the injuries. She averaged just 2.7 points and 2.9 rebounds last season in 19 games compared to her previous career average of 8.4 points and 4.3 rebounds.
Now, she’s back to full health and ready to give her full contributions to Iowa State once again.
“Last year was definitely a struggle and it was definitely challenging for me,” said Wise, who scored six points and grabbed nine rebounds in No. 15 Iowa State’s 69-43 win over Omaha on Wednesday. “I don’t think I had ever missed a game in my life before last year.
“But I’m feeling good and I’m ready to get back out there.”
ISU Coach Bill Fennelly is ready for her to get back to her old self, too. Fennelly actually called the 6-foot-1 Wise the team’s X-Factor.
“We’re asking Maddie to play a lot of different positions and obviously she wasn’t healthy last year, so hopefully she can have a big senior year,” Fennelly said. “She gives us experience.
“You don’t always pick a senior as an X-Factor. but with what we’re trying to do with our team, with what she missed last season, the contributions she can make in a lot of different spots — she becomes really big for our team.”
Wise said she’s feeling no ill-effects from the concussion or migraines.
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“Knowing that it wasn’t concussion based and it was just a migraine cycle I couldn’t get out of has really helped my confidence a lot knowing it had nothing to do with getting hit,” Wise said. “I’m confident to get in there, get hit and play aggressive. That definitely helps my confidence for this season.”
She just wants to help the team in whatever way she can.
“Whether that’s sit on the bench, cheer and be a good teammate or playing the four or the guard or whatever is needed,” Wise said. “I need to step in and do what I can to help the team out.”