AMES – Rarely is Alison Lacey confused about much of anything relating to basketball.
Except now, as Iowa State’s star senior closes out a decorated career while also trying to decide whether she wants to make a living playing it.
“I don’t know what I want to do,” said Lacey, who came to Iowa and the United States from Canberra, Australia. “Sometimes I want to play. Sometimes I want to go home. Sometimes I want to stay here. It stresses me out so I just don’t think about it.”
One thing that is clear is that Lacey’s play this season has her among some elite company.
The 6-foot point guard is sixth in the Big 12 Conference in scoring (17.5 ppg), first in assists (6.7 apg) and leads the nation in assist-to-turnover ratio (3.3).
Lacey also is shooting 40.8 percent from 3-point range and is 11th nationally in free-throw percentage (88.7).
Coach Bill Fennelly said it may be ultimately rank among the greatest single seasons in school history.
She’s been the primary reason why this young Cyclone team is ranked No. 15 nationally with a record of 21-5 overall and 9-4 in the conference entering Saturday’s 7 p.m. game with Kansas State (12-15, 4-9) at Hilton Coliseum.
“She’s having a senior year like you hope every senior has,” Fennelly said, “and probably has put herself in the discussion of one of the best players ever to play here.”
Fennelly has had eight of his players selected in the WNBA Draft.
He thinks Lacey — one of only seven players in Big 12 history to amass 1,500 points, 500 rebounds and 500 assists — has the best chance of any of them to enjoy a lasting career as a pro.
“She’s the most prepared player that’s ever played here to go to that level,” Fennelly said. “She’s as good as any guard coming out. Her versatility, her skill set, her competitiveness… all those things. We are getting calls from every WNBA team.”
Lacey said she is leaning towards continuing with basketball, provided the injury problems she’s had during her career are minimized.
“It depends how my body feels,” Lacey said. “I feel good right now.”
The question then would be where to play. WNBA? Europe? Both?
“She could go home and be a professional and make a good living for a while and enjoy it,” Fennelly said.
Lacey also could finish her degree this spring and start a life back in Australia. Or stay in the U.S. until she’s ready to return home.
“Sometimes I miss home and miss my family. I haven’t had a summer back there in five years,” Lacey said. “But I’m ready to experience new things so I don’t know if I’m quite ready to go back.”
Fennelly has tried to provide her with reasonable advice.
“What I told her is not to close any doors until you know you are sure,” he said.
Lacey admits it won’t be easy leaving the country.
“It’s so cheap here. And I love all the food now,” Lacey said. “I’ve grown accustomed to the way of life here. It’s more fast-paced than home. It’s really laid back in Australia. No one is that motivated. People just kind of hang out.”