Monday, January 6, 2014
All Big 12 Update - 2013-14 non-conference
In the future, I'll be using conference games only stats but the record start by ISU got me wondering how our guys stacked up so far.
Reiterating what I said above, this is from only non-conference games, so take it with a grain of salt. But that said, the Cyclones are well represented, and are about where I'd expect them to finish the year. Of note, DeAndre Kane finishes as the non-conference Big 12 player of the year - if there was such a thing. He did win player of the week twice when nobody else did. The way he fills the stat sheet can't be ignored. And if the Cyclones finish the year as the top team in the conference, he'll be the favorite for POY.
Kane's toughest competition might come from a player on his own team - Melvim Ejim. Dustin Hogue has hampered Ejim's rebounding but he's made up for it with scoring, finishing the non-conference as the second highest scorer in the Big 12. One player on the all big 12 first team is rare enough. Two players would be unheard of (probably, I didn't look back very far). I don't see these two getting kept off..
Last year, Marcus Smart didn't win newcomer of the year, and Will Clyburn won it even though he was only on the second team, so Dustin Hogue has to be considered a favorite to win it this year. The dude is a rebounding machine (tops in the Big 12 this year), and scores enough to gain some points there too. I don't see his contribution slipping any during the conference schedule.
Georges Niang is whom ISU fans want to see with the ball at the end of a close game, but that might not be enough to get recognized by the Big 12 media. He scores at a decent clip, and his assists are top 10 in the league but altogether it's probably just enough to land on an all Big 12 team. It'd be a good problem if we're disappointed our fourth player represented only made the third team.
- Marcus Smart will be a top 5 player in the league. Without Markel Brown I think it'll be too difficult for him to repeat as POY.
- My man Kyan Anderson has started out hot. It all depends on where TCU finishes if he's a first team or third team performer.
- Cory Jefferson is a solid basketball player. I haven't watched him much, but his numbers are solid. He's a better player than the much higher profile Isaiah Austin, who isn't even represented in my list above.
- Kansas players are struggling. If I didn't know anything about their schedule, I'd say Kansas didn't play anybody in the non-conference and played scrubs a lot of minutes. But since I do know their schedule, I know they played a LOT of tough competition, and probably played their best players significantly. Will their stars play better in the conference?
- There are a lot of people on my list I'd never heard of before. This tells me a couple things. The Big 12 continues to have individual talent on every team. Eight of the ten teams are represented. It also tells me that everyone is recruiting well (especially OU and Texas), with 8 new players on the list.
This might not tell us everything, but as Iowa State fans, we should feel great about where our team is right now and the talent that Fred is bringing in (Kane and Hogue) and developing (Ejim and Niang).