Jan 9, 2013; Lawrence, KS, USA; Kansas Jayhawks guard Ben McLemore (23) is called for a foul defending against Iowa State Cyclones forward Melvin Ejim (3) in the second half at Allen Fieldhouse. Kansas won the game 97-89 in overtime. Mandatory Credit: John Rieger-USA TODAY Sports

Melvin Ejim Sparks Iowa State's National Top 10 Ranking in Scoring, Rebounding

So many players have contributed to the fantastic 13-4 start for Iowa State. The addition of Korie Lucious has given the team a real point guard that’s made a difference in assists. Tyrus McGee has taken the role of clutch three-point specialist. But thanks to Melvin Ejim’s performance shooting and on the boards, he boosts the Cyclones to not only being the best team in the conference in scoring and rebounding, but rank in the top 10 nationally in both categories.

Listed at the top of career double-doubles in the Big 12 (among active players) with 15, Ejim has already recorded eight of those this season with 14 games still remaining in the regular season. It’s an incredible step up from his already decent sophomore campaign.

Last season, Ejim still was a scoring machine, but it wasn’t until later in the Big 12 season when his rebounding improved. He grabbed 10 or more rebounds in three of the last seven regular season games. There was a fantastic performance on the glass with nine rebounds in the loss against the eventual national champions, Kentucky.

Finishing with .489 percent field goal shooting and 226 total rebounds a season ago, Ejim already is averaging .497 percent and has collected 165 rebounds. Considering Iowa State will get a few more games with the Big 12 tournament and likely a postseason tournament, he’s on pace to shatter his sophomore totals.

Thanks to his efforts, Iowa State enjoys being ranked sixth nationally in points per game (80.5) and ninth in rebounds per game (41.9).

Now the Cyclones would like to take the next step, combining all the talent they have and grab their first big victory of the season. They almost had it against Kansas. Now they would like to avoid the trap game in Lubbock this Wednesday and try to make their first strike against Kansas State in Ames on Saturday.

Brian Spaen is the lead editor of Clones Confidential. Get more Cyclones coverage by following us on Twitter.

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