Iowa State men’s basketball: Georges Niang will win Big 12 Player of the Year


It’s time to preview the most-hyped player for the Cyclones men’s basketball team; the centerpiece for the season, Georges Niang!

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There is little to say that hasn’t already been said about the man who is perhaps the most versatile player in all of men’s college basketball.  Everyone from ESPN to Fox Sports is talking about Niang as being among the most difficult matchups in the nation.

Last season was a banner year for the Massachusetts native.  He finished third on the team in scoring at 16.7 ppg and he added 4.4 rpg and 3.6 apg.  Operating often as a “point forward,” he finished the season as the only non-guard to crack the top 10 for assists per game.  His multitude of skills were used to post up in the block, pass the ball out of the high post, play the perimeter, and even bring the ball up the court in pressure situations.

I think every fan can remember a moment in 2013-2014 where Niang was basically the definition of clutch.  My personal favorite was against Iowa, where he scored 24 points, including the go-ahead reverse layup to win the game.

Mar 20, 2014; San Antonio, TX, USA; Iowa State Cyclones forward Georges Niang (31) shoots during practice before the second round of the 2014 NCAA Tournament at AT&T Center. Mandatory Credit: Soobum Im-USA TODAY Sports

With the loss of Melvin Ejim and DeAndre Kane to the ranks of overseas professional basketball, Niang will be looked upon to bear the mantle of leadership.  He obviously won’t be alone with a slew of talented transfers and existing pieces accompanying him.  Even though he will be the main focus of the offense, the work he put in during the offseason paid off huge, as he now looks fit and ready to rock.

My bold prediction for Niang this season (if it is possible to outdue many of the professional pundits at this point) is that he will be named first-team all Big 12 on his way to winning conference player of the year.

There is much I could still say about the 21 year-old with the “old man game,” but I will simply say that everyone in Cyclone Nation is excited to see the triumphant return of Niang and see him take the reigns of the team.