Ejim has evolved from a promising freshman to a sophomore glue guy to a dynamic junior. The next step in his evolution is becoming a complete offensive player.
Little did we know how true those words would become but we found out quickly when Ejim made his season debut against Michigan on November 17th and stated his intention for the season by dropping 22 points, collecting 9 rebounds, and shooting 60% from the field in a win over the Wolverines.
Ejim has done a lot of things at Iowa State and is just as synonymous with the rebirth of Hilton Magic as Fred Hoiberg is. He's alarmingly consistent and until this year was not a double-double machine by having one great night followed up by one terrible one.
Despite his consistency Ejim's improvement since first taking the floor in 2010 has been noticeable. A guy who couldn't handle passes from Royce White two years ago is now catching alley oops on his fingertips. A man who missed the bunnies when wide open shows up against Michigan with legitimate NBA post moves. To say Ejim took a glass ceiling and shattered it would be doing a disservice to the amount of work he's put in during his four years in Ames.
I could go on all day about how Ejim has changed in front of our eyes, but CanAzn already did that. Instead I'm going to break down the numbers of one of the greatest Cyclones of this generation, and possibly ever.
Career double-doubles for Ejim, tying him for 5th all-time on Iowa State's career list, and making him the active leader in the Big XII. One more gives him 5th place all by himself, and six more ties him for 4th.
In an ode to his development Ejim pulled in four double-doubles in his freshman campaign, three as a sophomore, an astounding 15 as a junior, and nine through Tuesday's game against Baylor.
Ejim needs just one rebound to become the fourth player in Big XII history to join the 1,500 points and 1,000 rebound club. The other three are Damion James (Texas), Nick Collison (Kansas), and Aleks Maric (Nebraska).
The aforementioned total rebounds number for Ejim, which ranks him 3rd on the all-time Iowa State list. 26 more will move him to 2nd place.
Capital One First Team All-Americans have played for the Cyclones: Ejim and Fred Hoiberg.
Capital One First Team All-Americans have led the Big XII in scoring. Ejim is attempting to become the first.
48 & 18
Ejim's career steals, yes steals, ranking him 12th on Iowa State's all-time list.
Ejim's career starts, which is 3rd on Iowa State's all-time list. Four behind Fred Hoiberg and five behind Jeff Grayer. I'll let the peanut gallery do the math on what Ejim needs to do to move to #1.
The school record for games played, which Ejim tied on Tuesday night against Baylor and will break Saturday against Oklahoma State. The previous record holder: Diante Garrett.
The number of wins Ejim has been a part of at Iowa State, one shy of the record set by Jacy Holloway from 1994-1997.
Ejim's Big XII rankings in points, rebounding, field goal percentage, free throw percentage, offensive rebounds, defensive rebounds, and minutes played, respectively.
The number of times Ejim has scored 20 or more points this season.
The number of teams that Ejim has recorded a double-double against.
The number of Big XII teams Ejim has recorded a double-double against...yes, that's all of them.
Ejim's current ranking in Iowa State's all-time scoring list. With four points Ejim will pass Craig Brakins for 12th and another 137, or three games vs TCU, puts him into the Top 10.
Ejim's GPA in History. A true throwback to when the term "student-athlete" actually meant being a student.
The number of jerseys currently hanging from the rafters in Hilton.
The next number that should join them.