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Stats Are Fun! Part 2- Player Season Totals

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WRNL takes a look at the individual statistics for this year's version of the Cyclones after all 18 conference games.

Ray Carlin-USA TODAY Sports

In our previous article we shuffled through the team statistics. Now it's time to dive into the individual stat lines.  We try to answer all the hard-hitting questions, like:

  • Where did Dustin Hogue go?
  • Has Georges Niang improved?
  • Was Jameel McKay amazing?
  • How many assists could Monte Morris assist if an assist could assist an assist?
Again, these are all conference totals, and do not include statistics from non-conference play.

First the basics: the Cyclones stuff the stat sheet.  Fred's high-flying style of play leads to a lot of possessions and a lot of statistics. ISU is always well represented in almost every statistical category.  The stats below are raw numbers rather than the increasingly popular "advanced" metrics, so they are obviously tempo-influenced.

Georges Niang

Niang is the rock on which Fred has built his offense.  Sure that rock leans a little bit sometimes, or appears to not be a rock at all especially during certain recent first half stretches - but there is no doubt that he's the key to making everything work in the Hoiberg offense the last few seasons.  The question surrounding Georges is has he improved year to year?  Sure, he's slimmer, sexier, and can wash clothes on his new abs - but has the dramatic body change caused more problems than it's cured?  For Niang's case, we'll compare this season to last, Niang vs Niang:

niangstat

Niang has been remarkably steady from last season to this one.  He is scoring a point and a half less per game, but the league lost so many scorers that he's actually moved way up the Big 12 rankings.  His rebounding has improved, but it's the 3 point accuracy that stands out the most - Georges is killing it from outside.  In fact, he's so much improved that he's attempted almost 20 fewer three-pointers and made 2 more, which is just fantastic

But Cyclone fans know that there is also a "bad Niang" hiding somewhere in these statistics, and it's probably in the A/TO ratio that's dipped a little.  Niang is seemingly good for a couple oddly bone-headed TO's a game, but as these stats show - he more than makes up for it in other areas.

Monte Morris

Morris has been flat-out dominant.  Voters put Juwan Staten as the first-team PG in front of him, but there is almost no statistical backing for this, other than the slight edge Staten holds in scoring with a mere 0.8 ppg higher average.  Monte makes nearly everything he takes from inside and out, yet he's also a pass-first point guard with the record-setting A/TO ratio that barely suffered at all after taking over the lead duties vacated by Deandre Kane.

morris stats

*Monte isn't ranked in the 3-point category because he is below the minimum required 1.5 makes per game (Monte makes 1.0 per).   But after lackluster non-conference shooting from beyond the arc, he has been absolutely on fire in Big 12 play at almost 44%.

This may be Niang's team in spirit, but he's going to have to arm-wrestle Morris for the MVP.

Jameel McKay

Jameel was an unknown quantity for most Cyclone fans.  Those that had seen him play in the Cap City league and at Indian Hills raved of his athleticism, but I think even the biggest McKay fan has to be a little surprised at his instant and dramatic impact.  Jameel won the Big 12 Defensive Player of the Year honors and 3rd team All-Big 12, mostly for his shot altering abilities.  His shot-blocking has been reminiscent to some of the ISU great Kelvin Cato, so let's have some fun and compare:

mckay

Now this was obviously a different era - in a very "un-Fred" fashion, ISU actually led the league in scoring defense and was well down the list in offensive pace & scoring at about 65 ppg.  Still, Cato was an all-time great in his senior season and went on to play many seasons in the NBA.  Not too bad Jameel, not too bad at all.

Dustin Hogue

Where did Hogue go?  Dustin surprised everyone last year after nearly wrestling the Cyclone rebounding title from Melvin Ejim.  In a differing role this year, Dustin's rebounding totals have faded as McKay emerged and Niang & BDJ hit the glass hard - but his overall game hasn't suffered at all.

hogue statis

Hogue's 4.9 rpg places him just short of the top 15 rebounders in conference play (last place on that list is 5.1 rpg). Still, while he may have missed a few boards in a slightly reduced role compared to last season, he is absolutely torching the nets in conference play.  A whopping 66% field goal percentage leads the team and his 44% 3-point shooting is almost 15% better than last season.  That sweet touch has led to Dustin actually scoring 17 more points on 1 less shot.

This year Niang and Hogue are trying to out-duel each other for most dramatic outside shooting improvement, and we just get to enjoy the show.

The Best of the Rest

Other notables include:

Naz (3sus) Long who is rounding into form as the Cyclone's go-to sniper.  Naz is 7th in conference from deep (40.5%) and 6th in the Big 12 for 3-point makes (34).  He's is up from last year;s totals of 31.2% (!!) and 24 makes respectively.

Bryce Dejean-Jones is shooting 51.2% inside the arc after really coming on strong in the TCU game.  He also is the only ISU representative on the Big 12 FT% list, rounding out the list at number 15 (67.2%) with a minimum of 2.5 FT makes per game.

Matt Thomas rebounded to shoot 34.7% from 3 in conference play after struggling to a 27.8% mark in the non-conference.  An otherwise decent mark when you're not surrounded by 40% shooters everywhere on the team.

Abdel Nader has only hit 22% from beyond the arc on the season, but nailed 4/6 against Iowa - and that shit is HILARIOUS!