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?
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.
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.
*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 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: