While we were all watching the Cyclone offense sputter Thursday evening, I was reminded of just how much offensive firepower we are missing from last season’s team. With a couple of former Cyclones playing well at the next level, it should probably come as no surprise that this year’s team has struggled to find an offensive identity early in the season. We figured we’d check in on a couple of former Cyclones from last season’s team to see how they’re doing for their respective clubs.
After a brief stint with the Fort Wayne Mad Ants it appears Georges Niang will make his way back to the Indiana Pacers.
Georges Niang heading back to Indiana Pacers. Trey McKinney Jones injured jaw late in 23 point night for #MadAnts— Justin A. Cohn (@SportsiCohn) December 12, 2016
It was a tough pill to swallow for Niang when he was sent down to the Pacers’ D-League affiliate in Fort Wayne.. As we’ve all come to expect from Georges, the former Cyclone appeared to be make the most of his opportunity in Fort Wayne though.
Rakeem Christmas needs to watch film of how Georges Niang is playing in the D-League. He's clearly embracing it and looks great. #Pacers— Justin A. Cohn (@SportsiCohn) December 11, 2016
Niang was in vintage form Saturday night as he paced the Mad Ants with 22 points. That solid performance comes days after the rookie scored 13 in his D-League debut. Niang showed his ability to knock down open looks for himself while creating open looks for others.
Georges Niang's passing looks terrific early and #MadAnts up 26-16 on Texas.— Justin A. Cohn (@SportsiCohn) December 11, 2016
Shortly before getting the call to re-join the Pacers, Niang had himself another solid outing for the Mad Ants.
Georges Niang finishes with 13 points 4 rebounds 2 assists & 1 steal in 24 minutes shooting 4-5 from the field— Sean McDermott (@SeanMcDermott14) December 12, 2016
Although it appears Niang is headed back to Indianapolis, it was fun to see him in a featured role once again. We can hope his role expands upon his return to the big league club. You can catch his highlights from Saturday evening’s game below. Many of the same moves he flashed in Hilton Coliseum were on full display Saturday night.
The Pacers are at home Monday evening against the Charlotte Hornets. The game will be televised by Fox Sports Indiana at 6 p.m. CST.
Former Cyclone Abdel Nader was putting on quite the show in the NBA Developmental League for the Maine Red Claws until he was injured. Nader has been one of the best scorers in the D-League at just under 25 points per game.
PPG leaders in the D-League— Chris Reichert (@Chris_Reichert) December 8, 2016
28.4 - Manny Harris
26.4 - Kevin Murphy
25.7 - Isaiah Taylor
25.6 - Quinn Cook
24.3 - Abdel Nader
Nader has not only shown his ability to put the ball in basket, but has also shown his ability to do so efficiently. The forward from Iowa State has had impressive shooting percentages from everywhere on the floor.
Extremely early 50/40/90 candidates in the NBA D-League:— Chris Reichert (@Chris_Reichert) December 6, 2016
54/42/83 - Pierre Jackson
55/45/83 - Isaiah Taylor
53/45/87 - Abdel Nader
If Nader can return from his injury and play as effectively as he was playing before it, you have to wonder if the Celtics will give him a shot on their roster at some point. Others who follow the Celtics closely feel the same way.
If Nader is still on the Red Claws’ roster later in the season, Cyclone fans will get a chance to see him in person at Wells Fargo Arena. The Red Claws are slated to visit the Iowa Energy on Sunday, March 5th, at 3 p.m.
Best of luck to both of these former Cyclones as they work to get back into the league.