To put a bow on this college basketball season, we’re once again diving into a classic series of ours where we ask each returning Cyclone to “step into my office” to review the season that was, and take a shot at what next season could look like for them.
I’m going to try and remain impartial while having this conversation with you George. But frankly it’ll be hard as I’m quite known for tweeting about you.
If George Conditt has a 30/20 game I will tattoo the #4 on my body and hail him as one of the all time greats in history https://t.co/xVMVxGFA2y— Ryan Stivers (@widerightryan) January 21, 2020
George Conditt sees a dunk --- pic.twitter.com/yrIFRmlkDR— Ryan Stivers (@widerightryan) January 5, 2020
K STATE doesn't have George Conditt on their basketball team so really who's the ACTUAL loser— Ryan Stivers (@widerightryan) December 1, 2019
So yes my dearest George, this might be difficult for me but I promise all I say is to help critique you as a player to be better and by no means is a personal attack. (I could never bring myself to be negative about you.)
Season at a Glance
George, had a bit of a roller coaster sophomore season. After what looked like a stand out beginning to the year, the first third of the season seemed look promising. Through the first thirteen games his off the bench effort really started riling up the fan base as to why he was not in the starting line up.
It would not be until the fifteenth game of the season, a home game against Oklahoma that George would get the call to enter the starting five. From that point on he would start the next six straight before going back to a secondary role behind veteran leader, Solomon Young.
During that starting stretch it seemed like George maybe lost his spark a little bit. What made him so electric was his off the bench contributions an instant offense for the secondary unit. When placed into a more minute heavy and central role as a starter, some holes in George’s game were exposed. His lack of toughness in the paint against guys who were bigger than him showed. His offensive skill-set seemed limited to fast-break dunks or wide open 6 ft jumpers.
While the negatives were glaring at times, it isn’t to say there weren’t signs of promise. In the stretches the underclassman played through that first fourteen games coming off the bench he did show great promise. During his time coming off the bench in the beginning of the season he averaged 19.4 minutes and seemed to be one of the more reliable offensive options for the second team.
For the season George averaged 7.0 points, 4.9 rebounds and 0.5 assists. Career highs for the underclassman. He posted a shot percent of 55% from the field and had a win share of 1.9.
Back to that first thirteen game stretch. Over that course of time George posted seven games where he poured in double digit scoring efforts. Two during that stretch he would finish with nine points and one of those (possibly the one that would tilt the scales for his starting position was a 19 point showcasing against TCU, as seen here:
But once in the starting slot, the down tick happened. For the next seven games in a starting role George would average only 3.8 points, 2.7 rebounds and 0.4 assists. All of these numbers are below, if not well below, his season average. His highest points scored over that stretch would be his very first start against Oklahoma where he chipped in 8 points.
After being replaced in the line up by Solomon Young and going back to his off the bench role, George finished out the year averaging 5.2 points a game, 5.0 rebounds and 0.5 assists. All upticks from when he was in the starting position.
2020-2021 Season Outlook
Time to take the leap up.
No longer is George and underclassman and heading into that junior year it is the time for George to bite down and take his leadership role seriously.
The skill-set is there for George to be one of the more impact big men in the Big 12 but it all starts with the defensive effort first. While yes, he did post a career high in blocks per game (1.6 average), the big time block isn’t what shows effort.
If George wants to be taken seriously as one of the best in the league and really show his upside, it all starts with not being “soft” in the paint. While he is a little underweight comparatively to some of the other big guys in the conference, that should not automatically mean that the effort is not there.
On the other side of the ball, if George ever figures out his jumper from mid range, he very well could be a lite version of Clint Capella in his ability to rim run and step back for an open jumper off a high ball screen. A combo of Tre Jackson and Conditt running a pick and roll next year very well could be a fantastic set up on the offensive side of the court should George really commit to figuring out his jumper.
Truthfully I still have a lot of faith in what George could accomplish in his time at Iowa State. He’s shown a lot of promise in his first two years but like most younger guys you have to take the good with the bad and also the ugly. That’s just how guys learn.
Focus on the effort level defensively and playing with more toughness in the paint and the rest works itself out.
Treat every day like the infamous Mike Nurse quote, “I didn’t even comb my hair today because I knew it’d be a dog fight.”