Friday, February 1, 2013
Iowa State's skill
By Matt Giles
Only two other high-major teams -- Northwestern and Vanderbilt -- rely as much on three pointers than Iowa State. Second-year coach Fred Hoiberg attempted 941 threes during his ten-year NBA career, connecting on nearly 40 percent of those shots, so of course his team would similarly dependent on three-point attempts. Hoiberg has remade Iowa State in his offensive image -- the squad looks first at whether a long range attempt is possible.
Three Cyclones -- Chris Babb, Korie Lucious, and Tyrus McGee -- have taken more threes than twos through twenty games, but what is unique about this squad is that each player has the green light to shoot. The first option, clearly, is an shot from Babb, Lucious, or McGee, but other than sophomore Percy Gibson, each Cyclone has attempted at least a dozen threes this season.
Georges Niang is a 6-foot-7 freshman who was known in the high school ranks for his intensity and high-energy around the bucket, but since arriving in Ames, he has slightly tweaked his game and thanks to his 41 attempts from deep, now resembles a pseudo stretch-4 (converting 36 percent). This change has helped ISU's efficiency within the interior, drawing the opposing frontcourt away from the basket and enabling Iowa State to convert nearly 50 percent of their twos.