AMES — Will Clyburn plans to be looser.
Korie Lucious vows to be sharper.
He’ll be the same versatile, though young, guy when he and the aforementioned Iowa State teammates take the floor in Friday’s 7 p.m. season opener against Southern at Hilton Coliseum.
“I think he’s going to have a great role for us this year,” Lucious, Iowa State’s senior point guard, said of Niang, a freshman forward. “Come in and give us big minutes off the bench.”
That’s what Niang did in Sunday’s 90-57 exhibition victory over Minnesota State.
His line: 14 points, four rebounds, four assists and 6-of-7 field goal shooting in 25 minutes.
He also drained both of his 3-point attempts while showcasing “throwback” post moves.
“He’s a pretty complete player,” Cyclone Coach Fred Hoiberg said. “I think the biggest (adjustment) is just all the different concepts that we run at this level compared to what he was doing at his prep school last year. But I’ll tell you what, he’s done a great job of catching on. He asks a lot of questions. He’s always wanting to watch extra film — get up extra shots. I’ve been very pleased with Georges’ progression to this point.”
Footwork that would make Bill Walton gush?
High basketball IQ?
“I was taught that,” said Niang, the 69th best recruit in the class of 2012, according to Rivals.com. “It’s basically one of my go-to moves. Don’t tell anybody that.”
It’s likely been noticed — beginning with his teammates.
“I think he’s going to have a great season, I think he’s a great player,” said ISU’s top rebounder, Melvin Ejim, who had a game-high 12 boards against the Mavericks. “Just keep playing; keep doing his thing.”
Clyburn, a highly-regarded transfer from Utah, struggled to find a groove in the exhibition, notching nine points and three rebounds in 25 minutes.
“It was like I was a freshman again,” said the slick-shooting and athletic senior forward. “I was excited to be out there and I think part of me was too excited.”
Hoiberg was surprised by Clyburn’s performance, but far from alarmed by it.
“I’m not concerned about Will at all,” Hoiberg said. “He’s very gifted.”
Lucious, endured some ball control issues in the exhibition, but did manage 15 points and five assists (along with four turnovers) in just 20 minutes.
He’ll face an experienced, fast and skilled Jaguars backcourt Friday.
“That’s what we’re looking forward to,” the former Michigan State player said. “We’ve heard they’re supposed to win, or finish second in their conference, so they’re probably a good team and we’re looking forward to the challenge.”
REDSHIRT: Hoiberg confirmed freshman guard Sherron Dorsey-Walker is expected to redshirt this season.
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