Cyclones Make Mark on Big 12 Hoops Awards
By jvanarkel, March 10, 2014
The 2013-14 Iowa State men’s basketball team still hopes to have a lot of games to play, but the squad already will go down as one of the most decorated in school history.
The honors begin with senior forward Melvin Ejim, who’s been named the Big 12 Player of the Year by both the Associated Press and the Big 12 coaches. Ejim averaged 18.2 points and 8.6 rebounds this season, and set a Big 12 record with 48 points in a win over TCU. The 4-year contributor is just the sixth Cyclone in team history to earn conference player of the year honors.
Ejim was also selected to both the AP and the coaches’ All-Big 12 first teams, and he’s joined on both squads by senior DeAndre Kane. The grad student transfer from Marshall was brought in to give Iowa State a veteran performer at point guard, and he gave the Cyclones 17.1 points, 6.7 rebounds and 5.9 assists per game, sparking an ISU offense that scored at least 70 points in all but one game this season. Ejim and Kane become the first Cyclone teammates to earn first-team all-conference honors in the same season since Jeff Grayer and Jeff Hornacek in 1986. Kane was also named the Big 12 Newcomer of the Year by the coaches, becoming the third straight Cyclone to earn the honor, following Royce White and Will Clyburn.
In addition, sophomore Georges Niang was named to the All-Big 12 third team by the coaches, and earned honorable mention from the AP. Niang averaged 16.2 points, 4.3 rebounds and 3.6 assists for ISU in his second season.
On Monday, Kane was named a third team All-American by NBCSports.com, BleacherReport.com and The Sporting News. Ejim joined Kane on the NBCSports.com third team. Iowa State has now had 11 players in its history named 1st, 2nd or 3rd-team All-American by a national outlet.