Niang/Hoiberg connection spurs early commitment

By Chris Williams, Publisher

There’s no point in delaying the inevitable.

That was Georges Niang’s approach to his recruitment, as the east coast big man committed to Iowa State head coach Fred Hoiberg on Sunday.

“I caught myself waiting. I finally asked myself, ‘what am I waiting on?’ When I thought about it and also talked with my family, I wasn’t waiting on anything,” Niang explained. “There isn’t a better spot or a better fit for me. Anybody else in the country could have offered me and I still would have probably chosen Iowa State.”

Niang, a 6-foot-7, 235-pound power forward out of the Tilton School (N.H.) chose Iowa State over claimed offers from Texas A&M, Providence, Seton Hall, Miami, Alabama and Iowa just to name a few. A handful of mid-major east coast schools were also in the mix.

Niang was without a doubt one of Iowa State’s top targets for its recruiting class of 2012. Niang’s personal connection to Hoiberg is what ultimately nailed this down for the Cyclones.

“He is going to be there for a long time,” Niang said. “He is a sincere guy. I can’t say enough good things about him. He is the main reason that I am going there.”

Niang said that Hoiberg was elated when he heard the news.

“He said ‘George, you’re the man,’” Niang said. “I can’t wait to put on a Cyclone uniform and play inside of Hilton Coliseum.”


–       Niang told me that he is “pumped up” about his pledge to Iowa State. You already read what Hoiberg thought when he heard the news. But we all know that a mother’s opinion is sometimes the most important. In this case, Iowa State is in great shape.

“She has wanted me to do this for a while,” Niang said. “When we were out there (to Ames on a March unofficial visit), she knew that Iowa State was a great place for me. She trusts him (Hoiberg).”

–       Niang, who will be Tilton School’s student body president during his senior season, said that Hoiberg envisions him as a “hybrid” four at the next level.

“I’ll shoot the ball from the outside,” Niang said. “I’ll post guys up. Scoring and rebounding the ball. Just a whole bunch of things. I just want to help us win.”

Think of a little less powerful version of Royce White, but a stronger shooter when describing Niang’s game. A few months ago, Niang told me that one time, Hoiberg compared him to a young Kevin Love.

Niang averaged 24.0 points and 8.0 rebounds per game as a junior at Tilton School.


Niang on the Big 12…

“It is a tough league. There aren’t any softies in the Big 12. I don’t know if you’ve ever seen Royce White play but when I saw him on my visit, he is a grown man. They play tough. There aren’t any soft big men. It is one of the best conferences in the country.”