Notebook: Thomas, Niang excited for visits

By Chris Williams, PublisherFollow Chris on Twitter @ChrisMWilliams

Fred Hoiberg and his Iowa State men’s basketball coaching staff will be working overtime this weekend. Homecoming in Ames will mark one of the heaviest basketball recruiting weekends of the year.

Two 2012 commitments in Georges Niang and Nkereuwem Okoro will be in town on official visits.

Naz Long, a 2012 point guard prospect, will be in on an official as well.

But don’t forget about Matt Thomas, the 2013 shooting guard prospect out of Onalaska, Wisc., who will be unofficially visiting Iowa State with a group of his high school friends.

“I’ve been there (Iowa State) a number of times,” Thomas recently told “I’m just looking forward to hanging out with the coaches more and getting to know them. I know that some of their 2012 commitments are going to be there too so I’ll get to meet them. It’s more to develop relationships and stuff.”

Thomas said that his initial plan is to get to Ames on Friday evening. He plans to go to Iowa State’s homecoming football game against Texas A&M on Saturday. Thomas has already begun preparing for his junior season in high school, as open gym began a few weeks ago.

Not much is new regarding his recruitment at this time, but Thomas did say that he plans to trim his list down to an unknown number before his high school season begins.


With or without the final addition of Naz Long to the 2012 class, commitment Georges Niang loves this new group of Cyclones who will sign with Iowa State on Nov. 9.

There’s small forward Nkereuwem Okoro, who Niang refers to as the “hard-nosed guy.”

Then there’s shooting guard Sherron Dorsey-Walker.

“Sherron can shoot the heck out of the ball,” Niang said.

As for himself, Niang says he is “the guy who can stretch the defense and brings a high basketball IQ to the table. I’m another big body.”

Put it all together and…

“When you can score like that, you’re definitely going to win some games. I think we have a nice recruiting class,” Niang said.

Georges Niang is a believer in his recruiting class, but he’s also a fan of  the 2011-12 Iowa State men’s basketball team.

“I feel like the team this year is only going to turn heads,” Niang said. “I’m hearing good feedback that they will be really good. The guys that we’ve got are really good.”

Niang said that despite the fact that he’s been to Ames a few times, he’s still excited to visit his “new home” for a couple of days.