Attempting to guess how a junior college signee will make an immediate impact on a Big 12 basketball team is like trying to predict a winter storm. We’re all throwing darts with a blindfold on people.
However, Iowa State is set to lose five seniors to graduation at the conclusion of this current basketball season and according to what we know, four junior college players will join Fred Hoiberg’s roster for the 2013-14 campaign.
Here’s a look at how these guys are producing this season and where they could fit in with the Cyclones next year.
Hogue and Amardi
Two Indian Hills Community College players, Dustin Hogue and Richard Amardi, have been in the news lately but not for great reasons. Regardless of last Saturday night’s scuffle, this duo is still expected to make an immediate impact on the Iowa State men’s basketball program next season, starting with Dustin Hogue, a 6-foot-6 wing.
“I’ve really seen his game expand. He’s become a better ball handler,” Indian Hills coach Barret Peery told me earlier this week. “He’s really become a good, solid defender. He’s always really finished strong around the rim with his athleticism and strength. He’s really improved his perimeter game. His mid-range game is really clean this year and he has shot the ball from three a lot better.”
Hogue is currently averaging 12.6 points and 5.2 rebounds per game for Indian Hills.
Then there’s Richard Amardi, a 6-foot-9 forward who will only have one year of eligibility at Iowa State.
“Richard has been on a steady incline of improvement. He is a tremendous athlete,” said Peery. “You won’t find a better 6-9 athlete in the country in junior college. His athleticism is second to none. We really like how talented he is at facing the basket and shooting the ball. He’s an athlete that can run, finish on the rim and rebound the basketball. He’s really a talented kid.”
Amardi’s averages are currently at 8.4 points and 5.2 rebounds per contest. He’s only averaging 11.5 minutes per game so when you consider that, those numbers are actually pretty good. I just came out and asked Peery if he thought these two players are ready to contribute at Iowa State next season.
“I think they can for sure,” said Peery. “They aren’t kids. They are experienced men. They have a couple years of college under their belts. They have big, strong, men bodies. I would like to think that they have been in a good program that is going to have them ready on and off the floor.”
I’d encourage you not to look at their stats and say, “these guys can’t play.” Sure, you’d like the numbers to be higher but you need to consider two things – the first being that Indian Hills is the third ranked JuCo team in America. The team that they play on is stacked with future division one players but most importantly, these guys won’t be asked to be primary scorers on Iowa State’s team next season.
Both Hogue and Amardi are energy guys and role players. Hogue will primarily be a defender for the Cyclones and should at least compete for the starting job at the three. Amardi is a 6-foot-9 “man” (as Peery) put it who can come off the bench, bring some physicality to the lineup and grab some rebounds.
I see this Tyler Junior College big man having a role a lot like Amardi’s. They are different players. Amardi has the elge from an athleticism standpoint but Edozie is another "man" down low.
He’s currently averaging 6.4 points and 7.3 rebounds per contest. Again, don’t get hung up on the numbers. If Iowa State is planning on having any of these three be a primary scorer next season then look out – even the NIT would be a pipe dream.
To see Edozie’s complete stats, CLICK HERE.
This shooting guard out of Northeast Nebraska Community College is the wild card of this group. His stats are insane. Bluford takes around 10 3-pointers per game and he’s roughly a 40 percent shooter from long range. Kind of crazy really.
I have no clue how he’ll produce next season at Iowa State but at the very least, he’ll be a guy Hoiberg can bring off the bench for some instant offense.
Bluford leads Northeast Nebraska C.C. in scoring, averaging 18 points per game.