Georges Niang’s game-winning shot with 18 seconds left vs. Iowa last week earned him Big 12 Player of the Week honors. That wasn’t a big surprise considering the sophomore registered 24 total points, 5 assists and 2 steals.
What may have been surprising is that Niang was the fourth different Cyclone so honored this year. He joined Naz Long (Nov. 11), Melvin Ejim (Nov. 18) and Dustin Hogue (Dec. 9).
Only one other school in league history has produced four different Player-of-the-Week honorees in the same season. Kansas did it twice.
Travis Releford, Jeff Withey, Ben McLemore and Elijah Johnson accomplished it a year ago. Thomas Robinson, Releford, Tyshawn Taylor and Withey were honored in 2011-12.
Iowa State’s honorees have come in the opening 6 weeks of the season. The ’12-13 KU quartet was honored over an 18-week stretch and the ’11-12 foursome earned awards over a 16-week period.
Prior to this year, the most Cyclones honored in one year were three – Jared Homan, Curtis Stinson and Will Blalock – in 2004-05.
Coach Fred Hoiberg preaches teamwork and sharing the ball. That leads to everyone having a role in the action. It’s nice to see the Big 12 honoring that quality of this Cyclone team.
It’s worth noting that Iowa State’s Deandre Kane has twice been honored as the league’s Newcomer of the Week and he’s still in search of his own Player of the Week honor.
No Big 12 school has ever had 5 different players earn weekly POW honors in the same year.