Shortest rebounder & tallest long-range shooter


The 2010-11 Iowa State men’s basketball team is developing a reputation.

Most college basketball fans would agree that this season’s Cyclones are improved (just one win shy of last season’s total with at least 13 games left), balanced in scoring (ISU is one of four schools in the nation with five double-figure scorers) and limited in available players (all five starters average more than 28.4 minutes).

The not-quite-so obvious facts about the team include that …
*  its leading rebounder (Jake Anderson) is the shortest starter
*  its hottest three-point shooter (Jamie VanderBeken) is its tallest starter, and

*  its leading scorer (Diante Garrett) is one of the nation’s most-improved players

Standing just 6-feet-2, Jake Anderson tops the club and ranks tied for 88th nationally in rebounding at 8.0 rpg. Several guards and guard/forwards nationally are averaging more boards per contest, but all of them are at least three inches taller than Anderson. He’s the shortest player listed among the national rebound leaders.

Six-foot-11 Jamie VanderBeken is shooting 46.9% from three-point range (ranking 65th nationally) and has made 13-18 his last two games. VanderBeken is the tallest player nationally in the Top 100 players for 3-point percentage. Richmond’s Justin Harper, at 6-10, is the lone player in the rankings close to his size. But, Jamie is the tallest on the list.

Garrett has increased his scoring norm 8.7 points from his average of last season. The only players among the NCAA’s Top 75 scorers, who have improved more are UConn’s Kemba Walker (up 9.9 points), Texas’ Jordan Hamilton (9.7), South Dakota State’s Nate Wolters (9.3), Providence’s Marshon Brooks (9.2) and Wagner’s Tyler Murray (9.1). Each of those players – except for Walker – is receiving at least seven-and-a-half more minutes of playing time in ’11.

This Cyclone team sure has a lot of interesting storylines to follow the next two-plus months. Stay tuned.

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