Defensive stopper or lethal long-range shooter? Right now, Babb is both and the Cyclones are benefitting.


Chris Babb transferred to Iowa State in 2010 with a reputation for excellent range on his jump shot.

“Chris brings an unbelievable ability to shoot the basketball,” Coach Fred Hoiberg said at the time.

A Penn State website ( called him “a three-point shooting specialist”. It was appropriate acclaim as Babb departed the Nittany Lion program with the 11th-most three pointers in school history (91) in just two seasons.

As a junior at Iowa State, Babb took a lot of threes but made 32%. His prowess on defense, however, kept him on the court if shots weren’t falling. Some people felt, Hoiberg included, Babb should have been the Big 12’s Defensive Player of the year last season.

That defensive reputation carried into this year.

In Saturday’s win over TCU, Babb hit 3-of-6 three pointers, moving past 200 for his career. He has connected on a blistering 19 of his last 33 attempts (57.6%) over the last six games. There may not be a hotter shooter in the league than Babb.

When Babb’s shot didn’t go in as often as he was accustomed in 2012, he starred at the defensive end.

Now that his shooting performance is exceeding the excellent press clippings from three years ago, there aren’t many more valuable players (offensively and defensively) in the Big 12 than Chris Babb.

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