The “Microwave” nickname kind of works for McGee, but the styles are quite different.


As conference tournament play continues this week, five Big 12 men’s teams (including Iowa State) should feel pretty good about their resumes entering the NCAA Tournament selection process.

The former Big 8 Conference schools – ISU, Kansas State, Kansas, Oklahoma State and Oklahoma – have team power ratings in the Top 50 nationally.

It’s against that competition that Iowa State senior Tyrus McGee has excelled this year.

In his eight games against those schools, McGee has connected on an incredible 27-of-48 shots from behind the three-point line. That’s 56.3% from long range.

McGee has made 60-137 of his three pointers in the 23 other games for an accuracy mark of 43.8%. That figure, amazingly, would rank 16th nationally.

McGee’s ability to score quickly and in bunches has led several TV announcers to call him the “Microwave” in reference to former NBA super sub Vinnie Johnson. As a college star at Baylor Johnson was a high-scoring starter, averaging 24.1 points per game in two years.

His “Microwave” nickname emerged when he started coming off the bench in the NBA. What’s interesting is that Johnson took only 327 three pointers (making only 25%) in 984 pro games.

That doesn’t sound like McGee.

He takes and makes 3’s in high volume (hitting six against both Kansas and at Oklahoma). In fact, McGee has made more 3’s this season than the original “Microwave” made in 15 NBA seasons.

The comparison between McGee and Johnson is understandable as both have built reputations for providing an offensive spark off the bench. You can be assured that Fred Hoiberg loves having the luxury of instant offense in McGee just like the Pistons’ Chuck Daly did for the nine years Johnson played for him in Detroit.

But the old “Microwave” and McGee certainly did it in different ways.

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