Showcase game for ISU and a player (who might surprise you)


It was certainly a showcase game for the Iowa State men’s basketball program Sunday afternoon and the performance received great reviews.

 Every Cyclone who saw the court made contributions. Melvin Ejim got the headlines in his season debut, but his teammates also stepped up.

 None probably did more and did so as quietly as Dustin Hogue. It was, in ways, a showcase game for the JC transfer that Cyclone fans don’t know much about yet but soon will fall in love with.

 Ejim always gets accolades for his warrior mentality on the boards despite standing just 6-6. Hogue, who is really a small forward at 6-6 and 215 pounds, played large Sunday. He registered a “double double” with 12 points and 10 rebounds while playing 37 turnover-free minutes.

 One of Michigan’s advantages was frontline size. The Wolverines used Mitch McGary (255 pounds), Jon Horford (250 pounds) and Jordan Morgan (250 pounds).

 Coach Fred Hoiberg wasn’t sure how many minutes he could get out of Ejim coming off a knee injury and, with Georges Niang in foul trouble, Michigan’s size looked formidable.

 Enter Hogue.

 He plays like Ejim with his determination and all-out effort.

 “I’m a little annoyed with Dustin,” Ejim deadpanned in the post-game interview session. “He stole a rebound from me. (Seriously), it’s great to have another versatile player who can play inside and out. He adds a whole dynamic to our game.”

 Hoiberg would concur. And, as fans, we will soon learn to appreciate him as well.