The Iowa State men’s basketball team picked up two non-conference wins last week. But, that wasn’t the most important “two” of the week.
The emergence of #2 – Cyclone forward Abdel Nader – in wins over Iowa and Southern was a welcome sight.
A former leading scorer at Northern Illinois, Nader transferred to ISU and redshirted in 2013-14.
His season debut with the Cyclones came against Lamar on Dec. 2, more than 600 days (615 to be exact) since his last college game against Eastern Michigan in 2013.
In his first three games as a Cyclone, Nader was working to get the rust off. Coach Fred Hoiberg kept admitting it would take time for Nader to get back into playing form.
Then, Friday night, Nader had a breakout game at Iowa with 19 points and six rebounds in 31 minutes.
“I thought he was great defensively at Iowa, too,” Hoiberg said.
He followed that performance with another solid outing, recording eight points and eight rebounds in 25 minutes vs. Southern.
“He had a couple of great takes to the basket (vs. Southern),” Hoiberg added.
You can’t have too many athletic players in the front court and Nader is another option.
Next up is Jameel McKay. If he sheds his rust as quickly as Nader did, the Cyclones will be set entering Big 12 play when the calendar flips to January.