Ames, Iowa – The Georgia State-Iowa State matchup was expected to be a tight contest in front of a national audience, but Iowa State dominated in an 81-58 victory. Each Cyclone starter scored in double figures as Iowa State made an early season statement.
The highest profile draft prospect coming into the game was Georgia State shooting guard R.J. Hunter. While the 6-foot-6 junior scored a team-high 21 points, there were some questions after his 8-of-20 shooting display.
Hunter showed flashes of creating off the dribble, but preferred settling for jumpers on too many occasions. Eleven of his 20 shot attempts came from behind the arc and he forced the issue at times. Hunter did hit some tough, contested jumpers, but connected on just 4-of-11 attempts from three-point range.
What made Hunter’s night tougher was the defense played by Iowa State. The Cyclones did a good job double-teaming Hunter on some possessions while Naz Long and Bryce Dejean-Jones both played stellar individual defense. When Long went to the bench due to foul trouble, Dejean-Jones took over the assignment and blocked two of Hunter’s next three shot attempts. Hunter was adept passing out of double-teams, something he’ll see plenty of this season, with four assists on the evening. There’s potential there, but his lack of strength and explosion could limit him at the NBA level. Hunter could become an excellent spot up shooter, but can he develop into a well-rounded scorer?
The Iowa State backcourt of Long, Dejean-Jones, and Monte Morris played exceptionally. Morris scored a team-high 19 points on 7-of-9 shooting and dished nine assists without committing a turnover. The sophomore showed maturity at the point guard position. Long proved to be a lethal shooter, connecting on five three-pointers while also impacting the game on the defensive end.
Dejean-Jones, a senior transfer from UNLV, had a well-rounded box score to prove his overall impact on the contest. He scored 15 points on 6-of-12 shooting and added seven rebounds, seven assists, two steals, and two blocks on Monday. The 6-foot-6 shooting guard showed the ability to play efficiently on the offensive end and really stood out as a perimeter defender. If he can compliment his slashing game with a solid outside jumper, Dejean-Jones could gain NBA intrigue. Dejean-Jones should another become a quality transfer under coach Fred Hoiberg.
Iowa State’s versatile forward Georges Niang had a tough shooting day, making 3-of-12 attempts, but finished with 10 points and 11 rebounds. He was 0-of-4 from three-point range and struggled to find his offense against Georgia State. Dustin Hogue looks to be a tough glue guy inside, scoring 15 points on 6-of-9 shooting to pair with seven rebounds.
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