Iowa State had a pair of thrilling comebacks to end the regular season and take second place in the Big 12. Georges Niang was a spark in both contests and has been named NetScouts Basketball's National Player of the Week for games from March 2nd to March 8th.
The Methuen, Mass. native opened the week with 23 points, eight rebounds, and four assists in a 77-70 win against Oklahoma. Niang shot 8-of-14 from the field and 2-of-3 from three-point range as the Cyclones overcame a 21-point deficit. Iowa State needed another comeback against TCU on Saturday, trailing 32-26 at the half, but Niang finished with 19 points on 8-of-16 shooting to go with six assists and four rebounds to pull off the 89-76 win. In the victories, he averaged 21.0 points, 6.0 rebounds, and 5.0 assists per game while shooting 53 percent (16-of-30) from the floor.
Niang, a 6-foot-8 junior forward, has been one of the top players in the Big 12 and proved why this past week. He's now averaging a well-rounded 15.2 points, 5.2 rebounds, and 3.4 assists per game as Iowa State enters the Big 12 Tournament facing the winner of the Texas-Texas Tech game on Wednesday. If Niang and Iowa State can keep the magic going, there's no reason why the Cyclones can't clinch an automatic NCAA Tournament birth.
Out in the MAC, Maurice Daly Ndour ended the regular season with two exceptional performances. The Mbour, Senegal native has been named NetScouts Basketball's International Player of the Week for games from March 2nd to March 9th, earning the honor for the second time this season.
The 6-foot-9 senior forward started the week with 25 points on 10-of-16 shooting, although the Bobcats fell to Buffalo, 93-66. He also added six rebounds, three blocks and a trio of three-pointers on four attempts. Daly Ndour responded with an even more impressive 27 points, 11 rebounds, and six blocks as Ohio topped Miami (Ohio), 95-65. He shot 8-of-11 from the field and 5-of-7 from deep. On the week, Daly Ndour averaged 26.0 points, 8.5 rebounds, and 4.5 blocks per game while shooting 66.7 percent (18-of-27) from the field and 72.7 percent (8-of-11) from three-point range.
While Ohio earned the 11th seed in the MAC Tournament, Daly Ndour has been one of the top players in the conference. He's averaging 15.6 points, 8.2 rebounds, and 2.2 blocks this season while shooting 47.3 percent from the floor and 42.4 percent from behind the arc. The senior has been outstanding down the stretch and will hope to keep his collegiate career alive against Western Michigan.
Carl Berman is Managing Partner of NetScouts Basketball.