After averaging 12.8 points and 4.3 rebounds in two seasons at The Citadel, 6-foot-6 guard/forward Matt Van Scyoc was forced to transfer due to an honor-code violation. Friday it was reported by Jeff Hartsell of the Charleston Post and Courier that Van Scyoc has found his next school, picking Indiana State over the College of Charleston.
Van Scyoc, who averaged 14.3 points and 5.6 rebounds per game in 2013-14, shot 43.5% from the field, 36.5% from three and 86.0% from the foul line for the Bulldogs. After sitting out the 2014-15 season per NCAA transfer rules, Van Scyoc will have two seasons of eligibility remaining.
In Hartsell’s story, Van Scyoc noted how impressed he was with Greg Lansing’s program when he took his visit to the Missouri Valley Conference school.
“When I took my official visit to Indiana State, it just blew me away,” said Van Scyoc, who averaged 14.3 points and 5.3 rebounds for the Bulldogs last season. “Their coaching staff reminded me a lot of The Citadel’s. They cared about me and will work hard to help me become the best I can be. It’s a big program, a big-time conference and the opportunity to succeed there was just to much for me to pass up on.”
Indiana State finished last season with a 23-11 record, falling to Wichita State in the title game of the Missouri Valley Conference tournament. The Sycamores, led by now-graduated point guard Jake Odum, fell to Arkansas in the first round of the Postseason NIT.
Indiana State’s leading returning scorers are forward Justin Gant (10.2 ppg, 3.8 rpg) and guard Khristian Smith (10.5, 4.3), with the former being a senior in 2014-15. Smith will be a junior, meaning that the Sycamores will able to use both he and Van Scyoc on the floor in 2015-16.
Not only is Wyoming senior guard Josh Adams the lone returning starter from a team that won the Mountain West tournament last season, but he’s also one of college basketball’s best dunkers. And if anyone may have forgotten about his jumping ability, Adams put it on display Saturday during the Cowboys’ win over Montana State.
After splitting two Montana State players at the top of the key Adams attacked the basket, dunking with two hands over a late-arriving help-side defender. If you’re going to rotate over, have to do it quicker than that.
Video credit: Wyoming Athletics
Even with the coaching change from Fred Hoiberg to Steve Prohm, No. 4 Iowa State remains one of the nation’s best offensive teams. Given their skills on that end of the floor many teams find it tough to go score for score with the Cyclones, and that’s what happened to Illinois in Iowa State’s 84-73 win in the Emerald Coast Classic title game.
Georges Niang scored 23 points and grabbed eight rebounds, with Monté Morris adding 20, nine rebounds and six assists and Abdel Nader 18 points as the Cyclones moved to 5-0 on the season. The three-pointers weren’t falling in the second half, as Iowa State shot 0-f0r-12, but they shot 19-for-24 inside of the arc to pull away from a team that lost big man Mike Thorne Jr. late in the first half to a left knee injury.
Illinois’ loss of size in the paint opened things up offensively for Iowa State, and the Cyclones took advantage. But where this group grabbed control of the game was on the defensive end of the floor, and that will be the key for a team with Big 12 and national title aspirations.
Nader took on the responsibility of defending Illinois’ Malcolm Hill (20 points) in the second half and did a solid job of keeping the junior wing in check, with that serving as the spark to a 12-2 run that put the game away. There’s no denying that the Cyclones can put points on the board; most of the talent from last season is back and the productivity on that end of the floor hasn’t changed as a result. Niang’s one of the nation’s best forwards, and both Morris (who now ranks among the country’s best point guards) and Nader have taken significant strides in their respective games.
Iowa State will add Deonte Burton in December, giving them another option to call upon. Front court depth is a bit of a concern, as Iowa State can ill afford to lose a Niang or Jameel McKay, but there’s enough on the roster to compensate for that and force mismatches in other areas.
But the biggest question for this group is how effective they can become at stringing together stops. Illinois certainly had its moments in both halves Saturday night, but Iowa State also showed during the game’s decisive stretch that they can step up defensively. The key now is to do so consistently, and if that occurs the Cyclones can be a threat both within the Big 12 and nationally.