Georges Niang

Summer league debut represents step forward for Iowa State’s Georges Niang

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Entering the NCAA tournament on the heels of winning their first Big 12 tournament title since 2000, Iowa State had the look of a team capable of making a run to the Final Four. With the triumvirate of guard DeAndre Kane and forwards Melvin Ejim and Georges Niang leading the way, Fred Hoiberg was in charge of one of the nation’s most efficient offensive attacks.

But the Cyclones’ Round of 64 win over North Carolina Central came at a cost, as Niang broke his right foot late in the second half. While Iowa State had enough to get past North Carolina in the next round, thanks in large part to the Herculean effort put forth by Kane, they were unable to advance any further as eventual champion UConn eliminated them in the Sweet 16.

With Kane and Ejim out of eligibility, Niang will be Iowa State’s most productive returnee in 2014-15 and that makes his health even more important for the Cyclones. On Sunday the 6-foot-7 forward made his return to game action, playing in the YMCA Capital City Summer League in West Des Moines, Iowa.

It was a productive afternoon for Niang, who accounted for 29 points and 11 rebounds. And in speaking with Randy Peterson of the Des Moines Register, Niang mentioned the work he’s done in not only rehabbing his foot but also changing his body.

Niang finishes above the rim better than last season because his body has changed — he’s down 20 pounds, to around 220.

“I’m working to get my body fit,” he said. “It’s more like a lifestyle change, than a quick fix. I’m working on eating healthy. Guys tell me your body is a temple, so you might as well treat it as one.

“You can’t put diesel fuel in a regular car — and you have to put good stuff in your body. When you do, good things will come out of it.”

Niang and fellow forward Dustin Hogue are Iowa State’s two returning double-figure scorers, and they’ll have help from players such as Naz Long, Monte Morris, Matt Thomas (who’s currently suspended) and newcomers Bryce Dejean-Jones and Jameel McKay. With that being the case the cupboard certainly isn’t bare in Ames, but Niang’s transformation will be something to keep an eye on as Iowa State looks to make another NCAA tournament appearance.

Playing in a summer league game may not be a big deal when compared to the battles of the Big 12, but being healthy enough to do so is a positive step for Georges Niang.

Labissiere scores 16 as top-ranked Kentucky beats BU 82-62

Eric Johnson, Isaiah Briscoe
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LEXINGTON, Ky. (AP) Freshman center Skal Labissiere scored 16 points to lead top-ranked Kentucky past Boston University 82-62 on Tuesday night.

The Wildcats (5-0) used a big second half to overcome Boston U. in their season debut at No. 1 in The Associated Press Top 25 poll. One day after taking over the top spot, Kentucky struggled to put away the Terriers early but outscored them 42-29 in the second half.

Labissiere finished 7 of 13 from the field and grabbed seven rebounds. Tyler Ulis added 15 points, and Alex Poythress had 14 points and 10 rebounds off the bench for his second straight double-double.

Jamal Murray scored 12 points and Isaiah Briscoe had 11. Kentucky, which spent all of last season ranked No. 1, scored 58 points in the paint and closed with a 22-9 run.

Boston University (2-3) got 15 points from John Papale. Nathan Dieudonne and Kyle Foreman scored 11 apiece.

The Wildcats raced out to a 10-0 lead 3 minutes into the game, but Boston University settled down after making its first basket and kept the score close in the first half by hitting five shots from long range.

The Terriers led 34-33 with 2 minutes remaining in the first half, but the Wildcats scored the last six points of the period to regain the lead.

Labissiere paced the Wildcats with 11 points in the first half, followed by Murray with 10.


Kentucky: The Wildcats improved to 216-28 as the top-ranked team in the country and have won 61 of their last 64 games while holding the top spot. Under coach John Calipari, Kentucky is 63-5 as the top-ranked team in the AP poll.

Boston University: The Terriers fell to 0-5 against Kentucky. … Boston University missed its first four shots and didn’t score its first basket until the 16:55 mark of the first half. … Dieudonne, a graduate of Louisville Trinity, was Kentucky’s Mr. Basketball in 2012.


Kentucky plays Friday against South Florida at the Hoophall Miami Invitational.

Boston University plays Saturday at Binghamton.

Division III William Paterson forfeits game to protest coach’s firing

William Paterson Athletics
William Paterson Athletics
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William Paterson, a Division III basketball program in New Jersey, forfeited a game on Tuesday night to protest the firing of their head coach, Jose Rebimbas.

Rebimbas, a player for the 1990 Seton Hall team that reached the national title game, had been with the program for 20 years, amassing nearly 400 wins, winning six league titles and reaching nine NCAA tournaments. He announced his firing earlier this week on FaceBook, and the players on his team responded by boycotting Tuesday night’s matchup with Ramapo.

Dylan Burns, a William Paterson student that does play-by-play for the school’s athletic teams, tweeted that the basketball players came out of the locker room for layups lines, took off their warmups, threw them in a pile on the court and walked off the floor.

The following screengrabs from instagram videos that have since been removed show the players leaving the floor:

Screengrab via Instagram

And the jerseys piled in the middle of the court:

Screengrab via Instagram

The crowd at the game can be heard cheering when it is announced that the game has been forfeited.

Rebimbas wrote the following on FaceBook over the weekend:

“It is with great sadness and extreme frustration that after today I will not be coaching the basketball team at William Paterson University. WP has been my home and family for more than 20 years and yet the University has taken action to remove me from the service I love. People I have trusted and served with have defied logic and are pursing my termination because of a misunderstanding over a facility rental fee for a camp that I run.”

“These actions come despite the University hearing officer determining that termination was not warranted. The University has unfairly and illegally taken my right to coach and mentor the student-athletes I love. I am prepared to fight the actions of William Paterson University and restore my good name and that of the program.”