I saw the question posed on CycloneFanatic.com where folks were trying to place Georges Niang’s freshmen season with other Cyclone freshmen of years past. Niang has had a very solid year statistically so far but beyond that he has been crucial for Iowa State on the offensive end. Whether it is finishing around the rim, knocking down jumpers to draw opposing big men from the rim, or facilitating the offense with making the right pass but Niang’s ability and basketball IQ has proven to be key in the Cyclones offensive performance.
While a lot of that isn’t quantifiable I thought the numbers were worth looking at. It is also worth keeping in mind that freshman weren’t eligible to play until the 1972-73 season. I only included freshmen that played at least 15 games in their rookie season and I think I also nixed all of the freshmen that redshirted. I just grabbed a few stats but we’ll look at them in a couple of different angles. The first table is points per game, rebounds per game, assists per game, steals per game, and blocked shots per game. Keep in mind that assists weren’t tracked statistically until 1973-74 and steals and block shots weren’t tracked until 1979-80.(Note: This data is now current through the conclusion of the 2012-13 season.)
Of course there are more variables here than can be fully accounted for like the surrounding teammates, team success, schedule, style of play, blah blah, yadda yadda, etc etc… Either way it is a fun exercise to go through…right? Right?!?!
Here are the per game averages sorted by points per game but you can sort by any of the columns. Niang’s stats are through all games played this season up through the Kansas State game on 1/25/2013. His per game averages up to that point rank him 12th in points, 14th in rebounds, 22nd in assists, 21st in steals, and 25th in blocked shots. (Note: there is more text below this table, should you want to read it for some reason.)
The second angle of this is to look at the percentage of the team’s points, rebounds, assists, steals, and blocked shots that these freshmen accounted for. This helps with context, especially because minutes played per game for freshmen back to the early seventies isn’t readily available. Here are the same stats as above only end percentage of team stats by player.
By the percentages so far this year Niang ranks 12th in points, 18th in rebounds, 21st in assists, 18th in steals, and 21st in blocked shots.