Iowa State’s big men are vital to success

Fans of Iowa State basketball can expect a 2014 squad full of shooters and guys who can play up-tempo. Those shooters will take Iowa State to the NCAA Tournament and possibly a Sweet 16 game.

What Iowa State basketball needs to get even further is several rebounding presences who can dominate the glass.

I have said this before in past pieces. Iowa State can live and die by their numerous shots. When they go in, everything is grand. When they don’t, they get blown out by West Virginia. For those kinds of games in which Iowa State couldn’t make as many shots as needed to win, a rebounding presence was needed.

Iowa State Basketball

Georges Niang is not the kind of guy I see dominating down low for Iowa State. Georgios Tsalmpouris is.

Melvin Ejim crashed the glass effectively, but not consistently. Georges Niang emerged from the paint against Kansas with a cut forehead. I don’t want him getting hurt more seriously, so he isn’t that imposing presence down low. So who is going to step up and be that guy for Fred Hoiberg on a consistent basis?

Dustin Hogue showed he is capable of being that presence down low against UConn, but the success he had that night felt like a fluke when put in the context of the rest of the year. He exploded that game, but never really showed that capability during the season. Sure he got rebounds, but he wasn’t dominating the paint every single game.

I’m really hoping Georgios Tsalmpouris can be that dominating force down low for the Iowa State Cyclones. He already has the size at 7’1″, and he was ready for Greek pro basketball. Hoiberg has said he can handle the up-tempo playing style as well, so he won’t be lagging behind when ISU grabs possession.

Think about this: in both regular season losses to the Kansas Jayhawks, Iowa State was outrebounded by double digits. I think a dominating force down low is the key to Iowa State ousting Kansas and becoming the best team in the Big 12.