Iowa State basketball’s 2014-15 backcourt received a major boost when former UNLV guard Bryce Dejean-Jones committed back on April 14. The Rebels’ leading scorer from last year gives coach Fred Hoiberg a long guard that can both take it to the rack and light it up from outside.
Perhaps the most exciting thing to Cyclone fans about Dejean-Jones choosing to play his final year of college basketball with ISU is the pure athleticism he will bring to the off-guard position. A quick glance at the Dejean-Jones highlights on YouTube make it easy to see that the latest transfer of the Hoiberg era will thrill Hilton Coliseum with at least a few high-flying dunks during his one year in town.
Iowa State hasn’t had an aggressive dunker like that at the wing since arguably Rahshon Clark. Chris Allen and Chris Babb had great moments involving dunks during their time at ISU; Allen’s in the Cyclones’ NCAA Tournament game against Kentucky in 2012 and Babb’s coming against Oklahoma State in 2013. However, it wasn’t natural to see either of the Chris’ look to dunk the same way Dejean-Jones does. And while Clark remains one of the most popular Cyclone players of the 2000’s, BDJ is a much more talented scorer than Clark ever was.
The hole that 1st Team All-Big 12 player DeAndre Kane left is what Dejean-Jones will be expected to fill during the upcoming season. Both players are similar in size; Kane stood 6-foot-4 and weighed 200 pounds, while Dejean-Jones is 6-foot-5 and also 200 pounds.
Dejean-Jones won’t be expected to handle the ball quite as often as Kane was last year with the emergence of Monte Morris, but that doesn’t mean he won’t have the ball in his hands quite often.
The end-of-the-game isolation and ball screen sets that Hoiberg has run over the past four years for the likes of Diante Garrett, Royce White, Will Clyburn and Kane will likely be the spots that Dejean-Jones is expected to make something happen in 2014-15. With the playmaking ability BDJ has shown during his time at UNLV, Cyclone fans should feel very comfortable with this going forward.