Updates from Tuesday, March 25
Travis Hines of Prep Hoops Iowa has the latest on Georges Niang:
Georges Niang's surgery on his foot is happening right now. 6-week recovery. He is expected to be able to travel with the team tomorrow.— Travis Hines (@TravisHines21) March 25, 2014
Updates from Saturday, March 22
Travis Hines of Prep Hoops Iowa provides an update on Georges Niang:
Georges Niang to have surgery on his foot Tuesday. One screw will be placed in his foot.— Travis Hines (@TravisHines21) March 22, 2014
After one of the biggest games of his career, Georges Niang left the court with just over six minutes remaining in Iowa State's NCAA tournament opener due to ankle soreness.
That soreness, however, would end up being much more serious for the sophomore forward. Niang will miss the remainder of the tournament for the Cyclones, as the program's official Twitter account reports:
Georges Niang has a foot fracture and will miss the remainder of the season.— Cyclone Basketball (@CycloneMBB) March 22, 2014
Niang's injury is a 5th metatarsal fracture on his right foot.— Cyclone Basketball (@CycloneMBB) March 22, 2014
Niang confirmed the news, per Dean Berhow-Goll of the Iowa State Daily:
Georges Niang: "I broke my fifth metatarsal in my right foot." Team trainer Vic Miller says he's done.— Dean Berhow-Goll (@DeanBG) March 22, 2014
The foot fracture occured as Niang came down after grabbing a defensive rebound. The sophomore went back down the court and stayed on the floor before ultimately having to head to the locker room.
On the season, Niang is the Cyclones' third-leading scorer with 16.5 points. But in his last five games, the forward has averaged 20.4 points per game including his 24 against North Carolina Central, finishing at 4-for-5 from three-point range.
Without Niang on the court, Iowa State's offense will be without one of its best players both in the paint and from behind the arch. Jon Rothstein of CBS Sports put the big man's importance into perspective for the program:
Iowa State was a legitimate contender for the Final Four with Georges Niang. Without him, the Cyclones will be underdogs Sunday vs. UNC.— Jon Rothstein (@JonRothstein) March 22, 2014
While Niang is clearly an important component for the Cyclones' offense, they still have a great team that can compete with the Tar Heels. But after Marcus Paige and James Michael McAdoo put on an offensive clinic against Providence, the Heels might be a tough team to tame for Iowa State.
Without the sophomore on the floor, both Melvin Ejim and DeAndre Kane will have to step up in his absence. As the two leading scorers on the team, both will be relied upon heavily going against No. 6 seed North Carolina.
It has been a great season for both Niang and his program, but it appears the road is much more difficult from here on out. With UNC looming, the Cyclones will need to restructure their offensive and defensive schemes in a hurry—something that is extremely hard to do during tournament time.
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