Bryce Dejean-Jones isn’t DeAndre Kane, who wasn’t Royce White.
But where styles are different among players who have transferred to Iowa State, impact is the common denominator.
Dejean-Jones, the leading scorer last year at Nevada-Las Vegas, is off to a fast start in a Cyclones uniform. He is averaging 17.5 points in two games as Iowa State meets Alabama on Monday in the semifinals of the CBE Classic at the Sprint Center (about 8:30 on ESPN2).
Maryland and Arizona State open the event at 6 p.m. That game will air on ESPNU.
“Very different players,” Iowa State coach Fred Hoiberg described his recent leading transfers.
Kane, who transferred from Marshall and was voted the Big 12’s top newcomer last season, was ball dominant in leading the Cyclones to the Sweet 16 last year. White, the league’s newcomer of the year in 2012 after transferring from Minnesota, was a big man who could play inside and outside.
Iowa State isn’t built around Bryce-Jones, but he brings versatility.
“We can use him all over the court and in different ways,” Hoiberg said. “He’s extremely athletic, as athletic as any wing player I’ve at Iowa State.”
Enough that Hoiberg told Bryce-Jones that it was “an embarrassment” that he averaged only 3.7 rebounds for the Runnin’ Rebels last year. Message received. He’s averaged nine in the Cyclones’ victories over Oakland and Georgia State.
Those triumphs were group efforts. Each member of the starting five scored in double figures in both games. Lack of depth was partly the reason.
Iowa State was without Matt Thomas and Abdel Nader, who were serving suspensions for team rules’ violations. They’ll be back for the tournament.
So will such familiar faces as Georges Niang, the team’s scorer at 20.0, forward Dustin Hogue, who scored 34 against Connecticut in last year’s NCAA Tournament loss, and guards Monte Morris and Naz Long. They helped the Cyclones finish with a 28-8 record, which included the Big 12 Tournament championship at Sprint Center.
In the opener, Mark Turgeon will return to familiar surroundings. He was Texas A&M’s coach for four seasons before leaving for Maryland in 2011. Three of his Aggies teams played at Sprint Center.
The Topeka native and former Kansas guard and assistant coach whose head coaching resume also includes seven years at Wichita State, is expected to have 50 family members and friends in attendance.