Meet Georges Niang. If an illiterate grassroots/college basketball fan, you might know him as the kid who was on the wrong end of that late game blown offensive foul call against Kansas last Monday. If familiar with the Methuen, Massachusetts native and current Iowa State Cyclone Freshman forward, however, you’d know my man, to no personal surprise, is defying all expectations. Through sixteen Big 12 conference games, he’s one of only four freshman to rank top 20 in scoring (two of which are projected lottery picks in this year’s NBA draft), has arguably been Coach Hoiberg’s most efficient roster option on one of the more deep team’s in the country, and continues to make Bleacher Report, ESPN and other “all-knowing” scouting services look a bit, well stupid, for not anticipating his work as a Tilton School Ram and member of the prestigious Boston Amateur Basketball Club alongside Nerlens Noel would immediately translate to the next level. Remember folks, athleticism isn’t everything. Believe it or not, success in this game, as Charles Barkley once said, “comes down to what you can do under the rim.”
And last Thursday, we got Georges on the line for an interview right before taking off for his make or break NCAA tournament hopeful three game stretch against Oklahoma, Oklahoma State and West Virginia. From discussing his feelings with the underrated label to his opinions on KU swingman Travis Releford’s hair line and white women with short hair, Georges showed us that’s he’s a youngin’ with a story and personality that should never go unnoticed. If there’s one take away from our first of many radio interviews with Georges, it’s that he’s got the tools to not only ball outrageous for the rest of his basketball career, but to ball outrageous 30 years down the road in life. Check out some of the highlights from our conservation transcribed below. Hit ‘Em.
P.S. Excuse my sounding like the biggest white boy of all time when discussing French Montana and his most recent Mac & Cheese Mixtape. I assure you all that I’m far more WAVY than I appear over the Podcast. Believe me, I’ve routinely punched myself in the face for that one.
I’ve been looking at your progress throughout the whole season. Pretty amazing man. I’m proud of you man, from a Boston, MA native standpoint. And I was looking at this article from Bleacher Report mentioning the top 50 most impactful Freshman entering college basketball this season. And your name, surprisingly enough, wasn’t even mentioned. I just wanted to ask you, you’ve flown so far under the radar. Has it bothered you? And does the label underrated get to you?
I wouldn’t say it gets to me. I mean, It just fuels my motivation to get better. If people aren’t going to recognize me, I’m going to have to do more stuff to make people recognize me. But at the end of the day, I’m not really paying attention to that. I’m just more just focused on helping my team win and if you win enough people are going to start taking notice.
From day one, it never really seemed to concern you that you could hang with the Big 12 competition. What game can you finger point where you truly realized, “Hey, I’m a problem. Throw me in the Jungle and I’ll come out 15 pounds heavier”?
I would say definitely my first start when we were at Kansas. I mean, it doesn’t get much bigger than that. I came out and had eight straight points. So after that, I felt like there wasn’t really anyone I should fear or feel I couldn’t hang with. And that’s where I just started off running, right then and there. Kansas is one of the biggest, loudest places to play at. And I feel like I really succeeded there.
Continuing on Elijah Johnson, I’m not sure If you’ve heard the rumor going around about Kansas fans calling the kid Beetle Juice…
Talking about the whole NCAA rule of one and done’s and making kids go to school. From a player perspective, what’s your opinion on the whole jump process? Do you think kid’s should be able to jump from high school still?
Oh, no, no. I think everybody needs a year of college to mature. And why wouldn’t you want to experience college? I know there’s a risk your taking, getting hurt like Nerlens did. But at least you have a year of college and you can learn some things by living on your own rather than just hoping on out to the real world, making a pay check and not learning how to do certain things.
Who is the best player you’ve gone up against all year
I’d say Anthony Bennett. Then Marcus Smart. He’s another player I’ve gone up against that’s tough. He just doesn’t take no for an answer.
The Bitches at Iowa State Are…
5 Songs and or Artists you bump to in pregrame.
Gotta be “Love Sosa” by Chief Keef, “Hate Being Sober” by Chief Keef. And then I hit up Pandora for a little Meek Mill.
Any French Montana??
Naww I really haven’t been feeling him
Awww no “Marble Floors” in pregame?!
Hey, but that Mac & Cheese Mixtape was dope though….
Have Moufy and Stargang hit Iowa State yet?
Travis Releford’s hair line is…
TOO far back
Nantucket on the 4th of July is…
Ohhh that’s where Ima be AT! That’s the spot, that’s the spot! Yea, Nobadeer is quite the place to be, man.
Hold up, let me ask my roommate right quick…What’s that dude’s name from Oklahoma? Cousins? Isaiah Cousins. I say him or Markel Brown. Markel talks some wild sh*t!
White Women with Short Hair Are…
Ahhh thought you were gonna say Halle Berry or Hallelujah! Kendrick Lamar right there (Money Trees)!
Ahhh you got me!
Rocking a white tee under your jersey is…
Lame as hell! Listen, we aren’t in the 90′s anymore. That’s not cool. Just like Dom Kennedy said, “I don’t where Lebron’s to the club.” That’s ugly, man!