March 17, 2011

Iowa offers 2012 forward

Last year Coach Fran McCaffery pulled Melsahn Basabe out of the prep school ranks in the Northeast and he had great success in his freshman season. Iowa is looking at another prospect from those same ranks in 2012 and have a couple of days ago extended a scholarship offer to forward Georges Niang from the Tilton School in New Hampshire.

"Iowa just offered me a couple of days ago," Niang said on Wednesday night. "I'm really excited about the offer because I have heard nothing but good things about Coach McCaffery and the type of coach that he is."

Iowa first emerged on his recruiting radar this past summer after they saw him at an AAU event in July. Their recruitment of Niang heated up in January after assistant coach Andrew Francis saw him play and that eventually led to the offer this past week.

One of the other offers on the table for the 6-foot-7 forward is from Iowa State and this coming week Niang and his mother will be making their way to the Midwest and visit both Ames and Iowa City.

"I'm excited about the trip," he said. "I really don't know much about the state of Iowa, so it will be a new experience for me. People tell me you will see a lot of cornfields and stuff like that. I guess I will see what I see when I get there."

In addition to the Hawkeyes and the Cyclones, he has offers from Delaware, Florida Atlantic, George Mason, Hofstra, UMass, Northeastern, Rhode Island, Siena, and Miami, OH. He is also receiving interest from Colorado, Providence, and Texas A&M.

Niang says that since Iowa's increased interest, he has been watching the Hawkeyes play on a regular basis and has enjoyed watching Melsahn Basabe, who he competed against last season when the Iowa forward was a St. Mark's.

"I thought that Melsahn was really underrated coming out of high school and I was really impressed by what he did in his freshman year," he said. "I got to see them play against Purdue and then the Michigan State game in the Big Ten Tournament. I was really impressed with the team and how Coach McCaffery plays a lot of guys in his rotation. He's also not afraid to play young guys, which impressed me."

With his high school season wrapped up, Niang will turn his focus to AAU Basketball with the BABC team out of Boston. He will also be focused on improving his skills, which have already impressing a lot of college coaches.

"I need to continue working to get better, but I think I handle myself pretty well in the post and when I have a bigger guy on me, I try to take them outside and either go by them, shoot a three, or set up one of my teammates for an open shot."

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