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Sports

November 9, 2013

College Basketball: Three area greats ready to make names for themselves

Three area greats primed to capture nation's attention

(Continued)

Desrosiers had some success at Wake Forest, where he was a part-time starter as a sophomore, averaging 4.8 points, 4.4 rebounds and most noteworthy an impressive 1.9 blocks (fourth best in the ACC) in 21.6 minutes a game. But embattled coach Jeff Bzdelik wasn’t too popular with his players and three transferred that spring.

A 7-footer with skills and a positive attitude is going to have plenty of options. Desrosiers decided PC was his best option over Oregon State, Vanderbilt, UMass, Seton Hall and Temple.

“I have nothing but positives to say about the school, the basketball program, the coaching staff, my teammates,” said the big man. “It will be a fun season.”

The head coach has to be the closer. PC’s Cooley did a Koji Uehara-esque job with the former Central Catholic Sultan of Swat.

“He’s a people person,” said Desrosiers. “He’ll tell you straight up what you have to work on. He plays to your strength. He’s very easy to talk to.”

The personable Cooley has been a monster recruiter but the rebuilding Friars still have a ways to go if they want to make the NCAAs for the first time since 2004. Sophomore point guard Kris Dunn, a former McDonald’s All-American, injured his shoulder again in the preseason. His status is up in the air. Also, a couple of freshmen already have been suspended.

Still, Desrosiers is all in.

“There is an excitement about where the program is going,” he said. “I can’t say enough about how excited I am.”

Georges Niang, Iowa State sophomore: Still fighting to earn respect

As a middle-of-the pack recruit, Georges Niang may have snuck up on some people last year as a freshman at Iowa State.

It seems unlikely that would happen again, but Niang has had a career’s worth of being overlooked and disrespected. While he’s won over a lot of critics, the Big 12 media day showed those closest to him still aren’t completely convinced.

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