Bryce Dejean-Jones’ Arrest Puts Iowa State in Tough Spot Tonight

Posted by Eric Clark on December 12th, 2014

Iowa State will be without starting wing Bryce Dejean-Jones for tonight’s big game against intrastate rival Iowa. The senior was suspended by head coach Fred Hoiberg following his arrest Thursday morning involving a noise disturbance at his home in Ames. Police found marijuana in the apartment and he was eventually charged with three offenses. The most serious charge, hosting a drug house, was dropped because officers were found to not have sufficient probable cause, but the other two charges relating to the noise disturbance remain pending, according to the Des Moines Register‘s Tommy Birch.

Iowa State will be without Bryce Dejean-Jones against Iowa on Friday. (

Iowa State will be without Bryce Dejean-Jones against Iowa on Friday. (

According to KenPom’s predictions, home team Iowa was already a four-point favorite over the Cyclones prior to the suspension. His absence will likely increase that number as Dejean-Jones represents a significant component of the Iowa State offense. The UNLV transfer has found his way in Hoiberg’s system, averaging 17.1 points per game while taking 23.1 percent of the team’s shots when he’s on the floor. Unlike Kansas’ situation with Jamari Traylor earlier this week, it will be more difficult for the Cyclones to find a replacement for Dejean-Jones’ production because he has been so critical to their offense. The senior is currently shooting 56.8 percent from the floor, 41.7 percent from behind the three-point line, and 89.7 percent on free throws, all while being the team’s leading rebounder with 6.9 boards per game.

It will be difficult for Hoiberg to seek additional production out of junior star Georges Niang, already leading the team with 18 points per game, but the Cyclones have three other players averaging double figures who could see an increase in scoring opportunities against the Hawkeyes. The Cyclones’ remaining three starters — Monte Morris, Naz Long, and Dustin Hogue — have all proven their ability to score this season. They’ll likely be called upon tonight to pick up some of the offensive production against an efficient Iowa defense that ranks 16th nationally. As for who replaces Dejean-Jones in the starting lineup, Hoiberg said that would be a late-breaking decision, “We went with a couple different things today [in practice]. We’ll make that decision after our shootaround tomorrow.”

The most likely candidate to replace Dejean-Jones in the lineup is 6’4″ sophomore Matt Thomas. Thomas has knocked down nine of his 22 three-point attempts this season while playing just over 20 minutes per game. It’s possible that Iowa State would go with 6’6″ junior Abdel Nader instead, but that would force either Nader or Hogue to play at the small forward position where neither is likely to pose the outside threat necessary to maintain the Cyclones’ offensive spacing.

Iowa represents both a tough match-up  with a rival as well as the potential for a quality, resume-building win, but the loss of Dejean-Jones for even this one game puts the Cyclones in a tough spot. Although it has been a small sample size, Dejean-Jones has been one of Hoiberg’s most successful transfers to date. Iowa State will need to replace his offensive production with someone else if it harbors hopes of stealing a road win over the Hawkeyes. The Cyclones, always a confident bunch, sound up to the challenge. Guard Naz Long told the Des Moines Register, “A lot of people are not believing in us without having Bryce. That’s something that motivates people like myself.”

Chris Stone (136 Posts)

Chris Stone is a contributor to the Big 12 microsite. You can find him on Twitter @cstonehoops.

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