Fred Hoiberg brought in four notable Division I transfers this season, and by now, you know them by name: Chris Babb (Penn State), Royce White (Minnesota), Anthony Booker (Southern Illinois), and Chris Allen (Michigan State). After months of hype from media members and writers such as ourselves, the group basically became known as Iowa State‘s version of the Fab Four.
So far, Babb, White, and Allen are the team’s three leading scorers, serving as the catalysts during a decent 5-1 start for the Cyclones. And that’s all great and dandy.
Except the most important transfer so far may arguably be Tyrus McGee, a junior college guard who has not started a single game this season. He earned a reputation at Cowley County Community College as a sharpshooter, and he’s certainly lived up to that billing with a blistering 56.7% mark from three-point land. Besides the season opener against Lehigh, McGee has scored in double figures in every other game, and he’s also made at least two three-pointers in each contest.
Tyrus McGee Plays Hard for Coach Fred Hoiberg (Credit: Des Moines Register)
But his scoring totals aren’t the reason McGee has earned constant praise from Hoiberg. Instead, McGee is actually making more of a mark on the defensive end, bringing a much-needed energy and toughness to Iowa State’s roster. Like any defensive stopper, Hoiberg says he “love[s] the kid because he’ll run through the wall for you.” He may not have run through any dry wall last week, but his efforts did help Iowa State to a 64-54 victory over Providence in the South Padre Island Invitational.
McGee then scored 17 points in a route of Rice in the title game. In six games, McGee has exactly one turnover. And did we mention he’s missed only one free throw so far? Yeah, it’s early. Really early. Iowa State already lost on the road to a decent but unspectacular Drake team, and its wins so far (against Lehigh, Western Carolina, Northern Colorado, Providence and Rice) aren’t going to turn any heads. Still, hustle is hustle, and McGee will play hard against any opponent. If the Cyclones surprise the Big 12 this season, he will probably be a major factor in this program’s revitalization.