I'm a native of Maplewood, Minnesota, a suburb of St. Paul. It was there that I was inflicted with the curse of being a Minnesota Vikings fan. There is still no known cure, though many times I wish there was. I'm also an avid follower of the Minnesota Twins and of course, the Iowa State Cyclones.
How can you not be impressed with the play of Dustin Hogue for the ISU men’s basketball team this season? Who can say they actually saw it coming? Not me, that’s for certain. I figured he’d be a role player—the Juco transfer who provides some rebounding and defense, and just leaves the offense to the big boys like Kane, Ejim, Niang and Thomas. I didn’t figure on him being the Cyclones’ third-leading scorer at 12 points a game. I certainly didn’t anticipate his performance against Auburn on Monday when he returned a missed field goal 100 yards for a touchdown. Oh, wait, wrong sport. All Hogue did was put up a career-best 22 points and 16 rebounds against the Tigers. Here’s a guy hitting about 60% of his shots, including an impressive 45% from 3-point range. That’s quite the testament to Fred Hoiberg’s knowledge of shooting. He’s passed on a few tips to Hogue, who Hoiberg says has worked hard on his shot, the mechanics get better and suddenly a new scoring threat emerges. Hogue is also leading ISU in rebounding. That’s right, he’s almost two boards a game better than Ejim, who was only the Big 12’s leading rebounder last season. Pretty impressive stuff especially considering that those rebounds are crucial to the Cyclones’ transition game. I can sense that Hogue is becoming a fan favorite as well. Not only for his production, but for the effort and energy he puts into it. That’s something ISU fans, and coaches, can appreciate.