Is Kane Able?

A transfer from Marshall, Kane is a 6-foot-4 bull of a point guard. Witness his performance in the exhibition against Augustana, and his impact on the team is clear. But does an ineffective jumper hold him back?

Already, DeAndre Kane is well-versed in the Book of Hoiberg.

"Just play Iowa State basketball," Kane said earlier in the week, when asked what the Cyclones needed for a faster start to the game. "Just play our ball. Get up and down, get easy shots in transition and play defense."

A transfer from Marshall, Kane is a 6-foot-4 bull of a point guard. Witness his performance in the exhibition against Augustana, and his impact on the team is clear. Easy looks, manufactured whenever he damn pleases. Kane was 6-for-8 from the floor and 7-for-9 from the foul line, slapping up 19 points and grabbing 10 rebounds in a 20-minute showcase.

The three most efficient offensive outcomes in basketball — free throws, layups and three-pointers — were clear points of emphasis for Kane, who only attempted one field goal outside that realm.

Red dots denote makes, green are misses.

There weren't any assists, but those will come; Kane in three years with the Thundering Herd averaged 4.5 a contest, with seven last season. Augustana was a statistical anomaly, not the twinkling of a new trend.

The bigger problem — quite possibly the only nit with Kane's game — is his outside shot, or lack thereof.

His three-point percentages, per season: 31.8, 25, 24.8.

In an effort to keep defenses from sagging off him, Kane attempted too many threes at Marshall (or at least, too many for a player with little success from that territory): 4.5 a game, 3.6 a game, 4.5 a game, in respective order to his last three seasons.

The website Hoop-Math.com measures a player's true shooting percentage by taking the points per shooting opportunity and dividing by two. The way it's crafted, it isn't really a "percentage," as it can be as high as 1.5. A mark of .55 is good. Forced to carry a heavy cross at Marshall, Kane's true shooting percentage was .46 and his effective field goal percentage, which adjusts for the fact that a three-point shot is worth more than a two-point shot, was 44.3.

Here's Kane's heat chart from last season. The greener, the lower the percentage:

So the secret's out; at this point in his career, Kane will not turn into a respectable three-point threat. This is most concerning for Iowa State in respects to spacing the floor. With Kane bound to play off the ball throughout a game when Monté Morris is on the floor, Iowa State coach Fred Hoiberg will have to get creative to counter defenses who play off of Kane, both when he has the ball and when he doesn't.

"I think we had the same thing with Royce [White], when the ball's in his hands a lot the defense backs off and that opens a lot of different things, a lot of counters where either you drive the ball and force that defense to suck in," Hoiberg said. "DeAndre's so good at getting to the rim, where he's a great finisher in drawing contact and getting to the free throw line.

"The other thing it opens up is dribble-handoff actions. We've had so much success with that in the past few seasons so it's given us a lot of our three-point shots."


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