Is Dustin Hogue Iowa State's Best Player?

Dustin Hogue leads the Big 12 in rebounding and is cleaning up on the glass like few guys his height can. Here's why he might be Iowa State's most important player

After pulling down 16, 14 and 16 rebounds in a three-game span, Iowa State forward Dustin Hogue has thrown his name into a fun barbershop discussion:

"Who is Iowa State's best player?"

A case can be made for Hogue, forwards Melvin Ejim and Georges Niang and point guard DeAndre Kane. Niang is the Cyclones' go-to player, using a team-high 28.3 percent of possessions.

In time the argument, if it really matters, will shake out. Hogue's last three games have raised eyebrows and thrust him onto the national scene, just credit for a player who leads the Big 12 in rebounds at 11.1 per game, No. 6 nationally.

A more telling stat might be his defensive rebounding percentage. Per, Hogue is grabbing 26.4 percent of available defensive rebounds when he's on the court, a mark that's No. 30 nationally.

Only two players at or equal to Hogue's 6-foot-6 height are higher up on kenpom's list, calculated through Dec. 18.

Essentially, he's rebounding like he's two inches shy of seven feet. Thus Fred Hoiberg can afford to trust Hogue to clean up down low instead of giving big minutes to Percy Gibson or Daniel Edozie.

"[Dustin's] just an absolute warrior," Hoiberg said recently. "He goes after every ball. The rebounds he gets, he gets up higher than everyone else and then he elevates a couple of inches. It's just amazing to see how he goes after that ball."

It's not all about the glass for Hogue, whose offensive rating of 129.7 is No. 86 nationally and second-best of any Cyclone (Naz Long is No. 20 nationally with a 136.5 ORtg).

Still not finished. Hogue has an effective field goal percentage of 66.4, No. 27 nationally, and he's shooting 66.7 percent on two-point shots — mostly layups — and hitting about 44 percent of his three-pointers.

The last three games, Hogue's scored 22, 17 and 12 points, missing a total of two two-points shots in that span and shooting 4-for-8 from distance.

Is Hogue Iowa State's biggest name? No. Its best player? Perhaps.

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