Cyclones Perform Well at Next Level

Iowa State has become one of the best college programs nationally at producing NBA talent. After Paul Shirley signed with Phoenix in February, the Cyclones were tied for 12th nationally with six former players on NBA rosters. Here is a recap of how all six players fared during the 2004-05 season.

Kelvin Cato, C, Orlando

An offseason trade sent the former Iowa State shot blocker to Orlando, and Cato responded with his most productive season in five years. Cato started in 50 of 62 games and contributed averages of seven points, 6.7 rebounds, and 1.3 blocks.

Put together his best stretch of the season in March, scoring in double figures seven times and tallying double-doubles in two of those games. His 13-point, 12-rebound effort on the second helped the Magic edge Sacramento.

Marcus Fizer, PF, Milwaukee

Perhaps the greatest player in Cyclone history finally found a home in Milwaukee during the season. But Fizer's role was limited to that as a reserve, since he averaged just under 17 minutes over 54 games. He averaged 6.2 points and 3.2 rebounds. The former NBA lottery pick's statistics have diminished since a torn ACL cut short a remarkable 2002-03 season.

The best game of Fizer's fifth season as a professional came in the Bucks' next-to-last outing. In just 20 minutes of action, he scored 17 points and grabbed six rebounds versus Philadelphia. That came two days after he scored 12 points in 21 minutes against Orlando.

Fred Hoiberg, SG, Minnesota

Hoiberg led the NBA in three-point field goal percentage in the 2004-05 campaign, and even earned the praise of being the best all-time by an ESPN.com writer during his 10th season in the league. However, he did take a backseat this winter as the Wolves fell from Western Conference finalist to out of the playoffs. He played in 76 of 82 regular season games, but only averaged 16.7 minutes per game.

The former ISU sharpshooter played in just 15 games, but nailed 70-of-145 shots from beyond the arch and averaged 5.8 points a game. Hoiberg's best stretch of the season came with four double-figure scoring games in five outings in January. During those games he hit 9-of-13 three-point shots.

Paul Shirley, C, Phoenix

Shirley became known more for his ramblings on road trips and other NBA off-court experiences during his initial season with Phoenix. He played in just nine games and averaged just over one point in his third professional season.

But it was Shirley's diaries on NBA.com (http://www.nba.com/suns/news/shirley_blog) during a March road trip that got him the most attention as a member of the team.

Jamaal Tinsley, PG, Indiana

The former Cyclone point guard was having his best season as a pro before injuries once again shut him down for a prolonged period of time. Tinsley ended the regular season with averages of 15.4 points, 6.4 assists, four rebounds, and two steals per game. He has missed both of the Pacers' first-round playoff games.

Tinsley took advantage of the losses of other Indiana players to suspension early in the season. He had the best three-game run of his career during the middle of January, scoring 86 combined points on a road trip to Miami, New Orleans, and Houston. He neared a triple-double against Houston, scoring 28 points, dishing out nine assists, and grabbing eight rebounds.

Jackson Vroman, PF, New Orleans

Vroman was afforded an opportunity for more playing time as an NBA rookie, but it took being dealt from one of the league's best teams to undoubtedly one of the worst. Vroman was part of an early-season trade from Phoenix to New Orleans. In the end, he had started 18 of 46 games in his first season and averaged 4.6 points and 3.8 rebounds for the two franchises.

The former Cyclone became a staple in the Hornet rotation during the months of March and April, contributing a pair of double-doubles and scoring in double figures in seven games. His best effort came on April 13th at playoff contender Denver, when he scored 16 points and grabbed 10 rebounds in 33 minutes.


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