Iowa State Cyclones

Iowa State ranks 3rd in former players in NBA playoffs

All 8 ex-Cyclones in the NBA are in the postseason

Denver Nuggets guard Monte Morris reacts to making a 3-point basket during the Nuggets' game against the Utah Jazz on Au
Denver Nuggets guard Monte Morris reacts to making a 3-point basket during the Nuggets’ game against the Utah Jazz on Aug. 8 in Lake Buena Vista, Fla. (Kevin C. Cox/Pool Photo via AP)

The "Return to Play" games are done in the NBA bubble, and they were good showcases for some former Iowa collegians.

Eight ex-Iowa State players and two former Iowa Hawkeyes played in the Orlando bubble, and nine of those 10 players are on teams that advanced to the playoffs that start Monday. Former ISU teammates Monte Morris of Denver and Georges Niang of Utah will be on opposing sides in a first-round Western Conference series that starts Monday afternoon.

(I realize how irrelevant this is in the wake up of so much of Iowa getting derecho-ed to submission and a pandemic that keeps on keeping on. This is something for me to do in an air-conditioned office to keep me occupied for an hour. Thanks for indulging.)

Iowa State has the third-most former players in the playoffs, trailing just Kentucky (14) and Duke (9). Michigan, Texas and UCLA have 7. I credit Iowa State associate director of athletic communications Matt Shoutz for doing that legwork. I tracked down the following stats, the games played and points per game of the ISU and Iowa alums in the bubble:

IOWA

Jarrod Uthoff, Washington: 3 games, 5.0 points per game

Tyler Cook, Denver: 2 games, 2.0 ppg

IOWA STATE

Monte Morris, Denver: 8 games, 13.9 ppg

Talen Horton-Tucker, L.A. Lakers: 4 games, 8.5 ppg, 1.8 steals per game

Abdel Nader, Oklahoma City: 7 games, 8.3 ppg

Georges Niang, Utah: 8 games, 7.0 ppg

Matt Thomas, Toronto: 8 games, 6.5 ppg

Marial Shayok, Philadelphia: 2 games, 4.0 ppg

Deonte Burton, Oklahoma City: 5 games, 2.0 ppg

Naz Mitrou-Long, Indiana: 2 games, 0.0 ppg

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