Basketball

Cyclone legends Matt Thomas and Georges Niang reunited on Utah Jazz

Feb 1, 2014; Ames, IA, USA; Iowa State Cyclones forward Georges Niang (31) and guard Matt Thomas (21) celebrate during a timeout against the Oklahoma Sooners in the second half at James H. Hilton Coliseum. Iowa State beat Oklahoma 81-75. Mandatory Credit: Reese Strickland-USA TODAY Sports

Former Cyclones Matt Thomas and Georges Niang are having a reunion — in Salt Lake City.

Thomas is reuniting with his college teammate on the Utah Jazz after he was traded from the Toronto Raptors prior to Thursday’s NBA trade deadline in exchange for a future second-round pick in the NBA Draft, according to a report from ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski.

Thomas averaged just 2.7 points per game while shooting 42 percent from 3-point range for the Raptors this season while playing an average of 7.4 minutes per game in 26 appearances. This followed a 2019-20 campaign, Thomas’ first with the franchise, in which he averaged 4.7 points, shot 48 percent from deep and averaged 10.7 minutes in 41 games, including making one start.

A native of Onalaska, Wis., Thomas is one of the most decorated shooters in the history of Iowa State men’s basketball, ranking third in career 3-pointers made. His back-to-back seasons of 89 made 3-pointers in 2015-16 and 2016-17 tie for sixth all-time in a single-season at Iowa State and his career percentage from deep of 40.1 ranks eighth in school history.

Thomas joins a Jazz roster that sits in first place in the Western Conference with a 32-11 record while boasting numerous high-level shooters, including Niang, Joe Ingles, Mike Conley, Donovan Mitchell and Jordan Clarkson.

The team ranks first in the league in 3-pointers made and attempted plus second in the league in team 3-point percentage. The team also has the highest 3-point attempts rate in the league, which lends to the belief that Thomas should have a better opportunity to carve out a role in Utah than he did with the Raptors.

All the basketball stuff aside, the best part of it all is Thomas will be reuniting with his friend Niang.

The duo helped Iowa State to a 76-29 record overall, three NCAA Tournament appearances, two Big 12 Tournament championships and two Sweet 16s across their three seasons together from 2013-16 and will forever be remembered as two of the most important players of the Cyclones’ golden decade.

The Iceman and the Minivan are back together again.

J

Jared Stansbury

administrator

Jared a native of Clarinda, Iowa, started as the Cyclone Fanatic intern in August 2013, primarily working as a videographer until starting on the women’s basketball beat prior to the 2014-15 season. Upon earning his Bachelor’s degree in Journalism and Mass Communication from Iowa State in May 2016, Jared was hired as the site’s full-time staff writer, taking over as the primary day-to-day reporter on football and men’s basketball. He was elevated to the position of managing editor in January 2020. He is a regular contributor on 1460 KXNO in Des Moines and makes regular guest appearances on radio stations across the Midwest. Jared resides in Ankeny with his four-year-old puggle, Lolo.

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