As we enter our “bye” weeks, it gives people in our field a chance to regroup and re-energize. We get into such a routine that we miss on some things from time to time. Or just simply don’t have enough hours in the day to look them up.
This week, I was thinking about Melvin Ejim and the season he is having. I wanted to take a closer look at his numbers because I knew they were improved.
After missing the first two games with a hyperextended knee, Ejim has been as good as ever for the Cyclones.
The senior is second in the Big 12 averaging a career-best 17.7 points. He’s been in double-digits in all 15 games since his return to the lineup. Ejim is also shooting better than ever before (51.9 percent FG, 35.5 percent 3FG).
While his rebounding numbers are a little below his average last season (7.1 rpg), some of that can be attributed to a pair of great rebounders around him in Dustin Hogue and DeAndre Kane. Ejim is also averaging a career-high 2.0 assists per game.
His 17 point-7 rebound average is impressive when you consider it historically. Only five Iowa Staters since 1990 have averaged at least that many points and rebounds. That list includes Victor Alexander, Craig Brackins, Marcus Fizer, Loren Meyer and Tyray Pearson. Impressive company for Ejim.
Honestly, he probably doesn’t get the credit nationally that he deserves. Only four players in the power conferences average more than 17 points and seven rebounds. He joins Creighton’s Doug McDermott as the only of those to also shoot better than 50 percent from the field and 35 percent behind the arc.
The forward’s scoring average is +6.4 from last year, the latest Cyclone to improve their scoring average by a considerable margin under the guidance of Fred Hoiberg.
Ejim waited his turn and now is reaping the benefits. I just hope everyone is noticing.
Follow Iowa State men’s basketball on Twitter (@CycloneMBB). Matt Shoultz is on Twitter as well (@mjshoultz).