To prepare for the tip-off of another great year of college basketball, CHD is reaching out to coaches and players around the country to get the inside scoop on what we can expect this time around. Jon Teitel continues our season preview series by chatting with Iowa State forward Dustin Hogue about having the game of his life against the eventual champs (while breaking out a sweet haircut!).
You grew up in New York: why did you choose Iowa State?
I went to Indian Hills Junior College for a couple of years, which was a bit of a culture shock for me, and after that I figured it would be better to stay in a smaller town like Ames to finish out my college career.
You play for Coach Fred Hoiberg: what makes him such a good coach, and what is the most important thing you ever learned from him?
He gives his players a huge amount of confidence. He can get us on a bit, but treats us like adults and does not put a leash on us.
You started all 36 games in your first year with the Cyclones: how were you able to come in and contribute so quickly?
The biggest thing I do is play defense, so once I knew my role I realized that I could help the team do a lot of little things like rebounding and boxing out. Scoring will come with hard work but I wanted to do some things that other players were not doing.
You shot over 57 FG% last year and your 8.4 rebounds was second in the Big 12: what is your secret for being a good shooter, and what is your secret for being a good rebounder? Shooting was never one of my strong points but Coach teaches me to keep my balance and keep my head up. He teaches me that my form is not as important as my confidence. Rebounding is not about skill: the person who wants it more will get it because it is all about effort.
In the 2014 Big 12 tourney you won three games in three days to clinch the school’s first conference tourney title since 2000: what was the reaction like when you got back to campus? It was crazy: I had people I did not even know telling me how proud they were of me! We worked so hard throughout the season to beat some great teams and to win it all in Kansas City was a great feeling.
In the 2014 NCAA tourney you scored a career-high 34 points (15-19 FG) in a 5-point loss to eventual-champion UConn: was it just one of those scenarios where every shot you put up seemed to go in because you were “in the zone”? Definitely. I am from New York so I had about 20 family members in the crowd at Madison Square Garden who had never seen me play a college game in person before. Halfway through the game I made a shot that I did not think was going in, so once I saw that I knew that I would be hitting a lot of left-handed shots that day.
Your non-conference schedule includes games against Alabama, Arkansas, Iowa, and South Carolina: which of these games do you feel will present your biggest test? Every game is important but Iowa is always one of the biggest games of the year because they are our in-state rival. All 4 of those will be tough so we will have to play as hard as we can.
Your top-2 scorers from last year have graduated (Melvin Ejim/DeAndre Kane): how will you try to replace their combined 35 PPG? We have a really good leader in Georges Niang: even though he is recovering from a foot injury he has been very encouraging to all of us. I will have to take a larger role myself, and we have a lot of good assets coming off the bench.
You brother Douglas played linebacker in the NFL: who is the best athlete in the family? He has it right now because he made it to the pros…but I am catching up!
What are your goals for the upcoming season, and what are your expectations for the upcoming season? Last year I had a bit of a drought during the middle of the season after a good start, so I want to be the best rebounder in the conference and be more efficient on offense.