On Dec. 10, 2015, Iowa's Jarrod Uthoff had arguably the game of his life.
The second-team All-American put up 32 points, nine rebounds and four blocks. Unfortunately for Uthoff, it wasn't quite enough to lead his Hawkeyes to a victory.
On the other side of the court that evening was another second-team All-American, Iowa State's Georges Niang. Niang showed off the versatility of his game with 16 points, six rebounds, five assists, two steals and two blocks. He also got the win, 83-82.
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The state of Iowa enjoyed some great basketball this season with Uthoff and Niang leading their squads into the NCAA Tournament. Uthoff led seventh-seeded Iowa to a thrilling overtime victory in the first round (sorry, Temple fans) before being crushed by eventual national champion Villanova. Niang and fourth-seeded Iowa State advanced to the Sweet 16 before falling to Virginia, the top seed in the Midwest Region.
Both players were at PCOM on Tuesday for a workout with the Sixers, boasting the best resumes of any players present. Uthoff, the former Mr. Basketball in the state of Iowa, is not surprised to see players from the state become so successful.
"The talent that comes out of Iowa is very underestimated. Underappreciated in terms of the country," Uthoff said on Tuesday. "There's a lot of talent that comes out of there and thankfully Georges and I are in a position to go out and work out for NBA teams and enjoy this process."
Unlike Uthoff, a Cedar Springs, Iowa native, Niang hails from Massachusetts and went to high school with Sixers big man Nerlens Noel. Still, Niang spent four years playing college ball in the state and loved every second of it.
"Whenever you can have two players coming out of the state of Iowa -- whether we're from there or just played college there -- I think it's awesome," Niang said. "[Uthoff's] a great ambassador for the University of Iowa. I think I'm a great ambassador for Iowa State."
While Niang got the better of the matchup last December, it's Uthoff who may be on the better professional path. According to Draft Express, Uthoff is projected to go sometime late in the second round.
At this point Niang isn't expected to be drafted, but his skill set could make him an intriguing undrafted free agent. Niang thinks he'd be a great for the Sixers.
"On the court I lead by example by keeping my cool, not doing childish things, Niang said. "I think the biggest thing is having a winner's mentality. I think that's another thing college taught me was to compete. Being a competitor in a sports town like Philly, people love that around here."