Niang, a 6'8" forward who just concluded his junior season, averaged a team-high 15.3 points with 5.4 rebounds and 3.4 assists per game for the Cyclones. Iowa State, a No. 3 seed in the NCAA tournament, was upset by No. 4 seed UAB in the schools' opening-round game on March 19.
Niang scored 11 points on 4–of–15 shooting and added seven rebounds, but said he did not want to end his college career with a loss like that.
"I was weighing it, but I want to be loyal to the program and didn't want to go out this way," Niang said. "I didn't want to leave my mark like that."
Iowa State finished 25-9 (12-6 Big 12) and will likely enter next season as a top preseason team.
Over his three seasons at Iowa State, Niang has averaged 14.7 points, 4.8 rebounds and 2.9 assists per game.
- Mike Fiammetta