Georges Niang says he's returning

Iowa State Cyclones junior Georges Niang told ESPN he will return for his final season in Ames.

The skilled 6-foot-8 forward averaged 15.3 points, 5.4 rebounds and 3.4 assists per game and also shot 40 percent from beyond the arc, but struggled and finished with 11 points and seven boards in the loss to UAB in the first game of the NCAA tournament.

"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 will likely be a top-10 preseason pick next year with Niang, junior point guard Monte Morris, athletic big man Jameel McKay and shooter Naz Long. They will also add transfers Hallice Cooke (Oregon State) and Deonte Burton (Marquette).

"I think we have a really good core coming back," Niang said.