Secret uncovered: Hogue rises to the occasion, exposes turnaround shot in postseason win


Junior forward Dustin Hogue shoots against Kansas State during the Big 12 Championship tournament in Kansas City on Thursday, March 13. The Cyclones defeated the Wildcats 91-85. Hogue had 19 points for Iowa State.

Alex Halsted

KANSAS CITY, Mo. — Dustin Hogue has a secret. Well, he did.

The 6-foot-6, 215-pound junior forward stood in the left corner in the second half of Iowa State’s Big 12 Championship quarterfinal game Thursday, his back to the defender. Hogue turned around, rose high into the air with his legs flailing and released a turnaround jumper for a 70-all tie.

“I’ve actually been practicing that shot all season,” Hogue said after the Cyclones moved to the semifinals with a 91-85 win against Kansas State. “I don’t really get to showcase it too much. I’ve got to keep some secrets to myself.”

His secret is out now.

“I couldn’t believe how high he elevated,” said ISU coach Fred Hoiberg.

Hogue scored 19 points and collected 10 rebounds for his seventh double-double of the season in his first Big 12 Championship appearance. When the Cyclones needed the junior college transfer most, he stepped up.

ISU guard DeAndre Kane and forward Georges Niang played a large portion of the second half battling foul trouble and sitting on the bench. With two-thirds of the ISU scoring trio out, Hogue took over, scoring 14 of his points in the second half.

“I talk all the time about Dustin being our glue guy,” Hoiberg said. “When he’s locked in like he was today, we’re a pretty tough team to beat.”

In his first season with the Cyclones, Hogue has stepped into the lineup and performed, finishing the season tied for second in the Big 12 in rebounding while averaging 8.6 rebounds per game.

Hogue’s shot isn’t flashy, and his numbers didn’t win him any postseason honors.

While Melvin Ejim took Big 12 Player of the Year, Kane took Newcomer of the Year and Niang All-Big 12 honors, Hogue’s work went under the radar.

“He doesn’t get the credit he deserves,” Hoiberg said. “Not only on the defensive end and rebounding, which he always does, but [he] made some huge plays for us on offense.”

The quiet, unflashy work is what Hogue relishes.

“There’s nothing more satisfying than being underrated by everybody. I’ve pretty much been underrated my whole life,” Houge said. “Teams underrate me and they ignore what I do because we’ve got three playmakers on our team and that allows me to free roam.”

As Hogue sat at the podium in the bottom of Sprint Center on Thursday after a six-point victory, his double-double didn’t go unnoticed.

The big play for Hogue was not points or rebounds, but a steal in the final seconds that led to the Cyclones’ final bucket, which sealed the victory and a spot in the semifinals against Kansas on Friday night.

“He plays so strong and with so much heart and energy and effort that wins games, that wins championships for us,” Kane said. “Like I said, he’s probably the heart and soul of our team. Without Dustin, I don’t know where we’d be.”

Hogue’s newest weapon was known to his teammates long before he introduced it to everybody else Thursday.

“His turnaround is deadly,” Ejim said. “He jumps up so high, he fades back, kicks his legs out. There’s nothing you can do about that, he’s going to hit it. He brought them out today, so it’s not a secret anymore.”

And it’s not going away now that’s it’s been unveiled.

“Oh,” Hogue said smiling in the locker room, “you’ll definitely see it again.”