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Jazzman Georges Niang Ignites College Rivalry On Twitter

Georges Niang #31 of the Utah Jazz in action during a game against the Phoenix Suns at Vivint Smart Home Arena on March 25, 2019 in Salt Lake City, Utah. (Photo by Alex Goodlett/Getty Images)

SALT LAKE CITY, Utah – Fans in the state of Utah are no strangers to the vitriol that exists in a college rivalry. The rivalry between The University of Utah and BYU, dubbed “The Holy War” is one of the nation’s fiercest. With Utah Jazz players quarantined after Rudy Gobert and Donovan Mitchell tested positive for COVID-19, Jazz forward Georges Niang gave fans a taste of the rivalry between his alma mater Iowa State, and their in-state rival Iowa.

The conversation started on Twitter with a tweet from current Iowa Hawkeyes point guard Jordan Bohannon reflecting on a December 12 victory over the Cyclones of Iowa State.

Bohannon scored 12 points in the game but shot just 2-12 from the field in the Hawkeyes blowout.

Niang appeared to take umbrage from Bohannan’s tweet and reminded the Hawkeyes guard of previous matchups between the two teams.

“Just a friendly reminder,” Niang tweeted, “We were blowing kisses and blowing you out my [sic] twenty on your home court first be a little more original.”

Niang added two photos from the December 12, 2014 matchup between the rivals that resulted in a 90-75 victory by the Cyclones on the Hawkeyes home floor. The Jazz forward and former Cyclone had 16 points, six rebounds, and seven assists in the meeting.

From there, as most college rivalries do, the conversation quickly escalated beyond the players and turned towards the fans over about the games.

Like most rivalries, the fan bases defaulted to arguing over which team has the best history, and who has fared better in the history of the matchup. The Hawkeyes are 47-21 in the history of the basketball rivalry dating back to 1910 when the teams first met.

Niang argued that in a battle of alumni, the Cyclones would have the upper hand.

“For you and anyone who neds to hear this,” Niang tweeted, “If we had an Iowa Iowa state alumni game we would 40 you guys! Carver, Hilton, in the snow, on a mountain ANYWHERE and I mean ANYWHERE! Shoot even open up sports column in ic limited space but it doesn’t matter.”

Carver and Hilton are the two buildings in which the teams play. The Sports Column in Iowa City is a popular hangout to watching the games between the teams.

Niang’s tweet drew the ire of former Iowa guard Peter Jok who now plays professionally in France.

“I ain’t with the twitter talk but chill on that disrespect my guy! High doubt that!” Jok tweeted.

After Niang reminded Jok of the Hawkeyes 1-3 record against the Cyclones while Jok was playing, the Iowa guard challenged Niang to a one on one matchup.

Niang, whose game notoriously resembles that of a rec-league player at the YMCA more than it does a traditional NBA player wasn’t interested in a game on one on one.

When challenged with the idea that Iowa State hadn’t couldn’t produce high-quality NBA talent, Niang even mentioned former Jazz great Jeff Hornacek to spent his college career with the Cyclones.

Hornacek played four years at Iowa State and averaged 10.7 points, 3.3 rebounds, and 5.4 assists between 1982-1986. The Cyclone guard would go onto play 14 years in the NBA, averaging 14.5 points per game, and making the Western Conference All-Star team in 1992.

Jazz fans who are hoping to hear more from the former Cyclone may be in luck. The forward recently announced that “The Georges Niang Drive & Dish” podcast will begin early next week, with special guest star and teammate guard Jordan Clarkson.

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