Niang realized that he needed to greatly improve his conditioning. He renewed his focus on fitness in the offseason and dropped 10 pounds without losing any strength. He says it also helped his defense.
"There were definitely times where I felt like I didn't have anything left in the tank last year. But I feel like that rarely happens this year," Niang said. "One thing I realized my freshman year is that you can show up every day. But who's going to bring it 100 percent every day? That's the tough thing when the season gets grueling or hard is that some guys want to be there, but they don't want to put it (the work) 100 percent."
Niang gets most of his points off of spin moves, bank shots and jumpers, and he sometimes does so without appearing to jump more than a few inches. He knows he isn't as athletic as some of his teammates.
"I love it. If I can have an old man's game and still give you buckets, then what does that say about you? Your new man's game is not working out too well for you. So I'm fine with my old man's game," Niang said.
Niang has also been extremely reliable in crucial moments.
Niang shot 60 percent in the final 5 minutes of games leading up to Saturday's victory over the Horned Frogs, a trend highlighted by his game-winning layup with 1.8 seconds left against rival Iowa in December.
Niang's points per game are also slightly higher in Big 12 games, even though many of those games were against ranked teams.
"You can give him the ball late in the game and he can go create, not only for himself but for a teammate," Hoiberg said. "Georges has no fear. That's the great thing about him...he's been awesome."