Kane quickly realized that all the matchup problems Iowa State presents to opposing defenses gave him the room he needed. Under Kane's guidance, Iowa State is seventh nationally with 87.2 points a game and first in the Big 12 in assist-to-turnover ratio.
"When I was at Marshall, I was the guy being keyed on the most. It was kind of hard to do a lot of things. Here, we've got a lot of guys that can score,'' Kane said. "It takes a lot of pressure on me, so when guys are focused on [Ejim and Niang] I can slide in there and get buckets,'' Kane said.
That's hardly all Kane does.
Kane is strong and quick enough to defend the other team's best wing scorer. Kane is also a terrific defensive rebounder, which means he can often start a fast break by himself rather than waiting for an outlet pass.
Kane can post up defenders — a rarity for point guards — and consistently drive to the basket through heavy traffic for baskets.
"DeAndre has the full package. On defense, he's definitely going to be guarding their best guard. He can stop them, and on offense he's a versatile player. He can score. He makes great passes, and he's a two-way player,'' Ejim said.
The one area Kane has struggled at times is his 3-point shooting.
Boise State tried to exploit that in the title game of the Diamond Head Classic last week. The Broncos slacked off Kane from the 3-point line in the first half, essentially begging a 25 percent long-range shooter to beat them.
After missing his first two, Kane made 4 straight 3s to lead the Cyclones to a 70-66 win and earn tournament MVP honors.
"Whenever you can have a guy like that can take some weight off your shoulders and perform tremendously in big games, that's huge for us,'' Niang said. "In the championship game in Hawaii, he willed us to win. He wasn't going to lose. It's great having a guy like him, adding another leader to the team.''