Mar 27, 2014; New York, NY, USA; Iowa State Cyclones guard Naz Long (15) and guard Matt Thomas (21) talks during practice for the east regional of the 2014 NCAA Tournament at Madison Square Garden. Mandatory Credit: Adam Hunger-USA TODAY Sports

Iowa State men's basketball: How Matt Thomas suspension affects the team

Most of you have probably seen the news about Matt Thomas suspended after OWI” href=”http://clonesconfidential.com/2014/06/16/iowa-state-mens-basketball-matt-thomas-suspended-owi/”>Matt Thomas’ arrest and immediate suspension for OWI a couple of weekends ago.  This makes the second such occurrence for the men’s basketball team since the spring when Abdel Nader was similarly charged.

The suspension is indefinite for now and may result in several early season games missed for the sophomore shooting guard.

This has the potential to have a large impact on the team.  Thomas hit 44 3-pointers as a freshman last season, the second-most for a first-year player in team history.  Despite not entirely living up his original billing out of high school and seemed overmatched as a starter, he still provided solid relief after being moved to the bench.

Naz Long will see more time off the bench while Tomas dresses in street clothes, but the biggest potential beneficiary I see is Sherron Dorsey-Walker.

 

Thomas scored a career-high 14 points three separate times while clearly improving his ball handling and decision making during the season.  The problem I see here is potentially slower integration with the incoming cast of characters once he becomes eligible.

The positive side to this is that it could mean expanded opportunities for other players.  Naz Long will see more time off the bench while Tomas dresses in street clothes, but the biggest potential beneficiary I see is Sherron Dorsey-Walker.

Cyclone Fanatic recently did a story on him and his work over the summer.  The much maligned role-player could have increased opportunity behind Bryce Dejean-Jones and Long.  Even after Thomas returns, SDW could show enough promise to warrant more than his 5.8 mpg last season.

An expanded role would mean a deeper backcourt and shooting rotation, which is always a good situation to have when you play “Hoiball”.

Much of this is speculation, of course.  We still don’t know how much time Thomas will miss due to suspension and that is the important thing to keep in mind.  Be sure to check in with us more as we get closer to the fall for more news and opinion on the situation.

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Tags: Basketball Iowa State Cyclones Matt Thomas Sherron Dorsey-Walker

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