Iowa State men’s basketball preview: Looking at Naz Long


Iowa State men’s basketball player previews continue with our focus now on Naz Long, a.k.a., the “3sus of Nazareth.”

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Naz Long (full name Nazareth Long), came to Ames from Mississauga, Ontario, Canada.  During his years up North, he was considered the seventh-best prospect according to North Pole Hoops.  He played in the 2011 All-Canada classic as well as the top-rated Canadian AAU team, CIA Bounce, alongside current NBA pros Andrew Wiggins and Anthony Bennett.

Fans have seen Long’s role grow considerably over two seasons from a strict role-player to late-game savior and sniper from distance.  He finished fourth in the Big 12 in three-point percentage at 40 percent flat while scoring 7.1 points per game.  He also hit 64 threes on the year, the 17th most by a Cyclone in a single season.

I don’t think I need to remind most of you, but several of Long’s threes came at the best possible moments. He hit buzzer-beating bombs in both games against Oklahoma State to help the Cyclones take the contests to overtime, where they would prove victorious on each occasion.  Furthermore, he upped his production near the end of the season.  He averaged 10.0 points per game during the Big 12 tournament and shot over 40 percent during the NCAA tournament.

He will be asked to fill the same role for the most part in 2014-2015.  He should be the first backcourt substitute behind Bryce Dejean-Jones and could lead the second unit alongside Matt Thomas, Abdel Nader, Clayton Custer, and potentially Georgios Tsalmpouris (assuming he gets consistent minutes though the season).  I don’t know about you, but that squad looks like starter quality and Long will play a huge part of it thanks to his sniping from distance.

I’m not projecting a huge leap in production for Long this year, what with all the talent and depth on the team.  However, I am extremely confident about a continued level of solid and clutch shooting from the Cyclones’ one remaining Canadian.