Shawn Long still has the mentality of a guard, and much of the ability. But his body is forcing him to change his game a bit.
Long, a 6-foot-10, 227-pound forward from Morgan City, La., said he signed with Mississippi State on Saturday, one day after verbally committing. He’s the fifth and final signee of the Bulldogs’ 2011 class and puts them at 13 scholarship players for 2011-12 – that’s the maximum number allowed by the NCAA.
MSU officials could not confirm the signing Saturday.
Just two years ago, Long was a 6-3 guard, but he shot up to 6-7 by his junior year. He can still handle the ball, but he’s now got to beef up and work on his post moves.
“I kind of consider myself a late bloomer, but not really, because I’ve been playing basketball,” Long said. “I’ve had to change it up when I started growing.”
Long averaged 22.4 points, 15.0 rebounds and 9.0 blocks per game last season for Morgan City High School. He said he got to play some pickup ball against MSU big men Arnett Moultrie and Renardo Sidney during a visit to campus and had his eyes opened on what he needs to do to get better.
“I’m going to have to get stronger,” Long said.
He might not play this season, but Long at least gives the Bulldogs some much-needed depth in the post, where Moultrie will play the four, Sidney the pivot, and Wendell Lewis a little of both.
The Bulldogs’ other four signees are either guards or wing players.
Contact Brad Locke at 678-1571 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Brad Locke/NEMS Daily Journal