Iowa State Cyclones: Naz Long’s Hot Hand A Silver Lining To A Rough Week

Reese Strickland-USA TODAY Sports

Fans of the Iowa State Cyclone should not read much into the team’s narrow win over the Texas Tech Red Raiders at home 70-64. Fans should also avoid going into panic mode after a six-minute drought midway through the second half erased an 18-point Cyclone lead.

It would be easy to write off Iowa State after a bad week. Not only did Iowa State narrowly defeat the Red Raiders at home, but they were also rolled over on the road by West Virginia and lost out on coveted top-10 recruit Rashad Vaughn. 

If anything, Cyclone fans should be rejoicing after Saturday’s victory. The win nullifies all the negativity that had engulfed this team during the week. Iowa State was a dismal 9-of-19 from the free throw line and did not light up the scoreboard from outside the perimeter, but still found a way to gut out a victory against a resilient Texas Tech squad.

The Cyclones were out rebounded by 10. This should not be a surprise, being that the Cyclones had their two best rebounders, Dustin Hogue and Melvin Ejim, on the bench for most of the second half due to foul trouble.

Iowa State sophomore guard Naz Long is the ultimate silver lining to a rough week for the Cyclones. Long has the potential to be part of the lineage of heralded 3-point assassins at Iowa State. He had 14 points off the bench on 4-of-7 shooting from 3-point range. A 9-of-47 shooting slump had plagued Long throughout conference play, but his ability to get loose today bodes well for the Cyclones in the future.

If Long gets going, Iowa State could be incredibly dangerous in the NCAA tournament.

Jack Dooley is a Big 12 Basketball writer for Rant Sports. You can follow him on Twitter @JackDooleyRS.

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