Long Named AP All-American Honorable Mention
In his final year as a Ragin' Cajun, Shawn Long put up monstrous numbers and earned the title of AP All-American.
Even though he is technically on the Honorable Mention list, being put in the same company as the best players in the country is a testament to his skill on a national scale. Long was 4th in the country with 12.5 rebounds per game, and his dominance of the Sun Belt Conference earned him a spot at the top, with the rest of the cream of the crop.
Long's decision to return for his senior year paid off for him, as he developed maturity and displayed the consistency throughout the year to perk up NBA scouts' ears. He increased his scoring, rebounding, blocks and steals as a senior, putting himself in lofty statistical territory for his career.
Not only is Long the Ragin' Cajuns career leader in rebounds (1,447) and blocks (273), he holds the career rebounding title in the Sun Belt Conference as well. He had more career double-doubles (75) than UCLA great Bill Walton, and he was close to tying Lew Alcindor's mark. His ability to work the glass will be his strongest trait when it comes to projecting to the professional level.
His Head Coach, Bob Marlin, doesn't doubt Long's future in the pros.
"Shawn Long can rebound the basketball, and he can do it against pros," Marlin said.
The Sun Belt Conference will be glad to see him go. Long earned Sun Belt Student Athlete of the Year honors after leading the conference in scoring (19.2 ppg) and rebounding (12.5 rpg), so there will be more than a few coaches who will sleep a little easier knowing a full-blown monster is leaving their ranks.
On a slightly different note, Long decided not to attend the Reese's NABC All-Star Game. Instead of making the trip to Houston to play with some of the nation's best players, he will continue prepping for the NBA Draft in a less public fashion.
Hopefully, the AP All-American Honorable Mention will catch a few people's eyes at the next level. If the cards play out right, he could join Elfrid Payton in the NBA. Who knows, maybe the Magic will draft him, then they could have a joyful reunion in Orlando.