LAFAYETTE — One cut survived, one more to go.
Louisiana-Lafayette senior forward Shawn Long survived the first round of cuts at the U.S. Pan American Men’s Basketball team training camp, emerging as one of 16 finalists to make the team.
The next and final cut will trim the roster to 12 on July 12 before the team heads to Chicago to train at the Chicago Bulls practice facility. The basketball portion of the Pan American Games will take place in Toronto from July 21-25.
The five players who were let go after the first round of cuts were Iowa State’s Monte Morris, Purdue’s Isaac Haas, Baylor’s Rico Gathers, Colorado’s Joshua Scott and Illinois’ Malcolm Hill.
Gathers played at Riverside Academy.
“Making the decision on the finalists was very difficult,” said Syracuse head mentor Jim Boeheim, chair of the USA Basketball Junior National Team Committee in a press release. “The competition at this training camp was especially impressive; very competitive.”
Long has participated in four practices with the team and has looked good, said coach Bob Marlin who flew into Colorado Springs to watch Long participate in the first few days.
The two-time first-team All-Sun Belt player averaged 16.4 points and 10.2 rebounds for the Cajuns in his junior season, and has had an active summer.
Before heading to Colorado to try out for the Pan American team, Long spent a couple days in Santa Monica, California, working at the Nike Skills Academy with some highly touted players, including LSU’s Ben Simmons and Oklahoma’s Buddy Heild.
Cajuns schedule clearing up
Add another date to the hoops calendar.
According to open records obtained by the Monroe News Star, the Cajuns will travel to Ruston to face Louisiana Tech in a nonconference matchup on Dec. 12.
With Louisiana Tech in the fold, the Cajuns now have nonconference games scheduled against Miami (Nov. 16), UCLA (Dec. 15), Pepperdine (Dec. 18) and UNO.
The series with Louisiana Tech dates to 1931, and this will now mark the third straight year the teams have played after a four-year hiatus. The Cajuns have won each of their matchups against the Bulldogs with Marlin as head coach.
At one point, the series continued uninterrupted from 1976-2002.
Marlin said late last month that a trip to face Louisiana Tech was likely, but that the game had not been finalized yet.