Not the deepest team by any stretch of the imagination, Steve Prohm’s Iowa State Cyclones took a personnel hit Tuesday afternoon as it was announced that senior guard Naz Mitrou-Long would miss the remainder of the season. Mitrou-Long, a starter for the Cyclones, underwent arthroscopic procedures on both hips this summer and the recovery process has been slow enough to require that he sit out.
Mitrou-Long didn’t play in Iowa State’s game against Arkansas-Pine Bluff Sunday in hopes that some extra rest would prove beneficial, but the issues remain the same.
“Naz came to me recently and explained his desire to sit out the remainder of this season and seek a medical hardship,” Prohm said in the release. “We support his decision as he works to get back to where he was physically prior to the injury. Naz is a terrific person and an important part of our team both on and off the court. I’m confident his teammates will come together and respond to this in a positive manner.”
Mitrou-Long averaged 12.0 points per game in eight appearances this season, all starts. With him no longer in the rotation Iowa State will need more from guards Matt Thomas and Hallice Cooke moving forward. Thomas, who’s averaging 8.2 points and 5.0 rebounds in 26 minutes of action per game, has played well of late. In the last two games he’s shot 11-for-17 from three, scoring 19 points in the Cyclones’ comeback win over Iowa and following that up with a 17-point performance against UAPB.
Cooke, who began his college career at Oregon State, is currently averaging 5.4 points and 14.9 minutes per game and he went scoreless on Sunday. Iowa State will add forward Deonte Burton (transfer from Marquette) to the mix at the end of the week when they take on Northern Iowa, but to lose Mitrou-Long hurts given the spark he provides the Cyclones in the energy department as well as being a capable perimeter shooter.
After putting together a solid freshman season at Oregon State, guard Hallice Cooke made the decision to transfer and ultimately wound up joining Fred Hoiberg’s program at Iowa State. Transfers have been successful under Hoiberg, and the expectation is that Cooke will be next in line when he’s allowed to play in games next season.
However while the redshirt season would normally be used by a player to hone their skills and get acclimated to a new program and campus, Cooke will be using his to get healthy.
Thursday it was reported that Cooke will undergo surgery on both hips in order to address issues he’s had to deal with in the past. One of the hips will be operated on Monday in New York City, with the other being taken care of four weeks later. The estimated recovery time for Cooke is anywhere from six to eight months.
Cooke averaged 8.2 points, 2.6 rebounds and 2.5 assists per game at Oregon State last season, moving into the starting lineup during Pac-12 play. Next season he’ll join a perimeter rotation that should include returnees such as Monte Morris, Matt Thomas and Naz Long, with first-year players Clayton Custer and Sherron Dorsey-Walker (junior college transfers) also having eligibility remaining beyond the 2014-15 campaign.
Ames, Iowa becomes a destination for yet another transfer.
Hallice Cooke, who spent a year at Oregon State before deciding to leave the program on April 21, is the latest transfer to commit to Iowa State. He made the announcement through his Instagram page on Monday night.
Cooke averaged 8.2 points, 2.6 rebounds and 2.5 assists per game for the Beavers.
This is the second transfer Fred Hoiberg has lured to Iowa State this spring. Back in mid-April, UNLV’s top scorer Bryce Dejean-Jones decided to play for the Cyclones in his final season. Dejean-Jones is eligible to play next season granted he graduated.
The two transfer guards join JuCo transfer forwards Darien Williams and Jameel McKay, a former Marquette commit, in the Cyclones’ incoming class. Hoiberg has also earned pledges from point guard Clay Cluster and Greek 7-footer Giorgos Tsalmpouris, both members of the Class of 2014.
Cooke will have to sit out the 2014-2015 season due to NCAA transfer rules. He has three years left.