Iowa State will be a bit shorthanded during their upcoming trip to Spain, a voyage that could be the start of a special season for a team looking to make amends for last season’s early NCAA tournament exit. The status of sophomore 7-footer Georgios Tsalmpouris remains up in the air, and guards Nick Noskowiak (family situation) and Naz Mitrou-Long (two hip surgeries) won’t be available either.
However in the case of Mitrou-Long he’ll be with the team in Spain, rehabbing from his surgeries while not being able to play in games. And according to the Ames Tribune, Mitrou-Long will also have the chance to coach one of the team’s games. That experience would provide Mitrou-Long valuable experience, as he wants to coach once his playing career ends, and it also gives him the opportunity to see things from a different perspective ahead of his senior year.
Mitrou-Long said he hopes to be cleared for full activity by Oct. 1. ISU opens the season Nov. 13 against Colorado in South Dakota.
He won’t be able to play in Spain, but he’ll be doing some occupational training nonetheless.
“Coach Prohm said he’s going to let me coach one of the games,” Mitrou-Long said. “We’ll see how that turns out. When it’s all said and done, I want to be a coach.”
Mitrou-Long was one of five double-digit scorers for the Cyclones last season, averaging 10.1 points per game (2.9 rpg and 2.0 apg as well) and shooting just over 39 percent from beyond the arc. While Iowa State doesn’t lack for talented offensive options, most notably forward Georges Niang and point guard Monte Morris, Mitrou-Long’s perimeter shooting ability makes him a valuable pressure release of sorts for that tandem.
Mitrou-Long returning to full strength will undoubtedly aid Iowa State, and his upcoming coaching stint will help him down the line.