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Men’s Basketball: UL’s Long reaches milestones Marlin deems ‘amazing’

Tim Buckley, The Advertiser, January 27, 2016


TDA ul column 1210

UL’s Shawn Long (21) attempts a layup in a win over McNeese State earlier this season. He scored his 2,000th career point Saturday vs. Troy(Photo: Paul Kieu/The Advertiser)



UL senior big man Shawn Long will be playing Final Four weekend.

A Ragin’ Cajuns spokesman confirmed Tuesday that the pro prospect has been picked to play in the National Association of Basketball Coaches-organized Reese’s College All-Star Game, scheduled April 1 at NRG Stadium in Houston.

The game, which features 20 top NCAA Division I seniors, is part of Friday activities prior to NCAA Final Four games April 2 and April 4 in Houston.

Long, who played last summer for USA Basketball’s bronze medal-winning team at the Pan-American Games in Canada, surpassed the 2,000-point plateau in 9-8 UL’s win over Troy last Saturday night.

In doing so, Long became the first player in UL and Sun Belt Conference history with at least 2,000 points and at least 1,000 rebounds and the sixth player in UL and Sun Belt history with at least 2,000 points.

“That’s a great milestone, a great accomplishment, for Shawn,” Cajuns coach Bob Marlin said.

“I think when the season’s over he’ll look back and take more pride in it. Because that’s quite a leaderboard his name’s up there with.”

Long, already UL’s and the Sun Belt’s all-time rebounding leader, now has 2,018 career points.

He needs 41 points to pass Jerry Flake for fifth place on the Ragin’ Cajuns’ all-time leaders list, and also trails No. 4 Marvin Winkler (2,128), No. 3 Kevin Brooks (2,294), No. 2 Andrew Toney (2,526) and No. 1 Bo Lamar (3,493).

Heading into UL’s home game Thursday night against Texas State Long needs three points to pass North Carolina-Charlotte’s Chad Kinch for fifth place on the Sun Belt’s all-time scoring leaders list. He also trails South Alabama’s Jeff Hodge (2,221), Western Kentucky’s Courtney Lee (2,238), South Florida’s Charlie Bradley of South Florida (2,319) and Bo McCalebb of the University of New Orleans (2,679).

“It’s all about winning for (Long). He wants to win,” Marlin said. “But the records and the milestones he’s accomplished are pretty amazing.”

Marlin didn’t think Long was at his best during wins last week over South Alabama and Troy, but he did like what he saw after the break against the Trojans on Saturday.

“He blocked shots (three) the other night, had a good second half, protected the rim for us and got the crowd energized,” the Cajun coach said.

Long also goes into the Texas State game needing one more appearance to tie Tony Moore (119 from 1990-94) for sixth place on UL’s all-time games played list. He needs four more starts to become the Cajuns’ career starts leader.


Marlin was asked this week if he felt any need to apologize for what happened in last Thursday’s win over South Alabama before the Sun Belt evidently compelled both him and Jaguars coach Matthew Graves to do so on Friday.

“Not necessarily, no,” Marlin said.

Nine technical fouls were called in the game, including four on UL, and the two teams took a combined 69 free throws, including 47 by the Cajuns.

“I didn’t think we were the start of that,” Marlin said. “And looking at the box on Saturday, it looks like South Alabama had a couple more technicals at (UL) Monroe. So I think that answers your question right there. The same people.”

It’s true that two of the Jaguars who received a technical at UL, John Brown and Shaq Calhoun, also received one each at ULM.

Marlin said he got phone calls from people across the country asking him what had happened.

“They see nine technical fouls, and four on us – but our technical fouls were different, to me anyway, because a couple of them were doubles,” the Cajun coach said.

The two teams had to be separated at halftime, and Marlin suggested one Jaguar refused to shake his hand in the postseason handshake line.

“It’s kind of like your own family. Your players are like your own children, and it comes to a time where you, they, have to say something,” Marlin said. “You have to have some pride, and can’t be disrespected in your own house. But it doesn’t need to be technical fouls, either.”


Earlier this season, Marlin – whose Cajuns are riding a four-game win streak – challenged juco transfers Jay Hedgeman and Tyrone Wooten and suggested he needed better production from both.

Hedgeman contributed 12 points against Troy. Wooten didn’t play against South Alabama, but he had a bucket off the bench vs. Troy.

“Those guys are practicing better,” Marlin said, “and I think they’ll play better when they get the opportunity.”