Everything Mustang (Okla.) shooting guard Jakolby Long saw on his recent trip to Iowa State pointed him toward the decision he made Friday.
The versatile 6-foot-5 wing, who is the top-rated shooting guard in Oklahoma, saw what he wanted to see during practice and heard what he wanted to hear from coaches and players alike. After a discussion with his parents, Long committed to Iowa State on Friday, choosing the Cyclones over offers from the likes of Georgia, Oklahoma State, South Carolina, SMU, Ole Miss, Kansas State, Missouri and Texas Tech among others.
“It was a very good discussion with my family, they liked [the visit] as well as me,” Long said. “They loved the way the coaches and players reacted to each other like a family. That was a big step for me in why I decided to come to Iowa State. I called T.J. [Otzelberger] and Coach [Steve] Prohm and they were both very excited and shocked at the same time that I committed today.”
Long’s breakout began at the EBYL in July, where the lanky, tough guard averaged 15.9 points per game. Schools, including Iowa State, have recruited Long to play the one through three positions, though Iowa State coaches see him fitting best as a two-guard.
“They said they love the way I play and I’ll play 20-plus minutes to start probably as a freshman if I keep on working,” Long said. “They want me to probably play the two position. They want me to be a lockdown defender as well. Defense won't be an issue at all because I play tough defense."
Long is regarded as one of the top wing defenders in the class, which is likely to be the key to him vying for early playing time. Already seen as a physical defender, it is that attribute which Iowa State believes will help him quickly get acclimated in the Big 12 as a rookie.
Where does his defense come from?
“I got my defense probably from my family, probably from my mom because she's was really tough as well,” Long said of his mother, who played one season at Tennessee State as a freshman. “She helped with my ball-handling and everything, sports and not sports. My defense will help in the Big 12, especially playing right away.”
Iowa State had recruited Long heavily before his commitment as Otzelberger made an in-home visit in mid-September with Prohm following the next week. Prohm’s protégé, former Murray State and now Oklahoma City Thunder guard Cameron Payne also stopped in Mustang and shared his thoughts on Prohm.
Making an immediate impact and hearing from players helped seal the deal.
“It’s really big for me that I could come here and play as a freshman a lot,” Long said. “Naz [Mitrou-Long] and Georges [Niang] just told me to play my game and I’ll be fine. They love the way I play. They watched my highlights and stuff like that. They said Coach Prohm would love me if I decided to commit.”