4GuysinBlazers

The Lavon Long Plan Paying Off

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Siena’s Lavon Long is often one of his team’s most consistent players. He has scored in double figures in 42 of his first 74 career games and can be counted on to fill up the stat sheet with a handful of rebounds, a few assists, steals and blocks along with a number of other contributions that never show up in the box score.

The one blemish to the game of the otherwise talented and versatile player in his first two seasons, was Long’s ability to stay on the court at times due to his tendency to foul. He fouled out of games 13 times as a freshman and 12 times last season and actually led the nation in personal fouls. Not the type of stat one wants to be known for.

Long’s absence on the court for long stretches due to foul trouble over the last two seasons was even more frustrating knowing the value he adds while on the court. Quite often he can create a very difficult matchup for the opposing team’s defense. A nagging foot injury last season certainly didn’t help the cause.

While some consideration may have been given around removing Long from the starting lineup where he has been for most of his time as a Saints, coach Jimmy Patsos has chosen another approach.

“I get people saying, should Lavon start?,” said Patsos. “Here’s the thing with Lavon Long, when he gets a foul we have to take him out.  That’s the plan that we put in place this summer. When you get a foul then we’ll take you out so you don’t get another foul. He has not fouled out of a game this year so the plan’s working.”

Not only hasn’t Long fouled out at all so far this season, his total fouls per game is down to 3.0 as compared to last season’s 4.2. As a result his minutes played have increased from 27.1 a year ago, to 32.0 over the first 9 games of this season.

“Lavon’s gonna continue to start,” stated Patsos. “I like Lavon starting. We ask Lavon to do a lot of different stuff. Marquis, Javion and Brett have to take the most shots but Lavon is an unbelievable facilitator. Lavon does so many things that noone sees.”

This season, Long continues to contribute in multiple ways, averaging 12.0 points, 4.6 rebounds and 3.2 assists ranking him 12th in the MAAC. He leads the team in getting to the free throw line and is averaging 4.89 points per game on free throws. Long has also improved his field goal percentage to 49%  after shooting 44% over his first two seasons.

“I can’t praise Lavon Long enough but we do need him to play a little better defense only because he has the other team’s top scorer,” Patsos said. “That takes away a little bit from Lavon’s scoring but he can score inside and out.”

One Comment

  1. Kenny41

    December 10, 2015 at 2:04 pm

    Unconventional but at this point seems like a great plan!

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