Another Guard Bites the Dust; Long Gone for Georgia State

By David Wong Hoya Staff Writer

Three weeks after being declared “out indefinitely” by then-Georgetown Head Coach John Thompson, junior guard Shernard Long transferred to Georgia State University on Jan. 15, becoming the third guard in two seasons to transfer from Georgetown and the sixth in three years to leave school early.

Long, who was academically ineligible for the first half of the men’s basketball season, was due to return to the team in time for Georgetown’s Jan. 8 game against the University of Miami. But on Dec. 29, the University released a statement from then-Head Coach John Thompson that Long was “out indefinitely. Period.”

Long is currently living in Atlanta, Ga. with his sister, who told The Hoya that Long’s decision to leave Georgetown came after a meeting with university athletic officials and Thompson.

The 6-foot-4 shooting guard emerged as the Hoyas’ most potent offensive weapon last season, averaging 24.8 points over the final seven games, including a 30-point effort against Boston College. Long was expected to join highly-touted freshman point guard Kevin Braswell as one of the Big East’s most talented and promising backcourts. But the Long-Braswell tandem never emerged, as the lingering academic problems that sidelined Long for the first half of this season and threatened to cost the junior a year of collegiate eligibility spurred his transfer to Georgia State. He joins coaching legend Lefty Dreisell, who in November became the 11th coach in Division I college basketball to earn 700 victories. Long is scheduled to become eligible to play in the spring semester of the 1999-2000 season.

“`Landing a player like him is tremendous for our program and the city of Atlanta,'” Driesell, who was the victim of a profane tirade by Thompson during a game in 1979, told The Atlanta Journal-Constitution. “I think he’s going to be a great asset.”

Georgetown defeated Georgia State 83-68 on Nov. 18 in Dreisell’s first bid at win No. 700.

Long’s departure marks the third guard to transfer from Georgetown in two seasons. Last February, point guard Kenny Brunner left the Hoyas for Fresno State after suffering what school officials called “some emotional difficulties.” And in January, sophomore point guard Ed Sheffey transferred to New Mexico Junior College after pleading guilty to speeding and reckless driving.

Georgetown guards Allen Iverson (1996) and Victor Page (1997) entered the NBA Draft as sophomores.

Long returns home to Tucker, Ga., a suburb of Atlanta, where as a senior he led Tucker High School to the Class AAA state championship and was named DeKalb County Player of the Year in 1996.

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