Iowa State, ranked fifth in the country, suffered a brutal blow to its Final Four hopes when it was announced senior guard Naz Mitrou-Long will miss the rest of the season with hip issues.
Mitrou-Long had surgery on his left hip on April 1 and on his right hip a little more than a month later. He started the first eight games of the season and averaged 12 points in 31.6 minutes before deciding to sit out the rest of the 2015-16 campaign.
Mitrou-Long, considered one of the team's top long-range threats, was struggling to make shots from deep and was shooting just 29 percent from 3-point range. Mitrou-Long will seek a medical redshirt so he can play next season.
"Naz came to me recently and explained his desire to sit out the remainder of this season and seek a medical hardship," Iowa State coach Steve Prohm said in a statement. "We support his decision as he works to get back to where he was physically prior to the injury. Naz is a terrific person and an important part of our team both on and off the court. I'm confident his teammates will come together and respond to this in a positive manner."
Iowa State didn't have much depth, and Mitrou-Long and fellow senior Georges Niang were the leaders of the 9-0 Cyclones.
"This was an extremely difficult decision for me," Mitrou-Long said. "As a player, there is nothing you want more than to help your team be successful. Following the surgery, I pushed myself incredibly hard to be ready for the season opener. As I've said before, I knew I might not be 100 percent, but I wanted to give it a go for my team. With that said, I feel the need to take time off to allow myself to rehab with our training staff to get back to where I can perform at my peak level on the basketball court."
Prohm inherited a thin group, of which only seven players see meaningful minutes. The Cyclones will get Marquette transfer Deonte Burton eligible later this month.
Iowa State's next game is Saturday against Northern Iowa in the Big Four Classic.