I recently sat down to read an article on Yahoo by Jason King, a college football and basketball writer for the website, about basketball IQ.

More and more these days, the term “basketball IQ” is used to describe a player’s understanding of the game, which can go a long way toward determining his effectiveness on the court.The term is used rather frequently to describe teams such as the Ohio State Buckeyes or Duke Blue Devils. And it’s used often to describe the style of play demonstrated by players such as Jared Sullinger and Jimmer Fredette. And rightfully so. Those guys, those teams play a very intelligent brand of basketball. They don’t make mistakes.

But as I read through the article, I began to think about our own basketball team, the George Mason Patriots, and started to draw correlations between teams like the Buckeyes and Blue Devils with our beloved Green and Gold.

Can Cam Long really hold his own when compared to the elite NCAA talents of Sullinger and Singler? Probably not. That’s why Long is playing in the CAA and those two guys are playing in two of the best basketball conferences in the nation. But as far as basketball IQ goes, I sincerely believe that Long can stand toe-to-toe with the best in the bizz.

I followed the team down to Williamsburg, Va. last weekend and witnessed firsthand the brilliance that is Cam Long. In the closing seconds of the first half, Long chased down a blocked shot; collected himself and found the shot clock; ran the length of the floor and canned a three point attempt to give the Patriots a much-needed lift and took the team to halftime with a five point advantage.

Those are the kinds of things that Cam Long brings to this team. Sure, everyone sees that he is averaging better than 14 points a game. They see that he has scored more than 1,000 points while playing for Coach Jim Larranaga. And all of that is impressive. No doubt. But the reason for all of his success at the collegiate level stems from the fact that Long knows how to play the game the right way.

Just this weekend, in the game against Old Dominion, Long came up huge for the Patriots. His 14 points and 6 rebounds were impressive and right on point with his season averages. But it was his keen sense for the game that pushed his team over the top against a very strong conference opponent.

After a very stagnant first half on the offensive end, Long came out in the second half ready to go. He sensed a weakness in the Monarch defense and was able to get himself going right from the start, scoring Mason’s first five points of the half.

He scored just two points in the final fifteen minutes of play, but his presence on the floor made a significant impact on the home team.

Just his presence on the floor makes this team extremely difficult to defend. He visualizes plays before they develop and has a very keen understanding of the game. While Cam Long doesn’t get the hype and exposure as guys in the major conferences, he is every bit as good as just about any other guard in the country. And, as luck would have it, I believe Cam Long may get the unique opportunity to showcase his talents (and his basketball IQ) deep in the NCAA tournament.