Nes Ziona continued revamping its roster under new head coach Elad Hasin as the club added Shaq Buchanan to the squad as the second import signed just after DJ Cooper. The 25-year old guard began his college career at Northeast Mississippi and then moved onto Murray State where he played alongside NBA star Ja Mordant and averaged 13 points, 4.2 rebounds, 1.7 assists and 1.8 steals in his Senior Year.
After college, Buchanan played with both the Memphis Grizzlies as well as the Memphis Hustle of the G-League where he scored 20.3 points, grabbed 6 boards, dished out 3.7 assists and added 1.9 steals per contest. His top game with the Hustle came against the Texas Legends where he dropped 40 points and shot 7/10 from beyond the arc while also adding 7 assists.
“We’re happy to have Shaq join us,” Hasin said. “We have been following Shaq for a long time and he brings a great combination of defensive and offensive abilities that goes together with his amazing character. We believe that he will continue to develop with us and will help us succeed as a club.”
To find out more about Buchanan, The Sports Rabbi spoke to a number of individuals from the basketball world including those who covered him as well as foamier teammates.
Edward Alan Marlowe who covered Buchanan at WKDZ Radio in Kentucky spoke about the guard: “For the two years that I saw him at Murray State, Buchanan was an elite defender who, offensively, thrived playing above the rim. A prolific dunker, he also had a 15-foot jumper that was as pure and effective as his other skills. His time in the G League and NBA has only improved his passing vision and 3-point shooting, both of which were works in progress during college.
“From a defensive standpoint, I’ve never seen a more smothering guard in my time. In full stance, he approaches 7 feet in wingspan, and he thrives in transition as an off-guard with an extra gear. Fans of Murray State basketball will continue to follow his career with great interest. He should serve Israel well.”
“Buchanan is extremely close with former college teammate and Memphis Grizzlies superstar Ja Morant. The two are borderline inseparable. I’m certain this decision to accelerate his professional career didn’t come easy for Buchanan, who has lived in Memphis since graduating Murray State.”
Blake Sandlin from WPSD Local 6 TV also watched Buchanan at Murray State: “Shaq is freakishly athletic for a 6’3 guy. Plays above the rim and loves to play in transition. He handles contact well. The 3-pointer is shaky, but I haven’t watched him much with the Memphis Hustle. I’d say that’s the weakest part of his game. Mid-range jumper is very good, and he can hit the three, but not his strength.”
Kentucky Sportscaster of the and Sports Director at WPSD Adam Wells commented: “Very athletic guard and can jump out of the gym. Can shoot the three well, plays aggressive defensively. A little undersized for his position but makes up for it with effort. Great player and everyone loves him.”
— Jalen Adams (@ja4hunnid) July 7, 2022
Murray State teammates Jalen Johnson said: “He’s a winner. He’s going to impact the team in many ways on both ends of the court. Highly talented and highly skilled.”
Byron Hawkins also a teammate from college commented: “Shaq is a really good guy and a very very hard worker who really competes on both ends of the floor. Very family oriented and a great dad as well as a really good teammate.”
Another Murray State player who shared the floor with Buchanan, Tevin Brown said: “He’s gone outwork everybody. Great defender, confident in his game as he should, great teammate, good leader, plays hard and going to give it his all at all times.”
Rahlir Hollis-Jefferson who played with Buchanan with the Hustle: “Shaq’s a great hard working young talent with all the tools to become a great player wherever he goes. Your fan base will have all the excitement watching him play.”
Venky Jois another Hustle teammate said: “Shaq is a high energy guy who always plays with great intensity and a smile on his face. He’s a great team mate and communicator, and every game he will do something that makes everyone jump out their seats. I’d tell the fans of Ironi Ness Ziona to be ready for some crazy highlights when he steps on the floor!”
Dusty Hannahs from the Hustle had this to say: “He’s a highlight reel player that works hard and fans will love his character!”