No, there is no preferred direction (assuming you are referring to the strong nuclear force.)
It is perhaps easiest to explain ‘why’ by examining the converse - what would the effect be if a preferred direction existed? If there was a preferred alignment or direction, larger nuclei would tend to exist as strings i.e. their length would greatly exceed their width. There is no evidence of that, indeed we think it would contravene known energy laws.
Concerning the shape of nuclei, the liquid drop model (try this) is probably our best current attempt.