Longwood will focus on YSU’s Bobby Hain in the interior today.

Where: Convocation Center (Ypsilanti, MI)
When: Saturday, November 22, 4:30 PM
TV/Streaming: Eagle All-Access (PPV)
Radio: WVHL 92.9
Line: +7.5

LancersBlog GameThread
Q&A w/ Mid-Major Madness

Keys to the Game 

1. UNLEASH THE QUINCY!: Quincy Taylor will make his official Lancers debut today after sitting out the first three games of the season. The UAB transfer was the best player on the court in Longwood’s exhibition win over Hampden-Sydney where he posted 22 points, 6 assists, and 2 steals. Longwood has had spells against Averett and JMU where the offense has looked stagnant at times and Taylor is certainly thought to be the biggest remedy for that.

2. Fresh Legs: Three games in three days is tough and four games in five days is even tougher. The overtime win over UNCG yesterday meant five Lancers played at least 33 minutes. The good news is Quincy adds depth and allows guys like Leron Fisher to fit back into their roles on the team. Kanayo Obi-Rapu only played 14 minutes yesterday and Victor Dorsey appeared just two minutes. Keep an eye on Coach Gee’s rotation today and how it may be different than what we’ve seen thus far this year.

3. Confidence and Energy: Despite leaning on some youngsters yesterday Longwood looked like the more confident team in a big overtime win. You could tell that this team has a totally different mentality than anything we’ve seen the past ten-plus years. The energy coming from Longwood’s bench in terms of cheering and helping the players on the floor was impressive as well. We just need to keep this up to be successful in the this tournament.

Another area of confidence Longwood should have in this one is game-planning. Coach Gee saw Youngstown State at least two times a year at Cleveland State and is very familiar with Jerry Slocum’s Penguins. Gee also began his collegiate coaching career at Youngstown State when he was there from 1989 to 1993.

Game Summary 

Longwood will battle Horizon League opponent Youngstown State for the first time ever today at 4:30 for the second game of the Eastern Michigan Showcase Tournament in Ypislanti, Michigan. Longwood is coming off a 81-79 overtime win over UNC Greensboro yesterday, while the Penguins are coming off a 71-62 loss to host Eastern Michigan.

Youngstown State enters this game at 1-3 with all three of their losses coming against MAC schools. The Penguins lone win came in a non-Division I match up against Oberlin.

In looking at the statistical for the Penguins today they’ve really struggled to score this season averaging 64 points per game, which is about 6 points below the national average. They have really struggled behind the line shooting just over 22%, which ranks 321st in the country. YSU also averages 22.5 fouls per game, which is well above the national average.

Today’s opponent is a guard heavy team but they are lead by their big man Bobby Hain who is now averaging 14.8 points and 5.5 rebounds per game to start the season. Hain stands 6’10 and is joined by Fletcher Larson (3.5 ppg) and freshman Sidney Umude (2.8 ppg). For the first time this season Longwood might actually have the advantage inside, especially with the way Lotanna Nwogbo has stepped up.

Leading the guard heavy lineup for YSU will be senior D.J. Cole. So far this season Cole is averaging 6.3 points, 5.3 assists, and 3 rebounds. While Cole orchestrates the offense it’s Marcus Keene who has been the biggest scoring threat out of the backcourt for the Penguins thus far averaging 13.8 points, 4.3 rebounds, and 2.5 assists. Finally, rounding out the backcourt trio is Shawn Amiker Jr. The 6’5 senior is averaging 11.8 points and has also been a big contributor on the boards with 5.5 rebounds. As you can tell the Penguins’ guards crash the glass pretty hard.

With so many guards on the court you could see Longwood counter with a guard heavy lineup of their own at times especially with Quincy Taylor back in the fold.

Tip-off is once again set for 4:30 PM at the EMU Convocation Center. The game can be listened to for free on WVHL or you can pay the $7 to watch the game on Eagle All-Access.

Kyle Nelson who covers the Horizon League for Mid-Major Madness was nice enough to sit down with us and talk about Saturday’s match up with Youngstown State.

Kendrick Perry was far and away the leader of this team a year ago. With Perry moving on who are some of the guys to watch out for the Penguins on the hardwood this season? 

Bobby Hain is their leading returning scorer and rebounder.  I really think he needs to have a big season for the Penguins to do anything this season. He’s an athletic big, but you don’t have to guard him at the 3 point line. He’ll do all of his damage down low.

DJ Cole looks to be their glue guy and overall leader.  He learned under one of the best guards in the conference for 3 years, and now it’s his turn to take over for Perry. He’s averaged 30 minutes a game the last 2 season and took less than 6 shots a game. I could see that getting kicked up to 10 this year and if he hits them at the clip he did last season he should average about 12 points a game.

Shawn Amiker has been interesting this season. So far he’s getting about double the minutes he did last year and he’s shooting. A lot. He’s also pulling down 6.7 rebounds so far this early season, but was shut down against Central Michigan. Before the season I wasn’t thinking he’d be a huge factor, but I’ll be watching him closer after the Kent State game.

YSU is off the a 1-2 start coming into this EMU Showcase but they’ve battled two MAC teams pretty tough. What are the biggest takeaways from the early sample size thus far?

Amiker looks good so far, Cole has been ice cold, but I don’t expect that to continue, and Hain can’t stay on the court. I’m impressed with this team’s tenacity, but I don’t see them competing for a Horizon League title on effort alone. There’s really not that much to take away from 3 games, one of which was against a non-D1 school. These next 3 games will tell us if YSU is a bottom of the barrel team or something slightly better than UIC.

It looks like three point shooting and shooting in general has been pretty poor for the Penguins early on. Is this a concern long term for the season and is it YSU’s biggest weakness? 

I think lack of size is their biggest weakness, but shooting may be right there. They have one player (Hain) over 6’8” who plays any sort of minutes.  They have a 7 footer on the roster, but if Jorden Kaufman is getting any run then things have gone really bad. Fletcher Larson and Sidney Umude are the other “bigs” but Larson is a 6’8” senior who only came in when Hain got into foul trouble and Umude is only 6’7”.

This is a team that is going to shoot a lot of 3s and if they get hot look out. I don’t see them doing that though.

You remember the Seinfeld episode with Jimmy? Jimmy can jump! Well Marcus Keene is similar to Jimmy, he’s a chucker. He’s taken 24 threes so far this season and connected on only 8 of them. That combined with Cole aforementioned cold streak has led to the downtown problem you’ve seen so far.

What would you say the biggest strength of the YSU team is? 

Leadership? This team is fairly young, but Cole and Hain have been around the block and had some good teammate mentors. They will keep the Penguins focused and I don’t think you’ll ever see this team hang their head during what looks to be a tough season. Jerry Slocum is an excellent coach and he’ll have his team ready for every game. That said I don’t think they’ll have the talent to win the games they are ready for.

What is your prediction for Saturday’s game against Longwood and what would be a successful tournament for YSU?  

I think if they come out with 2 wins that will be a good tournament. I’d be shocked if they beat Eastern Michigan tonight, but they should be able to beat UNC Greensboro and Longwood. I do see this being a lower scoring affair, maybe something along the lines of 65-60. Neither teams are particularly good at shooting the ball so we could have a lot of rebounds and since neither team is particularly tall I think I’d have to give the edge to Youngstown. I really don’t like to make predictions because I’m always wrong. Last season on the Valpo fan site they did an over/under and I was wrong on all but one very obvious under. So if you’re reading this in Vegas, bet the over and probably Longwood.

Leron Fisher is our Player of the Game. (Photo: Matthew Alexander)

Leron Fisher is our Player of the Game. (Photo: Matthew Alexander)

Longwood pulled off a big 81-79 overtime win tonight without Quincy Taylor on the floor. Here is our instant reactions from the BIG WIN.

Player of the Game: Man is this tough… five Lancers finished in double-figures but I think we’re going to give this to Leron Fisher. Yea yea… Lotanna Nwogbo had a double-double but Leron was a leader tonight and made some clutch free throws down the stretch and had the steal to solidify the Lancers win. Fisher ended the game with 12 points, 3 steals, 3 rebounds, an assist and a block. This was by far his best offensive game of the season.

KneeJerk Reactions:

- UNLEASH THE BEAST! Lotanna Nwogbo finally looked as advertised with 18 points and 12 rebounds. Nwogbo was phenomenal from the free throw line going 10-for-11 and he really went to work in the post tonight. If he can play with this type of intensity and keep up the incredible free throw shooting then he’ll be a HUGE asset for the Lancers down the stretch.

- DJ Allen has turned into a scoring machine and posted 22 points tonight, including a 4-for-8 performance from beyond the arc. The stats speak for themselves but DJ hit big shots in big moments tonight, it’s been incredible to see his maturation in just one offseason. Coach Luhn would brag to me all offseason about “wait until you see DJ”, I SEE HIM COACH!

- Speaking of big shots, how about “the Dude” Ryan Badowski. The ice cold assassin was only 3-for-10 from three but he nailed a huge three that should’ve iced the game for the Lancers if it wasn’t for Tevon Saddler off balance circus shot to send the game into overtime. Badowski finished with 15 points and 2 rebounds.

- I can’t say enough about Shaq Johnson tonight. He gets better and better with each game and is a total team player. You can see why he was such a highly touted player but he’s a dude that “get’s it”. Shaq had his patented #ShaqAttack dunk in the first half when Longwood mounted their comeback and finished with 13 points, 6 assists, and 3 rebounds.

- Damarion Geter really exemplifies everything that is the Coach Gee era. Geter never flashes big numbers in terms of scorer but he’s such a young leader. He gets the sets both on the offensive and defensive end and finished tonight with 1 point, 9 rebounds, 6 assists, 2 steals, and a block.

- This game was one of the first that you could see the value of Coach Gee’s in-game coaching. We just didn’t have the horses last year to see it but coach called a great game. He used his timeouts well and broke the game down into the proper media timeout portions in terms of substitutions. Longwood basically only played a six man rotation with Kanayo Obi-Rapu having an off night and Victor Dorsey playing sparingly.

- Longwoood brought all kinds of different defenses tonight and a lot of different pressure. The game was extremely well scouted and the Lancers finished the game forcing 24 turnovers.

Longwood will tip off again tomorrow at 4:30 against Youngstown State. We’ll have “Eyes of the Enemy” and the “GameDay Preview” up. Saturday’s game will mark Quincy Taylor’s official debut.

Longwood will look to slow down UNCG guard Tevon Saddler in Game 1 of the EMU Showcase Friday afternoon.

Where: Convocation Center (Ypsilanti, MI)
When: Friday, November 21, 4:30 PM
TV/Streaming: Eagle All-Access (PPV)
Radio: WVHL 92.9

LancersBlog GameThread
Q&A w/ Spartan Fans Nation
Game Notes (UNCG)
Game Notes (Longwood)

Keys to the Game

1. Step Up Inside: In our Q&A with Spartan Fans Nation Brad talked a lot about how the strength of UNCG’s team is their frontcourt. UNCG has four guys that average 10+ minutes who stand 6’7 or above, lead by sophomore RJ White. If Longwood wants to pull off the W then they are going to need Lotanna Nwogbo, Shaq Johnson, Damarion Geter, and Victory Dorsey to step up and for guys like DJ Allen to try to draw contact on the offensive end to force fouls.

2. One Man Press: This might be a game where Coach Gee lets Leron Fisher off the leash. UNCG really doesn’t have a true point guard starting right now due to injuries and Tevon Saddler has taken over the primary duties. Saddler has turned the ball over 11 times in two games, a stat that likely has Fisher licking his chops. It’ll be interesting if the 5’11 will Fisher will match up with the 6’6 Saddler or if it’s a match up for Shaq to lock down instead.

3. Nobody Disappear: Damarion Geter and Kanayo Obi-Rapu went missing at JMU with neither scoring a bucket the whole game. Obi-Rapu was 0-for-6 while Geter didn’t even register a shot in 28 minutes of play. If Longwood wants to win games without Quincy Taylor on the court then they can’t have games where guys disappear, much less multiple players.

Game Summary

Welcome to Ypsilanti! Longwood kicks off the Eastern Michigan Showcase, or whatever this thing is called, on Friday at the Convocation Center on EMU’s campus. The Lancers opponent is a rather local one in UNC Greensboro, but these two teams have not matched up since the 1990-91 season. Two schools about two hours apart playing 20 minutes from the Detroit airport. The atmosphere is sure to be off the charts.

We thought the main storyline in this game was going to be Longwood matching up with former point guard Nik Brown. Brown is not expected to play due to some mysterious illness and by all accounts he may not even be with the team in Michigan. If that sounds familiar to anyone then you are not alone.

UNCG comes into with a 1-1 record after beating non-Division I Chowan and then losing to UNC Wilmington earlier this week at home. Tevon Saddler, the reigning Southern Conference Freshman of the Year, currently leads the Spartans averaging 18.5 points, 4.5 assists, 4 steals, and 3.5 rebounds per game while nearly playing 35 minutes a night. As mentioned before, Saddler is now the primary ball-handler for the Spartans and he has been very prone to turnovers early this season.

The other “guard” to watch is 6’7 Nicholas Paulos who should remind Lancers’ fans a little of Jackson Kent from JMU. Paulos is averaging 7 points per game and likes to bomb it from outside. On Tuesday he was 2-for-9 from three, so he certainly does have off nights. Keep an eye on how or if the Lancers perimeter defense improves from the short turnaround Wednesday night.

Right now nearly 70% of UNCG’s scoring comes from three guys, the aforementioned Saddler and forwards Kayel Locke and RJ White. White is the bigger of the two standing 6’8 and is averaging 18 points and 7 rebounds. His numbers are particularly impressive considering he has only averaged just over 24 minutes in the Spartans first two games. White also has active hands like Saddler and has stolen the ball six times this season already. Locke on the other hand is just 6’5 but plays a lot bigger. He’s averaging 14 points and 5.5 rebounds and was the Spartans leading scorer against UNCW with 22 points.  As stated before, Longwood’s post guys could have a busy night.

This is certainly a winnable game for the Lancers and different statistical sites give the Spartans a five to seven point advantage. This would be a great win for Longwood to springboard into the rest of the tournament, especially with Quincy Taylor coming back on Saturday against Youngstown State.

The Rotunda: Quincy Taylor Takes Struggles in Stride

A big thanks to Brad over at Spartan Fans Nation, one of our sister sites at the Palmetto & Pine Sports Network, for doing a Q&A with us for Friday’s game versus UNC Greensboro.

Alright…let’s get this out of the way. This has been a game that has been circled on the calendar since this summer because of the Nik Brown effect. Brown was one of the most polarizing dudes to come through Farmville in quite some time. We know he hasn’t played this year so what’s his status?

Who knows at this point. I had originally heard he was still suffering from whatever injury sidelined him last year at JUCO. In the game notes for the past 2 games, he was been listed as out with “illness”. So, I guess it’s a “take your pick” type situation with him.

UNCG has played in two close games against very different opponents. What were your key takeaways from the 1-1 start so far?

This is one of those situations where the score can be deceiving. I thought neither of those games was very close. The refs (and their 60 fouls called) kept the Chowan game from getting out of hand. Plus, I think Coach Miller was really playing with lineups the entire second half. Our second contest with Wilmington really felt like a blowout and at no point did I feel any confidence that UNCG could come all the way back.

What I took away from both of those games was that UNCG is big and physical. RJ White (who I’ll talk about again later), Kayel Locke and Ben Dickinson are an absolute load for teams to contend with in the post. In both contests, UNCG opponents racked up a ton of fouls trying to guard those guys. Some of that is refs with quick whistles. But a lot of that is based on the fact that these are 3 big guys (Kayel is only 6’5″, but built like a NFL football player) that all attack in the post and on the offensive glass.

Unfortunately, the other thing I learned is that the Spartans are brutal on defense. UNCW shot over 65% from the field and most of those shots were wide (and I mean very wide) open looks. Quick PG’s have given UNCG just huge fits. Chowan caused the Spartans to rack up hand check fouls and UNCW’s guys just flat out ran past UNCG defenders. Wes Miller teams haven’t really been known for locking in on defense anyway, but this year’s version appears to be exceptionally bad. I don’t expect that to really change any time soon.

Continue Reading…

Shaq vs JMU

Shaq Johnson and the Lancers had trouble slowing down former Longwood recruit Winston Grays last night. (Photo via: JMU Sports)

So I don’t typically do a write up following non-conference road games but because of JMU’s “Madizone,” I was able to watch the game last night.  This won’t be as much a write up as it will be more of a brief opinion/observation.  At this point, I don’t care to talk much about the game itself.  I’d rather open up about the mood following this game.

Look, I know we lost by 22 points to an in-state rival but we were shorthanded and let’s not forget we have 8 new players.  Yes, they’ve practiced together for months now but that’s nothing compared to playing a Division I game.  They’re still learning and trying to figure each other out.  The good news is that Quincy Taylor will help that transition and will certainly help get the guys on the same page.

There were times last night where the Lancers looked good (specifically their ability to turn over the Dukes in the first half).  Then there were times that the Lancers just looked beat.  They looked defeated and Gee even said they looked “scared” at points in the game.  There were mistakes being made on defense.  There was little flow on offense.  Guys were turning the ball over left and right.  It was just one of those “hit you in the mouth” type games.

I feel like that was a good thing for this team.  Call me an optimist, that’s fine but the Lancers now get to put their full attention on basketball.  The team left for Michigan early this morning and they’ll stay there until Sunday when the EMU Showcase tournament is concluded.  Taylor will return Saturday while Victor Dorsey should see his first college action Friday.  Dorsey will allow Longwood to play bigger rotations considering Damarion Geter, Lotanna Nwogbo, and Shaq Johnson are splitting the playing time for the 4 and 5 spots currently.  Adding a fresh body to the mix should help Longwood compete in the 3 games over 3 days.  Also, the opposition will be pretty equal when it comes to talent and ability.  These three games will be good for a team that is continuing to build on-court chemistry.  We will simply have a better idea of how this team operates.  It’s much easier to see trends after 5 games and don’t get me wrong, they’ll continue to grow when they visit George Washington, Iowa, Miami (OH), etc.  But it’s important to remember, building some relevancy isn’t going to happen after one game.  It’s going to take a continued effort and stacking up some wins over the course of the season.

We will learn a lot more about this Longwood team over the next 4 days.  It’s likely that I will post another “Overtime Report” on Monday in an effort to recap the entire weekend of games.

DJ Allen had a career night against JMU posting 20 points against the Dukes.

DJ Allen had a career night against JMU posting 20 points against the Dukes. Photo: Matthew Alexander

Longwood fell 82-60 tonight at the JMU Convocation Center in Harrisonburg, Virginia; here are our instant reactions from tonight’s loss.

Player of the Game: DJ Allen was the one player who was a monster tonight. The sophomore, who has looked like Longwood’s most improved player. DJ shattered his career high with 20 points, 4 rebounds, and 2 assists. Allen really excel’s as a slasher and the dynamic he brings to the floor will be even more important as the season moves on.

KneeJerk Reactions:

- HOLY GOD! MadiZone! I can’t stress enough how appreciate I am of the Big South Network production crew at Longwood.  If you don’t have a headache after watching that feed then you must have taken some dramamine before the game.

- Longwood looked like the gritty defensive team that we all can come to love in the first half. But in the second half the team looked like a young team without an on-court leader. Those our moments where Quincy Taylor is expected to step up starting on Saturday.

- JMU sat back in a 3-2 zone most of the game trying to combat Longwood’s hot three point shooting that we saw against Hampden-Sydney and Averett. It worked as Longwood was just 6-for-28 from beyond the arc and DJ Allen was really the only Lancer who could slash the Dukes passing lanes. There were just far too many turnovers, 19 in total, with Shaq Johnson turning the ball over five times and Leron Fisher, Lotanna Nwogbo, and Kanayo Obi-Rapu all coughed it up three times each.

- The Lancers just had no offensive flow in the second half only producing 28 points and shooting 13.3% from three (37% overall in the half). Damarion Geter and Obi-Rapu went cold, as neither registered a point in this game and Geter didn’t have any stat above zero tonight except fouls.

- There was flashes where you could see Lotanna Nwogbo can be a real presence inside. He finished with 12 points and 7 rebounds on a 5-for-6 shooting night but he just didn’t have much help. DJ Allen was actually Longwood’s second leading rebounder and JMU was able to throw multiple bodies in the post that Longwood could not just slow down. Yohanny Dalembert had 14 points for JMU, while Tom Vodanovich had 11. Longwood was only out-rebounded 26-25 but it felt like a lot more. It’ll be interesting to see what kind of boost Victor Dorsey can give Longwood in the post coming into his debut on Friday against UNCG.

- Coach Gee wanted Leron Fisher to shut down Ron Curry and he definitely did only surrendering 3 points. Fisher had 4 assists tonight on the offensive end but he’s still can have stretches where he struggles running the offense.

- Shaq Johnson showed a little something taking flight in the second half while drawing a foul. I think Shaq is going to get better and better each game and you can see more of a flow coming to his game. He did have 3 turnovers tonight but posted in double-digits for the second straight game with 10 points, 3 boards, and 3 assists. We’ve seen Shaq excel a little on the perimeter but tonight he flashed a little of what he could do tonight in the post when he hit a nice turnaround jumper in the lane.

- Ryan Badowski couldn’t catch fire like he has in previous outings going just 3-for-10 from downtown and finishing with 9 points. He certainly has the green light which is good to see and he’ll be sure to keep at it.

Longwood will now travel to Ypsilanti, Michigan where they will play three games in three days in the Eastern Michigan Showcase. The Lancers will get starting point guard back Quincy Taylor Saturday against Youngstown State.

Longwood Basketball made the announcement earlier this week that Antwan Carter found a home in Finland to continue his pro career. Carter sat out last season due to a medical condition and there was some thought that he was going to pursue a pro opportunity in Qatar this summer.

Carter has landed with Lappeenranta NMKY of the 1st Division of the Finnish League.  LrNMKY currently has a record of 3-6 and features one other American in Aubrey Conerly, a guard from Jacksonville.

Carter previously played for Stepco BS Weert of the Dutch League where he averaged 15.5 points and 9 rebounds per game during the 2012-13 season.

Longwood will travel to the JMU Convocation Center for the first time in almost five years on Wednesday.

Where: Convocation Center (Harrisonburg, VA)
When: Wednesday, November 19, 7 PM
TV/Streaming: MadiZone
Radio: WVHL 92.9

LancersBlog GameThread
Q&A w/ JMU Sports Blog
Game Notes (JMU)
Game Notes (Longwood)

Keys to the Game

1. Take Care of the Basketball: Leron Fisher will once again be the primary ball-handler for Longwood in this one as Quincy Taylor serves the final two games of his three game suspension for an NCAA rules violation. Fisher didn’t take care of the basketball that well against Hampden-Sydney or against Averett who he turned the ball over four times against. If Longwood wants to hang with the Dukes then they are going to need their defensive minded point guard to play with an offensive mindset when the Lancers have possession. Fisher also only had two free throws on Friday night, so getting in the lane and drawing contact could be a big plus for the Wood as well.

2. Wake Up the Beast: One of our keys to the Averett game was to “Feed the Beast” meaning Lotanna Nwogbo. That didn’t happen in that win when the big man registered 13 points, 4 rebounds, and no blocks. The frontcourt competition steps up intensely Wednesday night with Yohanny Dalembert and a slew of other players 6’8 or above. Nwogbo needs to step up, stop playing tentatively, and be the force in the paint that Coach Gee has talked about all preseason.

3. Who Can Be a Hero? Ryan Badowski stepped up dropping 21 points in the Averett game but you know it’s not going to be the freshman every night, especially when teams might start to key in on the young sharpshooter. Who else can step up in Longwood’s win and produce some points for an offense that looked to be in a funk for periods of time on Friday? Two prime candidates set to take off are Shaq Johnson and Kanayo Obi-Rapu. Johnson looked like he was headed for a big night Friday scoring 10 in the first half but then disappeared in the second. Obi-Rapu, who will also be taking care of the basketball at times, is one of the few Lancers with Quincy Taylor out who can create their own shot.

Game Summary

Longwood will make their way to Harrisonburg, Virginia Friday night for their first match up with the JMU Dukes since 2010. Since turning Division I Longwood has matched up with the Dukes six times winning two of those affairs. Five of the six match ups with JMU have been VERY close ending with an average margin of 5.7 points. The one outlier was a 84-52 JMU victory in Harrisonburg in 2007.

This year’s edition of the Dukes currently stands at 1-1 after playing two games at home. JMU fell 79-51 to #9 Virginia on Friday night but then rebounded Monday for a 74-71 win over Radford thanks to a game winning three pointer from Ron Curry.

JMU’s key issue early on in the season is depth. Leading returning scorer Andre Nation will once again be suspended for this one and the Dukes have two players battling injuries in Joey McClean and Hari Hall. The Dukes only played seven players against Radford on Monday night with Hall playing just 12 minutes. Curry and Paulius Satkus played nearly the whole game in the win.

One thing that will help the Dukes is the return of starter Tom Vodanovich who was suspended their two opening games. The 6’8 averaged 4.1 points and 4.1 rebound per outing as a freshman a year ago. Vodanovich won’t only give Matt Brady some fresh legs to insert into his lineup but could help the Dukes stay out of foul trouble, something Longwood will also have to contend with.

Inside Longwood will have to contend with the half-brother of the New York Knicks’ big man Samuel Dalembert, Yohanny. Dalmebert stands 6’8 and thus far this season he’s averaged 7.5 points and 3.5 points per game. Paulius Satkus is the other guy in the paint for JMU that has seen the most work for JMU also averaging 7.5 points and 5 boards. Other big bodies the Dukes can throw at the Lancers are the aforementioned Vodanovich, Ivan Lukic (6’8), and Dimitrije Cabarkapa (6’8).

When it comes to guards JMU has three key members to watch in Jackson Kent, Ron Curry, and Winston Grays. Kent is a perimeter player but he stands 6’7 and can be deadly from three. After the two opening games he’s averaging 13 points and 4 rebounds while shooting 44% from beyond the arc. Curry was the hero of Monday’s contest where he scored 20 points, including game-winning 3-pointer with 3.3 seconds left. Winston Grays is a new addition to the Dukes who posted 10 points and 3 steals versus Radford. The JUCO transfer is from Cleveland and was recruited heavily by Longwood a year ago.

Longwood will have their work cut out for them Wednesday in the JMU Convocation Center but will have a busload of Lancer Lunatics rooting them on. For those who can’t make the game it can be watched live via MadiZone on the JMU website (linked above).