Check out these two videos from the LongwoodLancer’s youtube channel as Longwood Softball kicks off the season on February 19 in the Carolina Classic at USC in Columbia, SC.

 

Longwood softball talks about pitching

 

Longwood softball talks about defense

 

 

It’s been a little while since our last Overtime Report.  The story is the same a lot of the time after a Longwood loss.  They’re playing really hard and have some really great flashes, but commonly find themselves on the losing end after 40 minutes of play.  It’s all true.  The Lancers are playing really well at times.  Then they have a 3-6 minutes drought where nothing goes right.  They get back into the game and they falter late.  This team is certainly shorthanded.  They’re playing a tight rotation of 7 players and no matter how talented some of them are, it’s hard to compete that hard for 40 minutes and not get fatigued.  The fatigue leads to late struggles or just not having enough gas in the tank to get over the hump late.

Longwood men’s basketball has lost 4 in a row after beating Coastal Carolina and Campbell in back-to-back games earlier this month.  The good news is, Campbell is next on the plate for the Lancers as they visit Willett Hall on Wednesday.  Look for Longwood to jump out to a quick start as they are as aware as anyone of their situation.  Longwood played Liberty, Winthrop, Radford, and UNC Asheville hard for most of the game.  Those teams used their depth and talent to get the victory late (with the exception of Liberty who aren’t very talented but exceptionally coached).  Longwood lacks the depth to be able to seal the deal in most games as we’ve seen so far this season.  Now that’s not to say they can’t finish.  They dominated the Coastal Carolina and Campbell games.

While it’s frustrating to be tallying the losses like we are, the good news is it isn’t March yet.  Many Lancer fans expected a better season than what has played out so far in the season but there were a lot of unforeseen obstacles.  This team has yet to really play to it’s full potential and they could be a scary out come tournament time.  The positive of this situation is that this team has several seniors that want to extend their college playing career as much as they can in March.  That’s some of the best motivation as we saw the same situation when Quincy Taylor put this team on his back as Longwood trekked through the tournament.

sammis-reyes-pfLongwood lost out on Lexington, South Carolina forward Najee Garvin this week as he committed to Charlotte. The Lancers aren’t giving up though as they have now offered former Hawaii forward and current junior college player Sammis Reyes.

The 6’7 forward from Chile is spending this season at Palm Beach State after leaving Hawaii due to injuries. Reyes explained his decision to transfer to the Star Advertiser last year:

“That’s one of the main reasons why I’m leaving. I wanted to play, and then I got hurt, my toe first and now I hurt my hand, so I can’t play. If I’m sitting out, I’d much rather sit out at home (in Florida), you know?”

Reyes currently also holds an offer from Florida Atlantic. He is currently averaging 8.4 points and 6.2 rebounds per game at the JUCO level.

He has three years of eligibility remaining and would join a talented class that already includes JaShaun Smith, Juan Munoz, and Isaiah Walton.

Plenty of Longwood Lancers are making an impact, once again, overseas this season.

Quincy Taylor, Cheshire Phoenix: Quincy joins the British Basketball League after continuing to get healthy and grind in the gym since leaving Longwood. The Phoenix are currently 7-11 on the year but are currently in a mid-season tournament for the BBL Trophy.  Cheshire plays Sunday in the quarterfinal round against Newcastle, where Taylor could make his debut.

Aaron Mitchell, KK Teodo Tivat: Mitchell is in his third season playing in Montenegro where his team is 12-3 on the season and 5-3 in Balkan League play.  The former Lancer is shooting over 55% from the field this season while averaging 8.5 points, 2.9 rebounds, and 2.5 assists per game.

Tristan Carey, Rilski: After his brief stint in the NBDL, where he didn’t suit up, TT Carey has found a home with Rilski in Bulgaria. His team is 9-6 overall and is 2-4 in FIBA Euro Cup play. Carey is averaging 9.1 points and 3.2 rebounds per game. Over 60% of his shots, this season has come from beyond the three-point line.

Jan van der Kooij, Aris Leeuwarden: The former Lancer forward continues to play in the Dutch league where he is just averaging over 13 minutes per game. He’s contributing 2.7 points and 2.6 rebounds per game for his team who is currently saddled with a 6-8 record.

LL

The off weekend on the court for Longwood resulted in a busy recruiting weekend for the Lancers as they look to add to a loaded Class fo 2016 featuring Juan Munoz, Isaiah Walton, and high flyer JaShaun Smith. Expect two or three more signings by the Lancers before everything is said and done.

Here are the top targets for Longwood right now:

Malik Brevard: The player Longwood is probably chasing the hardest is 6’8 Quality Education Academy forward Malik Brevard. The Lancers have their work cut out for them with Chattanooga, Radford, Stetson, and Middle Tennessee State also chasing one of Charlotte’s best players.

Najee Garvin: Longwood offered 6’7 Moravian Prep forward Najee Garvin this weekend. The forward also has Charleston Southern, Maryland Eastern Shore, USC Upstate, Appalachian State, Stony Brook, and Radford chasing him.

Thomas Allen: Allen is a Class of 2017 product who has been offered by Longwood and North Dakota.  A bit of news though as the 6’2 Garner Magnet guard was in the house for Longwood’s win at Campbell on Thursday night.

dj allen

DJ Allen has been a spark plug for a Longwood team missing Leron Fisher and other key contributors throughout the season                                     (Photo Credit:  Matthew Alexander)

The Longwood Lancers men’s basketball team won in Buies Creek for the second time in their last two visits (and 3rd straight over Campbell in general)  as they routed the home Campbell Camels 74-57 on Thursday night.

The Lancers did not travel to Campbell last season due to the 11 team Big South Conference alignment, but in 2014, the Lancers manhandled the Camels in similar fashion as they took a 46-13 lead into halftime.  The Lancers went on to win that game 76-53 in Jayson Gee’s first visit to Gore Arena.

It seems like the Lancers perform well in Buies Creek which will be especially signifcant this season considering Campbell won the bid to host the Big South Men’s Basketball Championship after Coastal Carolina announced they were skipping out on the Big South.  Jayson Gee-led Longwood teams have done pretty well over Campbell as they hold a 3-1 record over the Camels since Gee’s first season in the conference back in 2013-2014.

On Thursday night, Longwood started the game out on a tear and Campbell simply could never catch up.  After being tied at 7-7 in the first half, Longwood went on a 10-2 run to create a cushion halfway into the first half.  Campbell would make a few small attempts to comeback but would never regain the lead in the contest.  The Lancers took a comfortable 11 point lead into halftime as they led 37-26.  Longwood was shooting lights out from the field at 63% (17-27) while Campbell shot 34.5% (10-29).  Also, the Lancers outrebounded the Camels 19-12 in the first half.  The only glaring stat for Longwood was the 8 turnovers as giveaways have been an issue most of the season for the Lancers.

In the second half, it was much of the same for Longwood.  Though the Lancers cooled off from to floor, they still shot 48% (15-31) in the second half.  The defense remained stifling as Campbell shot an even lower percentage at 31% (10-32) in the second half.  Longwood led by as many as 25 in the second half before Jayson Gee allowed a couple of his reserves to get some playing time late in the game.

This game was another example of how good this team can be.  They played incredibly well together and distributed the ball all around.  DJ Allen (11), Shaq Johnson (12), Tra’Vaughn White (18), and Lotanna Nwogbo (19) all scored in double figures while Khris Lane chipped in 8 points.  The crazy thing is Kanayo Obi Rapu played 28 minutes but tallied just 4 points in this contest and he’s a legitimate threat on any night to go off for double digit scoring.

It’s easy to say this team is really starting to click and all of Lancer Nation are hoping they continue this upward trend as they head to Lynchburg to take on that other LU on Tuesday.  Liberty has surprised some in the Big South community as they have now beaten Coastal Carolina and Campbell.  They also played Radford (12/3/15) and Charleston Southern (1/14/16) really tough losing by a combined 5 points.  Look for this game to be low scoring as Liberty has an improving defense but lacks legitimate offensive threats.

 

 

team huddle 1516

                The Longwood Lancers met and exceeded expectations on Saturday versus Coastal Carolina                               (Photo Credit: Matthew Alexander)

 

“Wheww!”  “Finally!” “It’s about time!”  These are words most of Lancer Nation have spewed out over the past few months.  The Longwood Lancers finally showed us what they are capable of when they dominated Coastal Carolina 76-61 in front of more than 1,500 Longwood faithful on Saturday.

I personally have had a hard time writing Overtime Reports over the past few weeks.  Sure we played well against UNC Asheville, Gardner Webb, and Presbyterian (for about 3/4 of that game) but we just weren’t playing well enough to get over the hump.  The team was competing and playing hard but just lacked a handful of winning/game changing plays.  It was difficult to keep saying the same thing and writing the same old narrative after each contest.

Well that all changed as the Longwood team chemistry came to fruition on Saturday.  The Lancers dictated most of the game.  There were a few slumps but the Lancers were able to endure the Chanticleer attacks and fend of any runs.  Shaq Johnson played great, Tra’Vaughn White seems to be hitting his stride, DJ Allen continues to play with a lot of confidence and consistency, Kanayo Obi Rapu is coming around following his injury, and Lotanna Nwogbo is as steady as ever.  This team was really clicking and you could tell they were feeding off of one another.

Coach Jayson Gee told Scott Bacon on the postgame presser that the players had a players only meeting this past week.  He said that the team wasn’t going about the season the right way and they decided they needed to fix what was not working.  On Saturday, you could tell the team was gelling.  They talked to one another, distributed the ball, and even got in each others faces at times.  Guys like Chris Shields and Leron Fisher were engaged on the sidelines.  And the boxscore proves all of these points as the scoring was distributed really well.  All five starters scored in double figures as the team shot 54% from the field.

It’s time the Lancers duplicate their performance.  This game was exactly what fans saw in the Longwood squad before the season started.  This team has solid Big South caliber players at each position.  This team has good quality depth (although Fisher and Shields are injured).  This team has a dedicated coaching staff and a rabid fanbase.

Let’s not forget, Coastal Carolina was picked to win the Big South Conference this season.  They have a good offense and one of the best defenses in the league.  Things are looking up for Longwood, it’s time to start replicating Saturday’s performance.

The Lancers travel to Buies Creek (the location of the 2016 Big South Championship) to play the Campbell Camels in Gore Arena on Thursday, January 14.  The Camels are coming off of 3 straight losses (all by 7 points or less).  Their most recent loss was a 55-52 defeat at the hands of Liberty on Saturday.

On Saturday the Longwood team finally looked like the team fans hoped for against the defending Champs Coastal Carolina. Luckily I was there first hand to see it.

The main take a ways from this win has to be the offensive rhythm and balance the team had. 5 players ended up in double figures and for the first time all year it was a balance of inside scoring and outside shooting that lead the lancers to victory.

The lancers defense was also on display for much of the game holding coastal to late in the shit clock for more than a few possions.

Hopefully coach gee finds a way to make this consistent and integrate Fisher and shields