Last night was Lancer Madness and the Tip-Off Banquet for Longwood Basketball. There was a lot of excitement around the team, as well as a lot of news and information that came out:

- Longwood is tentatively schedule to play at Richmond next year. Scheduling can always fall through this early but it the game would be Longwood’s first trip to the Robins Center since 2009. The game against the Spiders makes four known non-conference games for next year which includes a trip to Oklahoma State and home match ups with JMU and UMBC.

- A trio of recruits from Genesis Academy in Lynchburg were on campus last night for Lancer Madness:

Maxwell is a 6’7 forward who currently holds offers from Marshall, ODU, North Carolina A&T, and Southern Miss, as well as interest from ACC, Big Ten, and Pac 12 schools. Lawrence is a 5’10 guard who has offers from Boston University and Fairleigh Dickinson. Finally, Billy Thomas is a 2017 prospect who stands 6’0 and has offers from IUPUI, ETSU, Southern Miss, Louisiana Tech, Hofstra, and Detroit.  Apparently Maxwell was impressed:

- The floor and lighting have been updated in Willett Hall this year with the new logo and the new secondary logo on the court as well.  The new lighting now allows for the lights to be cut on and off quickly, as well in different areas of the gym.  It was showcased a bit with the player intros last night.

- Coach Gee made a point to recognize and bring Tristan Carey and Antwan Carter out on the court last night. It’s good to see the embrace of past players at events like this one.

- The last bit of news is that Shaq Johnson can jump really high:

via Christian Fox

Basketball Times released their Big South predictions for the upcoming season and they are as follows:

1. Coastal Carolina
2. High Point
3. Radford
4. Winthrop
5. UNC Asheville
6. Gardner-Webb
7. Charleston Southern
8. Campbell
9. Longwood
10. Presbyterian
11. Liberty

Brian Wilmer of College Hoops Digest did a good follow up on Big South Media Day yesterday with some interesting quotes from Coach Gee:

On what people need to know about his team:

“We’ve got two guys that I believe will be a part of the best in their position.  (We’ve got) a point guard by the name of Quincy Taylor, who started at UAB, a center by the name of Lotanna Nwogbo, who played at Tulane, they both sat out last year.  I believe that they’ll give us a strength down the middle.  I think every great organization is strong up the middle.  … Then we’ve got a group of freshmen that are as good as any freshmen from A to Z that I’ve ever been a part of in 26 years of coaching, their character, their attitude, their academic abilities, their toughness, their experience.  Then we’ve got a young man by the name of Shaq Johnson, who I believe will be one of the most exciting players, along with John Brown, in our conference.  … I think all that makes for a chance to be at least respectable, so to speak.”

On combining all of the new talent into a cohesive team:  

“I think that’s what we do best.  We love our players, they love us.  Chemistry’s big with me.  We brought in a sports psychologist, we’ve done a lot of team activities, but I’d say the biggest reason why we’ve got a close-knit group in such a short time is because of the caliber of character of the players. We’ve got some really good kids that are high-caliber kids, that are pillars, not just in our program, but on our campus.  I think when you have some good people and you put them together, then chemistry things can happen.”

On the stages of developing a winning program:  

“We came into the program, and our whole goal was, number one, to gain some relevance.  We thought we competed last year,  we upset a couple people, and we had a good recruiting class, so we’ve obtained some relevance.  The second stage of this process is respect.  We’ve got to find that in wins this year.  We believe our team is prepared to do that.  This time next year, our third stage is we hope to be highly-regarded, that we won’t be picked last.  We’ll be somewhere up in the top end of the scale.  So that’s our plan.”

On what he’s done to draw recruits to Farmville, Virginia:  

“Prayer.  [laughs]  We really believe in our faith, and we really believe that has a lot to do with it.  What we’ve really done is we’ve  communicated a vision, and we’ve shown them a plan.  We’ve shown them how they can be a part of that vision, and how they can be a part of taking something that was not very highly thought of to something that is.  I also sold them on my track record.  … I was able to show them a track record, I was able to give them a vision and a plan, and the enthusiasm that myself and my coaches and the entire university had when they came to visit, they bought it, and so I will be forever grateful for this group of young men who, I believe, are going to change the fortunes of Longwood University.”

On what he expects to say on the podium at this year’s Big South tournament (after telling media last year, “We will be back.  Make no mistake about it.”):

“We’re back! Told you!”

Read Brian’s full piece on College Hoops Digest and give him a follow on Twitter @sportsmatters

You can also listen to his full interview with Coach Gee HERE!

Damarion Geter is expected to be a key contributor and leader for Longwood this year.

The frontcourt was far and away the weakest link in Longwood’s game a year ago with basically no suitable big men.  That changes this year with an influx of talent that should make Longwood one of the better teams in the Big South in the paint. The Lancers will likely be even more formidable a year from now when Drexel transfer Khris Lane is added to the mix.

The lone returning big for Longwood is sophomore Damarion Geter who averaged 2.2 points and 3.3 rebounds per game a year ago. You could see Geter’s maturation in the last four games last year when he averaged nearly 5 points and 5 rebounds per game coming off the bench. Geter has now blossomed into one of the four captains for Coach Gee’s squad and put on over 20 pounds of muscle during the offseason. No one understands Longwood’s systems and progressions better than Geter and that should help him build into a more than capable player on both sides of the court.

Jason Pimentel is pushing Geter the hardest for the starters role and will be a big part of Longwood’s success this year. The 6’8 JUCO transfer and former Old Dominion Monarch averaged 9.1 points and 6.2 rebounds at Palm Beach Community College last year. Pimentel has looked very good in practice and is extremely motivated to the point that he wants to be considered among the best forwards in the Big South. Pimentel will also likely be Longwood’s biggest rim protector beyond center Lotanna Nwogbo.

Rounding out the power forward group is freshman Victor Dorsey from Akron, Ohio. Dorsey is a little raw and a bit of a project but showed what he could do averaging over 20 points and 14 rebounds per game in high school last year. He’s more of a shooter and a pick-and-pop threat that could eventually bring another dimension to Longwood’s arsenal. Dorsey will not get an opportunity to see the floor until the Eastern Michigan Tournament on November 21 due to a suspension stemming from an incident this summer. It’ll certainly be interesting to see how he is mixed in as the season goes on.

2014-15 Season Preview:
Point Guard Preview
Shooting Guard Preview
Small Forward Preview

VOTE: Get Elwood to the Final 4 of Mascot Mayhem

It’s Big South Media Day down in Charlotte and we’ll have any news that leaks out today regarding Longwood.

Continue Reading…

Shaq Johnson Cleared

lancersblog —  October 27, 2014 — Leave a comment

Today was not only Big South Media Day but Shaq Johnson’s day in court for the August incident that has been publicized. The judge in Johnsons case today issued a nolle prosequi ruling or described in Wikipedia (yes we’re quoting Wikipedia) as follows:

It is a phrase used in many common law criminal prosecution contexts to describe a prosecutor’s decision to voluntarily discontinue criminal charges either before trial or before a verdict is rendered.

By many accounts the events as described in the Rotunda did not go down as speculated by some.  Also, the incident did not seem to involve a “dance off”, which brought many national media outlets to the story due to an inflammatory headline.

Johnson is expected to join his teammates at practice know and Coach Gee even praised his athleticism and defensively ability in Charlotte this morning.

We can now all move on and get ready for take off at Lancer Madness this Wednesday.

Update (12:40 PM): Interesting note from NBC Sports’ Rob Dauster:

A nolle prosequi ruling does not mean that Johnson was acquitted of the charges or that he was found innocent. It simply means that he will no longer be prosecuted. This often happens in association with plea agreements or if it is determined that there is not enough evidence to earn a conviction.

Team (first-place votes) Total Points
1.  Coastal Carolina (14) 297
2.  High Point (12) 293
3.  Radford (1) 233
4.  Winthrop 221
5.  Charleston Southern (1) 199
6.  UNC Asheville (1) 191
7.  Gardner-Webb 168
8.  Campbell 113
9.  Liberty 85
10.  Presbyterian College 67
11.  Longwood 47

John Brown, High Point – R-Jr. – F – 6-8 – 205 – Jacksonville, Fla.
Javonte Green, Radford – Sr. – F – 6-4 – 205 – Petersburg, Va.
Andrew Rowsey, UNC Asheville – Soph. – G – 5-10 – 175 – Lexington, Va.
Warren Gillis, Coastal Carolina – Sr. – G – 6-3 – 205 – Philadelphia, Pa.
Saah Nimley, Charleston Southern – Sr. – G – 5-8 – 158 – Lawrenceville, Ga.

Jordan Downing, Presbyterian College – R-Sr. – G/F – 6-5 – 205 – Huntersville, N.C.
Jerome Hill, Gardner-Webb – Jr. – F – 6-5 – 210 – Adel, Ga.
Keon Moore, Winthrop – R-Sr. – G – 6-5 – 190 – Windsor, N.C.
Elijah Wilson, Coastal Carolina – Soph. – G – 6-4 – 205 – Wilmington, N.C.
Arlon Harper, Charleston Southern – Sr.-  G – 6-2 – 180 – College Park, Ga.

Team (first-place votes) Total Points
1.  Liberty (5) 113
2.  High Point (3) 110
3.  Winthrop (3) 104
4.  Campbell 89
5.  Coastal Carolina 64
6.  Gardner-Webb 56
7.  UNC Asheville 55
8.  Presbyterian College 54
9.  Radford 35
10.  Longwood 30
11.  Charleston Southern 16

Photo via LadySwish

Kaylah Keys, High Point
Stacia Robertson, High Point
AJ Jordan, Coastal Carolina
Ashley Rininger, Liberty
Erica Williams, Winthrop

Kiera Gaines, Campbell
Daeisha Brown, Longwood
Schaquilla Nunn, Winthrop
Paige Love, UNC Asheville
Ayana Avery, Radford