Longwood fell tonight 76-67 to the preseason Ohio Valley favorites. Here are the key takeaways from tonight’s game:
- Despite the loss this was the best game Longwood has played this year and the energy was higher than any other point. Eastern Kentucky came in as an 11 point favorite and came off an impressive game against VCU. Longwood did not back down against a team that was more experienced and, frankly, better.
- Jeff Neubauer said after the game that Longwood was the most well coached team he has come across this season. To put that in perspective the Colonels have faced VCU, North Carolina State, High Point, and others. Kudos to Coach Gee and his staff for today’s efforts.
- Longwood out-rebounded EKU 27-18 tonight and a good showing on the glass. Hopefully tonight’s success will build to a more productive effort in the paint.
- Jeff Havenstein grabbed two boards tonight and his performance didn’t show up on the box score, but the big man looked more energized and had a bit of confidence in the second half.
- Tristan Carey continued to be impressive with 22 points, 7 rebounds, and 4 steal on the evening. He came to play today and it showed for the senior captain.
- The rotation tightened up to basically eight guys tonight with DJ Allen getting to play a great deal of playing time. Games like this give him and other youngsters like Damarion Geter a baptism by fire and prepare them better for the future.
All in all the Lancer have nothing to be ashamed of tonight as they hung with one of the best mid-major teams in the country. The team was energized and so was the bench. This was just another building block to a bright future.
“We gotta have a 6th Man, we can’t win this game without a 6th man. We need the fans to come out Saturday and we need their support”
Where: Historic Willett Hall
When: Saturday, December 7, 4 PM
TV: Big South Network
The casual fan may not know too much about the Eastern Kentucky Colonels and assume that this is another directional, ho-hum opponent to visit Willett Hall, but EKU is the highest rated opponent to come to Willett since James Madison in January of 2010 and one the five highest rated opponents to visit in the Division I era. Jeff Neubauer has a talented, veteran-laden squad that was picked first in the Ohio Valley Conference preseason poll and nearly knocked off VCU in overtime Thursday night.
What makes EKU so good? For starters they are one of the nation’s most defensively sound teams and coming into Thursday night they were ranked second in the country in steals. Contrary to the fullcourt pressure that VCU imposes to generate steals, the Colonels are a halfcourt team that plays a myriad of different sets to help confuse their opponents. On the offensive end, the three pointer is the weapon of choice for Neubauer, a former Richmond assistant, and the Colonels are shooting over 36 percent from beyond the arc this season. Many times they will have four players on the perimeter and one in the paint. Often they shoot for one and done situations and do not necessarily crash the boards.
On an individual level, the Colonels start four guards with 6’0 senior Glenn Cosey leading the way. Cosey is averaging 18.8 points per game this year and is also adding 5.1 assists and 4.8 rebounds on a nightly basis. Marcus Lewis (13.1 ppg) is another weapon for Neubauer and is most famous for a dunk against SEMO a year ago. Rounding out the dangerous guard population for EKU is Corey Walden (12.4 ppg) and Orlando Williams (10 ppg).
So what are the keys for Longwood to compete against one of the best mid-major teams out there? Number one has to be ball control. Longwood has averaged 17 turnovers per game in its last three outings and that number certainly has to improve. The sophomore backcourt of Leron Fisher and Lucas Woodhouse has to play like senior Saturday afternoon in order to be successful. On defense it will be interesting to see what kind of defense Coach Gee comes out in. Does Longwood have the personnel to compete man to man with EKU? They might need to, as the 2-3 would likely get picked apart by the plethora of quality outside shooters for the Colonels.
The good news is, this isn’t the first time that Tristan Carey and Jeff Haventsein have seen the Colonels. Longwood traveled to EKU two years ago and lost a toughly contested battle 78-71. Carey dropped 25 points on the Colonels that afternoon, but fouled out of the game down the stretch. EKU has also already seen a bit of Big South flavor this flavor when they hosted High Point in a 74-67 loss for the Panthers.
The Lancers need you on Saturday afternoon, so show up and be loud for this 4 PM tip in Willett.