Longwood dropped their seventh straight game with a loss to Charleston Southern Saturday afternoon in Farmville. Not only were the Lancers manhandled in the first ever ESPN production on campus but it marks the longest losing streak for the team since 2010 when the Lancers lost 9 straight games. Despite starting that year 3-11, Longwood finished the year 12-19 and won 9 out of their final 17 games. That kind of stretch, including a four game winning streak, does not look to be in the cards for the 3-14 Lancers.
Saturday’s loss also plummeted the Lancers to 0-3 in the conference along with Presbyterian and Winthrop. It marked the fourth straight loss at Willett Hall for a segment of the schedule that looked like a promising opportunity two weeks ago. The home losing streak is the longest since the 2004-05 season when Longwood went 1-30. The Lancers have also failed to beat a Division I opponent at home and have not won a true road game all year.
Ken Pomeroy is widely regarded as the premier advanced stats guru in the country for college basketball. Right now Pomeroy has Longwood ranked 344th in the country out of 347 Division I teams. Pomeroy also predicts the Lancers finishing the year with just two more wins and ending the year 5-27. A 5 win season would be the Lancers worst since 04-05 and their worst ever since officially becoming a Division I member.
Everyone knew that this was going to be a rebuilding year for Longwood, but I don’t think many thought it would be this bad. Longwood has had opportunities to come out victorious late in games, but simply put the team is being out-coached and out-prepared by other teams. It is hard to put any blame for this season on the players themselves, hopefully this young core can eventually grow to be a winner but how do we get there?
So from here, how do things need to change? Longwood deserves a winner and we should not simply tolerate losing because we have a young team or that we’ve become complacent with the notion of losing over the past 10 or so years. We’re not losing to better teams with more talent, rather we’re losing to our peers. Against our peers (Independent in the past and the Big South this year) Longwood is 18-32 since the 2004-05 season, that’s a winning percentage of .360. Losing and the manner in which we are losing continues to be frustrating, the only question is…when will we finally reach a tipping point for change?
Things will not get easier for Longwood as five of their next six games are away from, what used to be, the friendly confines of Willett Hall.