Archives For Nik Brown

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…

Former Lancer Nik Brown will head to UNCW a year from now.

Former Longwood Lancer point guard Nik Brown will spend the year at Brunswick Community College, but he has also verbally committed to play for UNC Wilmington in 2014-15.

Brown averaged 9 points and 3 assists per game in 17 appearances last year for Longwood, but also lead the Big South in turnovers before he was injured in the January 16 game at Radford. Brown had various injuries ranging from his ankle, shoulder, and even a concussion like symptoms.

UNC Wilmington is coached by Buzz Peterson and the team was 10-20 a year ago. The Seahawks are coming of serious NCAA APR penalties and former UNC Asheville head coach Eddie Biedenbach is also an assistant at UNCW.

Nik Brown will try to enhance his game with a year at the Junior College level.

There are a couple of tidbits of news rippling throughout the Longwood sports world this week:

- As we posted on Twitter over the weekend, Nik Brown has found a home at Brunswick Community College in North Carolina. The injury plagued Brown averaged 9.7 points, 3.6 assists and 2.7 rebounds a year ago for Longwood but also lead the Big South in turnovers when active. NBC Sports David Harten believes Brown could become a mid-major prospect (again) or a high major prospect with a year of work on the JUCO level.

- Longwood graduate Curtis Campbell (Class of 1990) has been named the Athletic Director at Tuskegee University. The Golden Tigers are members of the Division II conference the SIAC. Campbell has spent the past six years as the AD at Stillman College in Alabama.

- Some Lancers baseball players are making waves in the Coastal Plain League this summer. The Peninsula Pilots have a slew of Lancers including Scott Burkett (.290, HR, 8 RBI), Brandon Vick (1-0, 1.00 ERA, 19K), Aaron Myers (1-2, 3.91 ERA, 23K, 2 SVs, and Matt Dickason (.221). Kyri Washington is playing in the Valley League with the Woodstock River Bandits and is batting .264 with 3 home runs and 8 RBI.

- Former Lancer Jan van der Kooij has signed with Aris Leeuwarden of the Dutch League. He averaged 5 points per game for Dan Helder in his rookie campaign. Antwan Carter is a free agent after averaging 15. 5 ppg and 9 rebounds in his rookie campaign for Weert and Aaron Mitchell, who averaged 15.7 ppg, 4.7 rebounds, and 3.2 assists in the Montenegro League, is also a free agent.

- Mike Gillian is still searching for a landing spot after resigning from Longwood in March. Gillian’s name has come up with rumors surrounding assistant coaching positions at Miami, Alabama, Texas A&M, and Utah. Tim Fudd and Ricky Yahn have both taken head coaching positions at the high school and NAIA level, leaving Gillian and Doug Thibault as the remaining members of the old regime looking for a landing spot.

Nik Brown was supposed to be the gem of Mike Gillian’s 2012 class.

This should surprise no one but Nik Brown has left the program after one year at Longwood. As we reported before, Frank Holloway has also officially left the Lancers.  The 2013-14 returnee roster is now up on the official Longwood website and both Holloway and Brown are absent.

Nik Brown came in as Mike Gillian’s most highly touted recruit a year ago but had a tumultuous year to say the very least. After joying the squad midway through the 2011-12 season and red-shirting, Brown started 18 games in 2012-13. He averaged 9 points per game in 26 minutes, but had a 62 assists to 67 turnovers. In the midst of starting, Brown struggled to run the point leading the Big South Conference in turnovers. During the first match up with Radford in January Brown was injured and would not play the rest of the season. It was never announced what was wrong with Brown officially but it was on various outlets that he suffered from a concussion, then vertigo, then a leg injury.

Holloway leaves the program after only appearing in two games, as his season was riddled by a shoulder injury.

Here is the current, updated depth chart:

PG SG SF PF C
Lucas Woodhouse TT Carey David Robinson Jeylani Dublin Jeff Havenstein
Leron Fisher Darrion Allen Karl Ziegler Damarion Geter
  Mark Parker

David Robinson is more than likely out for Saturday’s game against Charleston Southern, so the immediate question arises…who should replace him. The most logical name that will come up is Karl Ziegler but it probably wouldn’t be the best pick. This has nothing to do with Ziegler, who is coming off a career high 11 points versus Campbell and has been a great spark off the bench all year long, rather this has everything to do with the Charleston Southern Buccaneers. The Bucs sport the Big South’s most talented starting backcourt with sophomore combo Saah Nimley and Arlon Harper. The two of which combine for nearly 30 points per game, 7 assists, and 7 rebounds.

With the talented duo coming to Farmville would the Lancers benefit more from…wait for it…wait for it…starting Lucas Woodhouse? Woodhouse could run the point while Nik Brown moves to shooting guard. Not only do you get to “test drive” Woodhouse as the starter, but its likely a better match up when facing the Bucs. The biggest challenge would be with rest or substitutions, you could mix and match at times or Stephen Shockley could be given some minutes like the five he received versus Coastal Carolina last Saturday.

Lets see what will happen…

Should freshman guards Nik Brown and Lucas Woodhouse share more playing time after Saturday’s loss to Coastal Carolina?

The increased playing time of Lucas Woodhouse in Saturday’s loss will certainly bring up a debate over who the starting point guard should be among Lancers fans. First off, let me preface this with that this is not a bad situation. Longwood has two young point guards who have gained valuable experience over the first two months of the season. The question is which point guard can run the Lancers offense more effectively?

Coming off a poor shooting day on Monday, Nik Brown seemed to have a short leash going into the Coastal game. That short leash was utilized and Woodhouse received 20 minutes of playing time. Woodhouse put on a show with 8 assists on the afternoon and just 2 turnovers; but Nik Brown also seemed to flourish from the new set up scoring 19 points and was 6-10 from the floor. There are even productive sets where Brown can play off the ball and still succeed with Woodhouse at point guard. Simply put, with Woodhouse running the point the Lancers have more flexibility on the court.

Brown is a more physically gifted player than Woodhouse, but Woodhouse seems to orchestrate the offense in a smoother fashion. Brown still leads the Big South in turnovers with 61 and has an assist to turnover ratio that is negative while Woodhouse is at a positive 1.3. Brown averages 4 assists and 4.4 turnovers per game, while Woodhouse averages 3 assists and 2.3 turnovers despite playing nearly 13 minutes less per game than Brown.

Both point guards will certainly improve and grow over time and the question may not be that of who should start. But the right mix needs to be found between these two guards for the Lancers to become successful the rest of the way in Big South play. The next two games will remain a stiff test for these young guards as Campbell may have the best point guard in the league in Trey Freeman and Charleston Southern has the best guard combo in the league with Saah Nimley and Arlon Harper.

nbcreigFreshman point guard Nik Brown can’t seem to kick the injury bug this season. Early on in the Lancers match up versus Dartmouth, Brown grabbed his elbow in pain after missing a free throw. Brown made the next and seemed to proceed pain free through the game, although Lucas Woodhouse did play quite a bit in the first half. Brown finished the game with just three points, three assists, and four turnovers. After the game it seemed as if the injury may be more serious than originally portrayed as Brown posted on twitter that he couldn’t even life his arm after the game.

Brown is third in the Big South Conference in assists right now but he also has more turnovers (34) than anyone else in the conference. Michael Kessens is also right behind him with 33 turnovers. As you may expect, Longwood averages more turnovers per game (20) than any other team in the Big South. The next closest team is Coastal Carolina, who averages 18 turnovers per game.

The good news for Brown and the Lancers is that they have a week to get healthy as they don’t play until next Monday versus #20 Georgetown. They also only have two games in the next fourteen days before they have a three game road trip at Canisius, Seton Hall, and VCU. The priority for Longwood, beyond taking care of the basketball, has to be to get healthy for the Big South opener against Coastal Carolina on January 5.

Nik Brown was, arguably, the biggest signing for the Lancers coming into this year. Brown had the luxury of enrolling at Longwood for second semester last year and practicing with the the team the second half of the season. He was slated to be the Lancers replacement for Jeremiah Bowman and the opening night starter, but he was derailed by a high ankle sprain and was unable to suit up against Marshall. So when can you expect to see Nik Brown make his debut as the Lancers point guard? The short answer… I don’t know.

High ankle sprain is not a term you want to hear in the game of basketball, they are a lot more hampering then simply rolling your ankle. Generally if a player is diagnosed with a high ankle sprain then they are held out four to six weeks. With that being said, everyone is anxious to see Brown play but the team should err on the side of caution and so does Brown. It has to be tough to sit out any portion of the beginning of your Freshman year, but this team needs to be healthy going conference play in January. The out of conference schedule is, of course, not totally irrelevant but its more of an opportunity this year to get our ducks in a row.

Without a known timetable, expect to continue to see Lucas Woodhouse as the Lancers starter. The Freshman played 27 minutes against Marshall and had 5 points, 4 assists, 2 rebounds, and a steal. Frank Holloway was also out against Marshall, but expect Frank “the Tank” back sooner rather than later.  Injuries certainly can be hampering, but they are part of the game and the Lancers should have the tools to beat Norfolk State and have a successful trip in Las Vegas.

Today we turn our heads to the 2012-13 season and what we can expect for the Lancers. Certainly Longwood fans have a lot to be excited about in joining the Big South and the addition of six quality players to Mike Gillian’s lineup. There is a chance that one more player could be added for next season, but the class is pretty much rounded out. Given the additions and the players set to return for the Lancers, I’d expect a lot of smaller lineups and three guard sets.  These sets certainly aren’t foreign to Mike Gillian who started last season with Jeremiah Bowman, Martez Washington, and Tristan Carey.

Returning Lancers

Tristan Carey, 6’4, Junior: TT will return for his junior year as the primary scoring option for Mike Gillian’s offense. In his first year as a Lancer the LaSalle transfer averaged 13 points and lead the team in assists. Obviously with the rash of injuries and the loss of Durann Neil and Bowman for other reasons, TT was thrown into some roles that were not ideal for him. This year should be different as primary ball-handling duties will likely be turned over to the incoming freshman and TT can flourish on the wing. TT has the best chance to be an all-Big South performer than anyone else on our roster, don’t be surprised to see him listed as a 1st or 2nd teamer at Big South media day this fall.

David Robinson, 6’4, Junior: Robinson has the opportunity to grab some valuable starting minutes last year but was derailed by injury. He did however end up being the Lancers primary scoring option off the bench, averaging over seven point per game last year. The biggest question with Robinson is, will he start? He certainly has the skillset to do so, and fans should be excited about what he brings to the table. But with the way next year’s lineup may pan out the best option for Robinson may be being the sixth man once again and bringing a spark off the bench. Some guys just seem better suited for coming off the bench (think Manu Ginobli) and Robinson is one of those guys in my opinion.

Anthony Taylor, 6’2, R-Sophomore: With injuries and departures piling up last year Taylor was forced to receive a baptism by fire. He even started seven games for the Lancers late in the season. Taylor ended up averaging just over three points per game and showed some flashes of developing into a decent role player at the latter end of Gillian’s bench. His primary downfall was taking care of the basketball, he had 43 turnovers to just 23 assists. It’ll be interesting to see what kind of role Taylor has in 2012-13 given the influx of freshman talent.

Stephen Shockley, 6’0, Senior: Shockley will find himself as the lone Senior next year for the squad. He appeared in 20 games last year, averaging about six minutes. Obviously Shockley isn’t the most talented player on the Lancers bench, but what he lacks in talent he makes up for in hustle. He will once again be able to give the Lancers some high intensity minutes off the bench, in a pinch next year.

New Additions

Nik Brown, 6’2, Freshman: Brown comes to Farmville via the Middleburg Academy and was ranked as one of the top twenty-five players in the state. The primary advantage that Brown will have is the fact he’s been with the team and practicing since December. Brown is very much a combo guard who can score and distribute the basketball. Brown is also supposed to be a solid defensive player who can guard multiple positions. I would be surprised not to see Brown in the starting lineup come November, the only question is will he be the primary ball-handler?

Lucas Woodhouse, 6’0, Freshman: The Lancers introduced Elwood recently but will be introducing LWood this fall.  Out of all the recruits coming to Longwood this season Woodhouse is the one that I’m most excited about. He’s not the biggest guard, standing 6’0, 155 lbs but he knows how to win and lead Harborfield (NY) High School to several championships over the past two years. Woodhouse has an extremely high basketball IQ and has averaged a double-double for the past two years. Woodhouse can certainly be the primary offensive facilitator for the Lancers, but the question is will he be right away? Could a three guard set featuring Woodhouse, Brown, and Carey be Mike Gillian’s best option in November?

 

Photo via Newsday

Expectations were high for Mike Gillian’s squad coming into the 2011-12 season. Gillian had a favorable home schedule and a slew of a talented seniors to help Longwood match or surpass the 17-14 mark set by the 08-09 squad. But a season that should have been filled with celebration, for Antwan Carter and the Big South, started on the wrong foot when the Lancers fell to two lower tier opponents (Navy, Canisius) right out of the gate. Then senior guard Durann Neil left the team and Murphy’s Law ensued. The Lancers lost another senior guard when Jeremiah Bowman was suspended for the remainder of the season in early February. Also, there were injuries to Jeff Havenstein, Jeylani Dublin, and Mark Parker; and the Lancers essentially had to finish the last eleven games of the season with six scholarship players.

Despite the off the court hardships of the season this Lancers squad still should have been better. There were close games lost down the stretch at home (Seattle and North Dakota), close calls again non-D1 opponents (Washington Adventist and UVA-Wise), and humiliating blowouts to schools that really should never blow us out (NJIT, UMKC, Seattle, Florida Gulf Coast).  Also, the Lancers will more than likely end the season as the nation’s worst defensive team. Control of this team was lost a long time again and thus the season was lost for the Lancers. The last two months have looked like a team, a coaching staff, and a program just ready to start over, turn the page, and get on with life in the Big South.

Beyond the “lost” season we do need to commemorate Antwan Carter for one of the greatest careers in Longwood history. It’s hard not to feel bad for Carter with all the hard work he’s put in over the last four years and the fact he’ll never play a conference game. Same goes for Martiz Washington who leaves LU as its most decorated three-point shooter, his long range game and intensity will surely be missed. But as the players depart there is certainly hope on the horizon. TT Carey should be a premier scorer in the Big South and I wouldn’t be surprised to see him on the preseason all-Big South first or second team. Also, Mike Gillian has his most talented recruiting class ever coming in to Farmville lead by guards Nik Brown and Lucas Woodhouse.

The biggest question remaining in Willett Hall is will head coach Mike Gillian be back? And the answer is yes. I’d be shocked if the administration does not give Gillian a year or two to see what he can do at the Big South level. Many likely won’t agree with the decision but it’ll be the decision nonetheless. I think reasonable expectation for next year’s “young” squad would be to finish from sixth to ninth in the Big South and reach the conference quarterfinals. I think that’s a very reasonable and tangible expectation. If we surpass it then great, but if we fail then changes need to once again be evaluated.

Photo Credit: SLAM Online