Penn State vs. Longwood Preview
Following a big win at home against La Salle, Penn State will welcome the Longwood Lancers to the Bryce Jordan Center.
Longwood competed on the Division 1 level for the first time last season, joining the Big South conference along with Presbyterian. The Lancers tallied an 8-25 record, which included a 14-game losing streak in Big South play. They did come on a bit, at the end of the season, winning four of their last seven games, but it was not enough to keep them out of last place in the Big South’s North division.
Longwood lost head coach Mike Gillian in the offseason, as he resigned from his position after 10 years with the program. Jayson Gee, a former associate head coach at Cleveland State, now leads the program. Gee found some success at Cleveland State, winning an NCAA tournament game in 2009, but he is coming off of an 18-loss year in 2012. Cleveland State played great pressure defense during Gee’s tenure, which could improve a Lancers defense that ranked dead last in the country last season.
Longwood has a nearly identical roster as last season. The only player to graduate was Stephen Shockley, a senior who only averaged four minutes per game. They are lead by senior guard Tristan Carey. Carey, a 20-point per game scorer thus far, has had four games of over 30 points in his career.
The Lancers have a record of 3-1, part of which they achieved by blowing out Mars Hill and upsetting TCU. The team’s only loss was a 38-point defeat on the road at South Carolina. They take on Brown at home, before traveling to the Bryce Jordan Center.
Penn State is 3-1 on the season, with the only blemish coming at home against Bucknell. The Nittany Lions are on a two-game win streak, including the win against La Salle, that saw Donovan Jack score a career-high 18 points.
Penn State has looked solid offensively this season, scoring 80-plus points in two of its four games. The Penn State offense will pose a big problem for Longwood, a team that has a far below average defense and doesn’t exactly light up the scoreboard either.
The matchup to watch in this game will be Carey against Penn State guard D.J. Newbill. Carey is by far the most dangerous threat on Longwood. It will be up to the veteran Newbill to shut him down.
Michael Katz is a junior majoring in broadcast journalism. To contact him, email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Photo Credit: (AP Photo/Centre Daily Times, Abby Drey)