Longwood, located in Farmville, Va. (enrollment of 4,098), returns
eight letterwinners and one starter from last season's 12-19 team. The
Lancers, an independent who became NCAA Division I eligible in 2007,
also welcome six newcomers.
Senior guard Aaron Mitchell is the returning starter who averaged nine
points, 3.5 rebounds and 3.3 assists per game last season. Other top
returnees include junior center and First Team All-Independent
Selection Antwan Carter (14.6 ppg, 8.5 rpg, 10 double-doubles) and
junior guard Martiz Washington (8.3 ppg, 2.3 rpg, 1.9 apg). Redshirt
junior guard Durann Neil, who sat out last season due to a preseason
injury, averaged 7.1 points and 3.9 assists as a starter in 2008-09,
while senior guard Earl Gee played in all 31 games last season and
averaged 11.6 minutes, 3.1 points, 1.1 rebounds, and 1.7 assists.
Jeremiah Bowman is the lone junior college transfer out of Harcum JC in
Philadelphia. The 6-2 guard is Harcum's career leader in assists (302)
who averaged 11.8 points, 5.3 boards, and 5.5 assists last year. He
helped lead Harcum to a 26-3 record and No. 3 final ranking in the
NJCAA Division I Poll.
The Lancers have an impressive schedule this season. In addition to
Kansas, Longwood faces ACC members Virginia Tech and Maryland, and Big
East schools Marquette and Seton Hall. The Lancers are also competing
in the exempt IBN Sports Las Vegas Classic, which includes games at New Mexico and Colorado.
"We're very excited about all the facets of this year's schedule,"
eighth-year head coach Mike Gillian said. "Like we normally have, there
is a mix of high-profile opponents, a significant number of home games,
and the continuation of some rivalries we are building with in-state
opponents. This schedule presents some great challenges for us, but
nothing we haven't faced before."
Gillian expects his players, including the 6-6 Carter, to rise to the
"The sky is the limit for Antwan Carter for the next two years,"
Gillian told longwoodlancers.com. "He has matured to the point where he
understands how much it takes to actually prepare to be great, which is
well before the opening tip for the first game. He arrived at Longwood
two years ago with the ability to be a fantastic college player and he
has been a most important contributor to our success in that time. With
the positive strides he has made, I think it is reasonable to expect
great things out of him. Consider the fact that Antwan averaged close
to 15 points and nine rebounds as a sophomore last year. In all of
college basketball, there were only 21 players who averaged a
double-double for the entire season. I believe 12 of them have departed
the college game and that leaves plenty of room for Antwan to jump
right into that exclusive club."
SELF ON LONGWOOD
"The first game to me is always tough because they (the opponent) may
do something they haven't done in years past," KU coach Bill Self said.
"We have no tape on them except from last year. They're well coached
and return some good players from last year. And, like us, they're
likely waiting to see if some of their newcomers come through."
LET'S GET DEFENSIVE
KU looks to improve its defense against Longwood after its two
exhibition games versus Washburn and Emporia State. Washburn shot 50
percent from the field in KU's exhibition opener, including a scorching
56.5 percent in the second half. ESU, meanwhile, shot 52 percent in the
second half on Tuesday.
"Defensively we've got to get better," senior guard Tyrel Reed said.
"I've definitely got to be better on defense. I've got to slide my feet
and keep my man in front of me. I think if we can just lock in
defensively it will take care of any other problems. If we lock in for
40 minutes defensively I don't think there's a team out there that can
beat us. Defense is coach's forte and he always instills that in us. So
if we just keep getting better defensively we'll be fine."
This is the first meeting between the two schools in men's basketball.
Other first-meeting games this season for KU include North Texas, Texas
A&M-Corpus Christi, Colorado State and Texas-Arlington.
*KU has won 37 straight home openers at Allen Fieldhouse dating back to
the 1973-74 Final Four season. Since 2001-02, Kansas has won its last
eight consecutive season openers.
*Kansas has won 59 straight games at Allen Fieldhouse, the nation's
longest homecourt wining streak. The 59 straight wins rank second on
KU's all-time home win streak list and is the longest since the
all-time high of 62 from 1993-98. The current streak started Feb. 7,
2007 with a 97-70 victory over K-State. KU last lost in the Phog on
Feb. 3, 2007 against Texas A&M, 69-66.
*KU has a sterling 113-6 record (95 percent) under Self at Allen
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