The Lancers , 3-2, are coming off a win over Maryland-Eastern Shore. Their biggest weapon is 6-5 Dana Smith, a junior forward from Woodbridge, VA who leads the team in scoring and rebounding. Earlier this season Smith scored 16 points and added 11 rebounds and four steals in a losing effort. Smith's play may very well determine whether the Lancers can make it close with Kentucky in Rupp Arena.
Smith is shooting over 62% from the field but has been plagued with foul problems every game this season. Should Smith get into early foul trouble, it could be a long night for the Lancers.
Another key player to watch is senior point guard Ryan Bogan, a veteran that has scored in double digits every game this season for Longwood. Bogan can bomb it from long range and is an outstanding rebounding guard. Bogan could be the X-factor with Kentucky's suspect point guard play thus far this season.
Kevin Swecker and Martiz Washington are solid shooters for Longwood and if they start connecting on outside shots, this could also be a factor against a Kentucky team that gave up 14 3-pointers earlier this season against VMI.
Kentucky's front line should have a field day with Longwood, which lacks the size and muscle to compete with the Cats down low. For Longwood to keep it close they will have to shoot and rebound much better than they have against their first five opponents. Longwood as a team has shot just 42% from the field (29% from 3-point range) and has been outrebounded by their opponents by a margin of 41-34.
With the smaller Longwood team, this may be Kentucky's opportunity for Patrick Patterson and Perry Stevenson to have monster games. Longwood will probably have few answers for the two big men for Kentucky, who should control the boards and dominate scoring in the paint, allowing Kentucky to cruise to an easy win.
PREDICTION: Kentucky 79, Longwood 57