This is the 4th part of our Men’s Basketball Preview. In this issue, we will take a look at the Big South Conference North Division. Our predicted order of finish is listed at the end of the preview.
|Campbell G Darren White|
Last Season: 17-15 (11-7)
Coach: Robbie Laing, 10th season
G Darren White (16.8 ppg, 5.5 rpg)
G Trey Freeman (13.9 ppg, 3.8 apg)
F Eric Griffin (15.7 ppg, 8.6 rpg)
Campbell begins their 2nd season in the Big South, where they look to improve upon their 3rd place finish a year ago. Point guard Trey Freeman, last year’s Big South Freshman of the Year, looks to become the team’s leader this year. Darren White, last year’s leading scorer, returns as well. Both White and Freeman were 1st team preseason all conference selections. Kent State transfer Darius Leonard will look to replace some of Eric Griffin’s production in the paint. Iowa State transfer Antwon Oliver and VCU transfer Reco McCarter will provide length and athletic ability on the wing.
|HPU Forward John Brown|
Last Season: 13-18 (8-10)
Coach: Scott Cherry, 5th season
F Corey Law (9.5 ppg, 7.2 rpg)
F Branimir Mikulic (5.6 ppg, 4.1 rpg)
G Nick Barbour (20.4 ppg, 48.4 3FG%)
G Shay Shine (15.6 ppg, 5.4 rpg)
Scott Cherry and his High Point Panthers must replace 36 points per game of offense with the loss of Nick Barbour and Shay Shine. Redshirt Freshman John Brown, one of the highest rated recruits ever in the Big South, will be tasked as one of the team’s go to players. Former Virginia tech and Florida player, Allan Chaney, will resume his career at High Point. Chaney has sat out the last two seasons for health reasons after collapsing during a workout in Blacksburg in April 2010. Chaney was diagnosed with viral myocarditis, an inflammation of the heart, and has since had a defibrillator installed in his chest.
|LU Forward Antwan Burrus|
Last Season: 14-18 (9-9)
Coach: Dale Layer, 4th season
G Tavares Speaks (10.2 ppg, 3.3 rpg)
F Antwan Burrus (11.2 ppg, 6.3 rpg)
G Jesse Sanders (12.5 ppg, 7.8 rpg, 8.0 apg)
Liberty will have to learn to cope in life after Jesse Sanders. Forward Antwan Burrus will shoulder much of the leadership burden, and he will be asked to pick up a few of the 8 rebounds per game Jesse was grabbing. Dale Layer brought in 4 JUCO players who he will look to immediately contribute. Davon Marshall and JR Coronado are 2 JUCO transfers expected to start.
|Longwood Head Coach Mike Gillian|
Last Season: 10-21 (DI Independent)
Coach: Mike Gillian, 10th season
G Tristan Carey (13.4 ppg, 5.1 rpg)
C Antwan Carter (19.4 ppg, 9.2 rpg)
Longwood finally garnered their long awaited Division I conference affiliation, and will look to make noise in their first year in the Big South. Coach Mike Gillian and company will have to do so without last season’s leading scorer Antwan Carter. Tristan Carey, transfer from La Salle, is the lone returning starter. Gillian calls him “one of the best players in this league.” Gillian admitted he voted Carey as preseason player of the year.
|Radford Forward Javonte Green|
Last Season: 6-26 (2-16)
Coach: Mike Jones, 2nd season
G R.J. Price (11.2 ppg, 118 assists)
F Javonte Green (10.2 ppg, 6.7 rpg)
G Jareal Smith (9.3 ppg, 2.5 rpg)
F Johnathan Edwards (8.6 ppg, 5.1 rpg)
Radford has won 11 games in the past 2 seasons combined, and finished 2-16 in conference play each of the past 2 seasons. Head Coach Mikes Jones will look to improve upon his first season last year, and begin to move Radford up the conference standings. Of the 14 players on their roster, 12 are either freshman or sophomore. Javonte Green will look to improve upon his stellar freshman campaign as the freshman from Brunswick County High School scored 10.2 points and grabbed 6.7 rebounds per game. A lot is expected out of freshman guard Yaya Anderson out of Fluvanna County High School.
|VMI Forward Stan Okoye|
Last Season: 17-16 (8-10)
Coach: Duggar Baucom, 8th season
G Rodney Glasgow (6.2 ppg, 2.8 apg)
F Stan Okoye (17.1 ppg, 7.2 rpg)
G/F Keith Gabriel (17.5 ppg, 3.5 rpg)
The Big South Conference Preseason Player of the Year is VMI’s Stan Okoye. Okoye averaged 17 points and 7 rebounds a year ago. Center D.J. Covington enters the season healthy after missing most of last season. Freshman Tim Marshall from Virginia Beach should improve VMI’s 3-point shooting immediately, and Coach Baucom hopes this will help VMI regain the #1 spot in scoring offense in the country that VMI relinquished a season ago.
Our predicted order of finish:
5. High Point