Friday, November 21, 2008

Previewing High Point

2008 Scouting Report / 2009 Scouting Report / 2009 Game Plan
2008 Stats / 2009 Stats

High Point Offense 07-08
Four FactorsPercentNat'l Rank
Turnover Rate20.5153
Off Reb Rate33.2158

Like New Orleans, High Point has a lot of new faces:

That's because 13 of the 16 players are either freshmen or sophomores, making the Panthers the second-youngest team in NCAA Division I. Only The Citadel has more underclassmen, and no one has more freshmen than High Point's nine.

"We're young -- probably the most talented we've been -- but we throw the ball all over the place and people don't understand what college basketball is about yet," Panthers coach Bart Lundy said at a preseason luncheon. "But I love our kids, I love where we are and I love where we're going."

The Panthers have the unfortunate task of replacing Arizona Reid, who averaged a double-double last season and won his second consecutive Big South Player of the Year award. Reid was phenomenal in 2008, shooting 56.2% while taking 37.7% of the shots (that %Shots figure ranked 2nd nationally). He was an excellent rebounder for a 6-5 guy, never turned the ball over, and even managed the team's best steal rate.

They've also lost point guard Mike Jefferson to graduation, and he was the only other player on the team who took an above-average proportion of the shots. His assist rate ranked in the top 20 nationally, because every game he could be all like, "I'm going to give it to AZ." And then Reid was all like, "thanks. I will now score this basketball." The two of them essentially did the work of three guys.

It's going to be a difficult transition, then, not just for all of the freshmen, but also for the returning players who'd become accustomed to secondary roles. The early returns aren't so good, though they did beat the shit out of some church league team.


Eugene Harris (6-2, 185) -- As the team's leading returning scorer, Harris is the most likely candidate for the primary scorer role. He's taken 31.5% of shots in the first two games, which has led to a predictable decline in efficiency. He was a one-dimensional three-point specialist last season.

David Singleton (6-3, 190) -- One of the new guys. Not much of a factor offensively so far.

David Campbell (6-4, 205) -- An infrequent contributor who preferred to shoot from outside in 2008. Turnover prone.

Steadman Short (6-9, 215) -- If he's going to Hasten Stardom, it'd probably help not to turn the ball over 42% of the time.

Cruz Daniels (6-11, 225)
-- The only tall guy who played significant minutes for the Panthers last season. He was highly efficient in a small role, shooting 63.6% from two. He averaged 5 blocks/40 minutes and had the 10th-best block percentage in the country. The Panthers need him to be more assertive at the offensive end, though his effectiveness will be limited by fouls and turnovers.

High Point Defense 07-08
Four FactorsPercentNat'l Rank
Turnover Rate19.7234
Off Reb Rate33.1174