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Posted at 9:46 AM ET, 02/ 9/2011

Sizing up little Longwood

By Liz Clarke

Maryland Coach Gary Williams has argued from time to time that it’s a bigger challenge to defend a player shorter than you than taller. If so, Maryland (15-8) faces a mountainous task in Wednesday’s game against Longwood (8-18), whose roster borders on Lilliputian.

The Lancers are lead by 6-6 junior center Antwan Carter (18 points per game), billed by the school as perhaps “the best small college basketball player that you’ve never heard of.” The left-handed Carter, of St. Petersburg, Fla., scored nearly half his team’s points (29 of 64) in Longwood’s 65-64 loss at NJIT last Saturday.

Rounding out the starting lineup are four guards, none of whom is taller than 6-2.

As an independent that joined the NCAA Division I ranks in 2007, the Lancers have spent a tremendous amount of time on planes and chartered buses traversing the country in search of games in which they get clobbered more often than not. So far this season, they’re 0-13 on the road. But they haven’t shied away from fights, falling to such major-conference teams as Kansas, Marquette, Seton Hall, Colorado and Virginia Tech.

Located in Farmville, Va., Longwood was founded in 1839 as a female seminary and recognizes Joan of Arc as its patron saint. Fully co-ed since 1976, Longwood reached the NCAA Division III Final Four in 1980.

Since May 2003 its basketball team has been coach by Mike Gillian, a former assistant to George Mason’s Jim Larranaga. Heading into Wednesday’s game, Longwood’s RPI is 331 among the 345 NCAA Division I programs.

When the teams met at Comcast Center last season, Maryland won, 106-55.

By Liz Clarke  | February 9, 2011; 9:46 AM ET
Categories:  Gary Williams, Men's basketball  | Tags:  Antwan Carter, Joan of Arc, Longwood basketball, Maryland basketball  
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Espn's more pessimistic than I am. But this was interesting...

From Bubble Watch:

"If only Maryland could score. Gary Williams' team has been one of two or three best defensive teams in the nation on a per-possession basis this season, but its inability to keep pace on the offensive end has doomed it to edge-of-the-bubble territory. Terps fans will wail and gnash their teeth in the comments, no doubt -- Maryland's fan base is always an enthusiastic, easily rallied bunch -- but when you have this many losses, no good wins (and no, at Penn State doesn't count) and your RPI barely cracks the top 80, you have a heck of a lot of work to do to gain an at-large bid. Maryland [15-8 (5-4), RPI: 77, SOS: 60] Maryland remains in serious danger of dropping off the Bubble Watch for good. It's not like losing to Duke at home -- which Maryland did Wednesday night -- is such a bad thing. It's just that the Duke game was Maryland's best chance to get a marquee win, something the Terps desperately need if they plan to keep their NCAA tournament hopes on the realistic side. It didn't help that the loss put their RPI into the 70s, which can be serious no-man's-land when the committee starts taking a hard look. That RPI fell even further this week, as Maryland easily handled RPI-killer Wake Forest at home Saturday. Next up is Longwood, another RPI burden, which comes to College Park before Maryland's trips to Boston College and Virginia Tech next week. Considering those teams' fellow bubble status, the Terps might have to win both to stay in the Watch going forward."

I totally disagree that we need to win both at BC and at Vtech. Win at BC, lose at Vtech, and we are still very much in the hunt.

Posted by: Barno1 | February 9, 2011 11:13 AM | Report abuse

I'm confused by VT being in, although barely, in almost every bracketology out there. Their only good win is against the Terps.

Posted by: Section505203 | February 9, 2011 12:44 PM | Report abuse

"Sizing up little Longwood"

Good to know someone at The Post has a sense of humor.


Posted by: P00PY_MCP00P | February 9, 2011 12:52 PM | Report abuse

Longwood has had at least 1 NBA player, Jerome Kersey, who had some very good years for Portland in the 80s and 90s.

Posted by: jfleming209 | February 9, 2011 1:21 PM | Report abuse

I appreciate that "Joan of Arc" is one of the tags for this post.

Posted by: Lindemann777 | February 9, 2011 1:43 PM | Report abuse

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