#100 High Point Men's Basketball 2014-2015 Preview

High Point Panthers

2014-2015 Overall Rank: #100
Conference Rank: #1 Big South

High Point Team Page#100 High Point Men's Basketball 2014-2015 PreviewBuy High Point Basketball Tickets

After back-to-back Big South titles, High Point must feel left out of the fun. Last year the Panthers lost a heart breaker to Winthrop in the conference tournament quarterfinals and once again missed out on the NCAA Tournament. They settled for the NIT and did play pretty well against Minnesota in an 88-81 loss. But with forward John Brown leading the way, High Point will get another shot at the NCAAs. Brown, a 6-8 junior, could be looking at a 20 and 10 season. As a sophomore he averaged 19.5 points, 7.7 rebounds and 1.6 blocks. Brown is a tough rebounder and no team in the Big South had any luck stopping him.  

2013-14 Record: 16-15, 12-4
2013-14 Postseason: NIT
Coach: Scott Cherry
Coach Record: 73-81 at High Point, 73-81 overall

Who’s Out:
Despite the fact that High Point technically returns five starters, the four departures did combine to start 34 games in 2013-2014. Guards Dejuan McGaughy and Derrell Edwards were not big time scorers, but they could both handle the ball and were major contributors whether starting or not. Cliff Cornish earned a few starts, but averaged just 8.6 minutes per and opted to transfer to Morgan State. Allan Chaney played in just five games last season before a heart condition ended his career prematurely. Two years ago Chaney averaged 14.5 points and 8.1 rebounds for the Panthers.

Who’s In:
With those key reserves gone, there could be some minutes for a handful of newcomers. Most notable is South Carolina transfer Brian Richardson. The 6-4 guard averaged 7.5 points per game during the 2012-2013 campaign and will give High Point another quality shooter. Freshmen Austin White and DeAndre Barber will add depth in the backcourt and high scoring forward K.J. James will battle for minutes as well.

Who to Watch:
Brown will get most of the headlines, but Adam Weary and Devante Wallace deserve some too. Weary, a 6-3 junior, has averaged double digit scoring during his first two years with High Point. He is not much of a shooter, but Weary can attack the basket with ease. Wallace really bumped up his production during his junior year and his 78 three-pointers really opened up the offense. Two years ago this was not a good outside shooting team, but suddenly Wallace added that much needed dynamic. He connected on 49.1 percent of his many three-point attempts. Jorge Perez-Laham is the other piece to the backcourt. The sophomore point guard dished out a team high 3.4 assists per game as a freshman and kept the turnovers down. Even if his scoring does not come around, Perez-Laham knows how to run this offense effectively. Anthony Lindauer and Haiishen McIntyre will battle it out with the newcomers for minutes off of the bench in the backcourt.

Final Projection:
Lorenzo Cugini did a fine job stepping into the starting lineup in 2013-2014. This team needs somebody to do the dirty work and compliment Brown in the paint. Cugini did just that and even averaged 8.1 points 4.0 rebounds. If the opposition has to start worrying about another forward scoring, and in Cugini’s case it comes from beyond the arc, it makes the entire team even more difficult to defend. This team has all the pieces it needs in the starting five…a playmaker, a slasher, a shooter, a complimentary player to the interior scorer and the reigning Big South Player of the Year. If the depth can develop, this team will finally make that much awaited trip to the NCAA Tournament.

Projected Postseason Tournament: NCAA Tournament

Projected Starting Five:
Jorge Perez-Laham, Sophomore, Guard, 3.7 points per game
Adam Weary, Junior, Guard, 11.7 points per game
Devante Wallace, Senior, Guard, 12.6 points per game
Lorenzo Cugini, Junior, Forward, 8.1 points per game
John Brown, Junior, Forward, 19.5 points per game

By the Numbers:
Scoring Offense: 71.1 (173rd in nation, 8th in conference)
Scoring Defense: 72.7 (248, 7)
Field-Goal Percentage: 47.2 (36, 2)
Field-Goal Defense: 46.6 (310, 10)
Three-Point Field Goals Per Game: 6.0 (183, 8)
Three-Point Field-Goal Percentage: 38.6 (33, 2)
Free-Throw Percentage: 74.2 (32, 2)
Rebound Margin: -0.9 (220, 7)
Assists Per Game: 14.7 (50, 2)
Turnovers Per Game: 12.0 (145, 4)


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