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Return to the 2006-07 Top 144 Preview

July 20th, 2006

By Joel Welser

Broadcast Basketball

 

 

High Point Panthers

Overall Rank: #112

Conference Rank: #2 Big South

 

2005-06: 16-13, 8-8, 5th

2005-06 postseason: none

 

Coach Bart Lundy has a decent foundation at High Point with Landon Quick, Mike Jefferson, Troy Bowen, Justin Dunn and AZ Reid.  Unfortunately, nobody in that group is over 6-5.  If that was the Panthers starting lineup, Reid would have to play the five, and he should be at the three.  We’ll compromise and put him at the four again.

 

Who’s Out: The frontcourt problems stem from the departure of Issa Konare.  Konare averaged 9.6 points, 5.2 boards and 2.4 blocks as a senior last year.  His presence under the basket won’t easily be replaced.  Backcourt leader Akeem Scott is also gone after averaging 14.1 points during his senior campaign.  Seldom used big man Terrance Stokes is not returning to the program.

 

Who’s In: Some frontcourt depth is going to have to come from this list of newcomers.  It is hoped that redshirt freshman Cruz Daniels is ready to see some minutes.  Daniels, at 6-11, 215 pounds, definitely has the size that the Panthers need in the paint.  Forward Matt Boswell, who also redshirted last year, will be thrown into the mix.  Joey Taylor has the potential to become a fine player.  The 6-8 forward averaged nearly a double-double at Leeds High School in Alabama as a senior.  Taylor should get an opportunity to make an impact right away at HPU.  A pair of combo guards in Eugene Harris and Tim Burns round out the group of newcomers.  Harris, a Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania native, averaged 10 points per game at St. Thomas More Prep School in Connecticut this past season.  Burns is a scoring machine.  The little 6-0, 165 pound guard out of Franklinville, New Jersey averaged 30.5 points per game during his senior season at St. Joseph’s Hammonton High School, for a grand total of 2,643 during his prep career.  I haven’t scored that much playing by myself in the driveway.

 

Who to Watch: Reid is the real deal.  As a sophomore last year, the 6-5 forward led the team with 18.3 points and 8.9 rebounds.  He will need some help from his fellow forwards though.  Justin Dunn, who started 12 games as a freshman last year, is one option.  However, at 6-3, Dunn has the dubious honor of being one of the shortest players listed as a forward in Division I basketball.  He is a solid player who could be starting this year, but he won’t be the answer to the Panthers problems in the paint.  Jerald Minnis, on the other hand, is a bigger body at 6-7 and 235 pounds.  With seven starts under his belt, Minnis should get the first look at the five spot until the newcomers start to impress.

 

Final Projection: There are countless examples of a team being successful in a conference like the Big South without having much height.  And, despite all the fuss, High Point should be one of those teams.  True centers are not necessary as long as the team hustles and gets on the glass, and Reid will do plenty of that on his own.  HPU has two solid ballhandlers in Quick and Jefferson and a breakout star waiting on the wing in Bowen.  Five players return who started at least a dozen games last year.  That’s not bad for a team that went 16-13.  Expect a few more wins this year.

 

Projected Post-season Tournament: none

 

Projected Starting Five:

Landon Quick, Senior, Guard, 5.2 points per game

Mike Jefferson, Senior, Guard, 8.1 points per game

Troy Bowen, Sophomore, Guard, 4.6 points per game

AZ Reid, Junior, Forward, 18.3 points per game

Jerald Minnis, Junior, Forward, 3.1 points per game

113 Auburn » Complete List » 111 Pacific

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