2013-14 Preview: Longwood

Longwood Lancers

2012-13: 8-25 (4-12)
In-conference offense: 0.98 points per possession (10th)
In-conference defense: 1.12 points allowed per possession (12th)

For the first time since transitioning to Division I, Longwood will be without head coach Mike Gillian. After 10 seasons and 214 losses, Gillian resigned, clearing the way for new head coach Jayson Gee. Gee spent the past seven seasons as associate head coach at Cleveland State, at which he experienced both highs (an NCAA tournament win in 2009) and lows (last season's 18-loss campaign).

If Gee's coaching past is any indication, we can expect the Lancers to pressure opponents on the defensive end, as Cleveland State has consistently been among the best teams in the nation at forcing turnovers. Truth be told, any kind of defensive identity is worth a shot at Longwood, at which having one of the nation's worst defenses has been the norm.

Projected starting lineup

Things haven't gone much better on the offensive end, but there are a few skilled players on campus. Tristan Carey is capable of going off on any given night, as evidenced by his four career scoring outbursts of 30 or more points. Carey's shooting prowess is complemented by the interior play of Jeylani Dublin, who will often be the Lancers' de facto center despite standing only 6-foot-6.

Longwood will again be a poor team, but some improvement can be expected. Gee should be able to strengthen the defense, if only a little at first, and there's a couple of sophomore leap candidates in Lucas Woodhouse and Karl Ziegler. The Lancers will continue to take their lumps in the Big South, but there's a renewed sense of optimism in Farmville, Va.

Projected conference finish: 6th, North division