Longwood vs USC Upstate Preview and Prediction
Longwood vs USC Upstate Preview
The USC Upstate men’s basketball team returns home on Saturday afternoon to host the Longwood Lancers at 4:30 p.m. in Big South action from Eddie and Ann Payne Arena in the G.B. Hodge Center.
Longwood (13-9, 3-4) has been struggling with consistency lately. They are coming off a 55-51 victory over High Point in their last outing to get back in the win column. Before that victory the team lost two straight conference games against Radford and Presbyterian, both teams are ahead of them in the Big South standings. Sitting in second-place is perennial favorite Winthrop which only has one conference loss–to this same Longwood team.
The Lancers have the talent to beat some of the conferences best, but they fail to put it all together and match their opponents intensity every game.
Senior Isaiah Walton is one of the conferences best and unknown players. The 6’5 guard is leading Longwood in scoring (18.2), rebounding (6.6) and steals (1.3). Walton has scored 20+ points in 7 of the 13 games he has played this season–he missed eight games at the end of November to late December with an injury.
Longwood’s point guard duo of Shabooty Phillips and Sean Flood has combined for 122 assists and just 75 turnovers, good for a 1.63 assist-to-turnover ratio. They are also shooting a combined .376 (85-of-227) from three-point range and have accounted for 40.1 percent of Longwood’s triples.
USC Upstate (5-17, 0-7 Big South) dropped an 88-70 decision on Thursday at Hampton and was led offensively by Deion Holmes and Malik Moore. Holmes scored a team-high 12 points and grabbed five rebounds. Moore contributed 10 points while adding team-highs with seven rebounds and six assists.
The Spartans finished the game shooting 45.2 percent from the field and held a 19-12 advantage in second chance points, 15-14 in fast break points and 27-21 in bench points.
Moore leads USC Upstate this season with 15.9 points and 6.8 rebounds per game. Holmes contributes 14.2 points and 4.1 rebounds per game while Jure Span dishes out 3.2 assists per game.
Upstate is looking to pick up their first conference victory of the season, and of all-time as the Spartans were a member of the Atlantic Sun before this season. It didn’t help them last season–as they only picked up two conference wins as a member of that conference and finished 2-12 in the ASUN and 7-25 overall.
With that type of season, it’s only normal to have a coaching change….
Longwood and USC Upstate are both under the leadership of new head coaches. Griff Aldrich has Longwood off to the program’s best start of the D-I era, while former Tulane head coach Dave Dickerson is in his first year at USC Upstate, looking to rebuild the program.
LINE: -2 Longwood
Dan’s Bet: -2 Longwood
Score Prediction: Longwood 66 USC Upstate 59