Tag: Longwood Lancers

High Point v Ohio State
John Brown, Getty Images

Big South Preview: Can John Brown take down Coastal Carolina?

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Beginning in October and running up through November 13th, the first day of the regular season, College Basketball Talk will be unveiling the 2015-2016 NBCSports.com college hoops preview package.

Today, we are previewing the Big South Conference.

A month before the Big South Tournament started, seven teams were tied for first place in the conference standings. Once the tournament began, the Nos. 1 and 2 seeds were bounced in the quarterfinals. Despite all the parity and chaos in the league, the tournament champion remained the same.

Coastal Carolina is eyeing a third consecutive trip to the NCAA tournament in its final season in the Big South before moving to the Sun Belt Conference.

The Chanticleers bring back Elijah Wilson, the Big South Tournament MVP, point guard Shivaughn Wiggins and power forward Badou Diagne. That trio could make a three-peat possible. Coastal Carolina boasted one of the conference’s most efficient offenses and defenses, and tops in both offensive and defensive rebounding 2014-15. The production of graduating guards Warren Gillis and Josh Cameron won’t be easily replaced, but if they defend and crash the boards like they’ve done in the past, the Chanticleers will be in a good position when they host the Big South Tournament again in March.

Like the Chanticleers, many of the teams across the Big South have lost start players. Of the 15 players named to the all-conference teams last March, only two of them return this season.

One of them is High Point senior John Brown, the ultra-athletic and physically imposing forward. Through his first three years he’s averaged 18.5 points and 6.6 rebounds per game. He’s helped the Panthers win at least a share of the last three regular season titles, but has no NCAA tournament appearances to show for it. Click here and check out some of the dunks he’s thrown down over the years. Now imagine him playing on the first Thursday or Friday of the NCAA tournament. Fun, right? Surrounded by a cast of upperclassmen, Brown could finally get that shot this spring.

Winthrop graduated two double-digit scorers, including first-team selection Keon Moore. Keon Johnson will be the key holder over in a new-look perimeter that could feature not one, but two Division II transfers. Jimmy Gavin’s amazing journey was chronicled back in May. Roderick Perkins, a 6-foot-5 wing, was the second-leading scorer in all of D2 in 2013-14. Winthrop’s defense, rated as the most efficient in the Big South, returns a pair of shot-blockers — Xavier Cooks and Duby Okeke — the frontline. Zach Price, the former Louisville and Missouri big man, is eligible this season, as well.

Longwood could be a dangerous team, especially if the Lancers can get quality play from the back court. The Lancers have one conference’s best front courts. Shaquille Johnson is one of the league’s top athletes. Lotanna Nwogbo, the 6-foot-8 forward, is back after missing the last 17 games of conference play with a thumb ligament tear. In three full Big South contest, he was averaging 19.3 points and 12.0 boards per game. Gardner-Webb is dealing with the loss of Jerome Hill and Tyler Strange, but returns six of its top nine scorers, including Tyrell Nelson. Radford should be another potential sleeper. YaYa Anderson is joined by senior Rashun Davis and Cameron Jones, the potential breakout star of the league.

MORE: 2015-16 Season Preview Coverage | Conference Previews | Preview Schedule


  • Favorite: “In my mind, it would probably be High Point. There will be several teams that have really good players back, but High Point has several really good players back and John Brown has been one of the top players in the league for the last three years. Probably the team with the most experience, top to bottom, coming back is Coastal. I think they have four starters back, but I think they lose two really good players. On paper, as you look at it, Coastal makes sense to pick first.”
  • Sleeper: “I think a lot of people would say Longwood. I think they have a talented roster and they have a player on their team (Lotanna Nwogbo) I think a lot of people would talk about having a chance to be one of the better players in the league. He got hurt the second or third game in the conference season.”
  • Star to watch: “I’d say John Brown should be the favorite for preseason player of the year. There are a lot of good ones, but he’s definitely been really good for a long period of time. I think it starts with his motor and how hard he competes and how physical he is. He just stays after it every possession. He really plays so hard on both ends. He’s great at working at working on catching the ball at the rim and using his size and athleticism to score in the paint. Then he’ll get stuff in transition and on the offensive glass. He’s a monster.”


Brown, maybe the best dunker in all of college basketball, returns for his senior season after averaging 19.3 points and 6.0 rebounds per game in 2014-15. The 6-foot-8 nightmare matchup plays with a consistent motor. He understands angles and where to position himself on the floor in order to get easy buckets. Brown also creates opportunities for himself in the open floor and offensive glass.


  • Tyrell Nelson, Gardner-Webb: The 6-foot-7 center was top-10 in the Big South in both scoring and rebounding at 13.9 points and 6.5 rebounds a night.
  • Elijah Wilson, Coastal Carolina: Had a strong finish to last season, earning Big South Tournament MVP honors. The 6-foot-4 guard is the top returning scorer at 11.3 points per game.
  • Shaquille Johnson, Longwood: The best athlete in the conference not named John Brown, Johnson averaged 13.6 points, 5.6 rebounds, 2.9 assists and 1.5 steals per game last season.
  • DeSean Murray, Presbyterian: The Blue Hose will rely heavily on the 6-foot-5 sophomore, who recorded five double-doubles during conference play last season.



1. Coastal Carolina
2. High Point
3. Winthrop
4. Longwood
5. Gardner-Webb
6. Radford
7. Charleston Southern
8. UNC Asheville
9. Campbell
10. Presbyterian
11. Liberty

Charges dropped against Longwood wing Shaq Johnson

Longwood Athletics
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The judge in the criminal case against Shaq Johnson has ordered a nolle prosequi, NBCSports.com has learned. Nolle prosequi literally means “no longer prosecute”.

The news was first reported by the Longwood Rotunda.

A nolle prosequi ruling does not mean that Johnson was acquitted of the charges or that he was found innocent. It simply means that he will no longer be prosecuted. This often happens in association with plea agreements or if it is determined that there is not enough evidence to earn a conviction.

Johnson was involved in a bizarre incident last month when he was arrested and charged with felony malicious wounding for a fight that allegedly occurred after he lost a dance-off. The super-athletic, 6-foot-4 wing is a former top 100 recruit that wound up at Longwood after spending time at both Auburn and Northwest Florida State. He was dismissed from Auburn after he was charged with possession.

A source also told NBCSports.com that it is unclear yet whether Johnson will face any disciplinary issues from the school or the team.

Longwood’s Shaquille Johnson arrested after reportedly getting into a fight after dance battle

(Longwood Rotunda)
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Longwood junior wing Shaquille Johnson is perhaps best known for a fantastic high school mixtape that shows off his dunking prowess and tremendous hops.

But the former Auburn Tiger has also found some trouble during his career and Johnson was arrested earlier this month and charged with felony malicious wounding after an incident that occurred at a party in Farmville, VA on August 31.

According to a story from Travis Lyles of the Longwood Rotunda, Johnson was arrested on September 9th.

Farmville Police Chief Doug Mooney said that the altercation “stemmed from a dance off competition between Johnson and Hampden Sydney College student Aaron Doman.”

The Rotunda story states: “Mooney speculates Johnson was angered, or unhappy about the conclusion of the dance off and then allegedly struck Doman in the mouth knocking out several of his teeth. Doman was taken to the hospital shortly after the altercation.”

Mooney also said in the story that, “it was obvious there was an injury caused by a punch, and there was no retaliation from the victim.”

So, Shaquille Johnson is facing a felony charge over a dance battle at a party.

Johnson was in some trouble before from his time at Auburn. He was dismissed from the Auburn program for an arrest stemming from possession of marijuana and ended up at Northwest Florida State.

Johnson is now in his first season at Longwood and hasn’t played a game for the Lancers.

Longwood released a statement on the matter to the Rotunda:

“Shaquille is in school now and going about his business as a Longwood student and student-athlete as he should,” Assistant VP for Athletics Communications, Chris Cook, said to the Rotunda. “With respect to due process and the privacy that should be given to both parties, we will await further details on the matter before commenting any further. He is still a member of the basketball team and he has our full support.”

Johnson’s court hearing is scheduled for October 27.