Having already clinched the North Division title in the Big South, the High Point Panthers (16-12, 11-4) were poised to enter next week’s conference tournament as one of the favorites to win the league’s automatic bid.
But the Panthers’ status as a favorite took a hit on Friday, as it was reported by Jeff Borzello of CBSSports.com that redshirt freshman forward John Brown is done for the season due to a broken right foot.
According to the report Brown suffered the injury in the first half of High Point’s 63-58 loss to Radford on Wednesday night, playing just two minutes. Without him the Panthers shot 41% from the field but they were outscored by 11 points at the foul line (20-9) and shot 9-of-19 from the charity stripe.
With an eye towards the conference tournament this is a significant loss for High Point, as Brown is the team’s leading scorer and second-leading rebounder. Shooting 51.9% from the field on the season, Brown started all 28 games for head coach Scott Cherry and averaged 16.4 points and 6.1 rebounds per game.
Brown won the Big South Freshman of the Week award five times this season, just one short of the league record established by Davidson’s Frank Harris (1991-92) and Coastal Carolina’s Jack Leasure (2004-05).
With Brown and senior Allan Chaney in the front court the Panthers had a tandem that ranked among the best in the Big South. Without Brown, High Point will need players such as Devante Wallace (5.3 ppg, 2.9 rpg), Corey Law (5.2 ppg, 3.9 rpg) and Lorenzo Cugini (4.2 ppg, 2.7 rpg) to step up and help fill the void on the glass.
Offensively Brown’s injury likely means more scoring opportunities for guards Adam Weary (9.8 ppg) and Dejuan McGaughy (6.9 ppg), and Chaney (14.2 ppg, 7.8 rpg) is capable of taking on more responsibilities as well.
Photo credit: High Point University