Chapel Hill, N.C. - Dean E. Smith Center
7 p.m., (TV - Online Only - ACC Select)
Season to Date: High Point entered the 2006-07 season with high hopes, returning some top players from the previous season. But in the opener against Tennessee-Martin, poor shooting and too many turnovers doomed the Panthers. HPU has, however, been competitive in its two matchups with high-major opponents --- they came within three points of Cincinnati mid-way through the second half, before losing 63-51, and trailed Maryland by only four points at the half, before the Terps pulled away for an 81-63 win. In their most recent game, this past Wednesday, the Panthers shot just 36% from the field and had to come from behind for a 59-57 win over Longwood, a school in the process of joining Division I. High Point enters Saturday's game in Chapel Hill with a 6-3 record, having recorded wins over an unimpressive string of opponents -- Howard, Covenant, Chowan, Ohio Valley and Elon.
Stressing Defense: The success of the Panthers is centered on their defensive play. They are holding opponents to 61.0 points per game and 38.9% shooting, while forcing 20.2 turnovers per game. Freshman center Cruz Daniels has been a menace in the post in his first season at HPU, averaging 3.0 blocks in just under 18 minutes per game.
Raising Arizona: The star of the team is Arizona Reid, and the raised expectations this season had much to do with the return of the versatile forward. He led the Panthers in scoring and rebounding last season as a sophomore, and this season has picked up right where he left off. Despite standing only 6-5 as he battles in the post, Reid is averaging 9.4 rebounds to go with his 17.0 points per game.
Series History: North Carolina is 7-0 against High Point, though the two teams haven't played each other since 1947. All seven games occurred between 1943-47, including meeting in back-to-back weeks in 1946 on Jan. 18 and Jan. 25.
Background Location: High Point, N.C. Enrollment: 3,100 Conference: Big South Nickname: Panthers Colors: Purple & White Head Coach: Bart Lundy Record at HPU: 48-42 (4th year) Last Year: 16-13 (8-8)
Projected Starters: 1 Mike Jefferson (5-10, 190, Jr.) – 12.2 ppg, 5.9 apg 10 Landon Quick (6-1, 175, Sr.) - 6.6 ppg, 3.1 apg 24 Troy Bowen (6-4, 205, So.) – 8.3 ppg, 2.8 rpg 30 Arizona Reid (6-5, 205, Jr.) - 17.0 ppg, 9.4 rpg 2 Jerald Minnis (6-7, 235, Jr.) – 8.1 ppg, 4.8 rpg Key Reserves: 4 Eugene Harris (6-2, 175, Fr.) – 5.1 ppg 11 Tim Burns (6-0, 165, Fr.) – 4.1 ppg 50 Cruz Daniels (6-11, 215, Fr.) – 4.0 ppg, 4.9 rpg 3 Melvin Crowder (6-4, 200, So.) – 3.2 ppg
Reid ....... Jefferson
Minnis ....... Harris
Daniels ....... Lundy
(Photos courtesy AP)