HPU men take first road trip
There is little chance that High Point University freshman big man John Brown will be a surprise to any of the Panthers’ upcoming opponents.
If his 28 points, eight rebounds, five steals and three blocked shots in HPU’s season-opening win against UNC Greensboro on Friday didn’t draw attention, his one-handed dunk that made the ESPN highlights surely did.
“Yes, I guess, the word is out about him,” HPU head coach Scott Cherry said by telephone on Monday. “Once we start to play games, people will know what he is able to do. But, he can score in so many ways.”
Brown, who named Big South freshman of the week on Monday, will be on display again tonight when the Panthers play away from home for the first time when they visit Appalachian State in the Holmes Center (7 p.m., WMFR)
The Mountaineers are similar to HPU in that they return just five players who made significant contribution under Jason Capel, who now begins his third season.
“There is a bit of an unknown because they have so many new players,” Cherry said. “We don’t have a lot of video on some of them. It’s something of a mystery so we’ll have to adjust as we go along.”
Three who played a lot for ASU last season were in the starting lineup when the Mountaineers opened their season on Friday
with a 85-54 win over Montreat. That trio included Tab Hamilton, a guard from Winston-Salem who averaged 8 points per game; Nathan Healey of New Bern, a 6-7 forward who averaged 6.2 points and 3.5 rebounds; and Jamal Tice, a 6-6 forward who averaged 9.1 points.
The other starters included Jamestown’s Jay Canty, the one-time Ragsdale player who sat out last season after transferring from Xavier; and Brian Okam, a 7-footer who scored four points and grabbed 22 rebounds in 88 minutes of action last season.
Hamilton led the Mountaineer scoring against Montreat with 18 points. Freshman guard Frank Eaves of Greensboro came off the bench to score 16. Healy had 12 while Canty added eight points and a team-high 12 rebounds.
Michael Obacha, a freshman who played at High Point Christian, scored nine.
“They are like UNCG in a lot of ways because they have a couple of guards in Hamilton and Canty who can score,” Cherry said. “I think they are different than UNCG because they have more height so we are going to have to keep them from getting the ball inside close to the basket. We can’t let Hamilton and Canty drive and dish it down there. We have to keep them off the glass. But, I think we match up well there with John and Allen Chaney.”