On Tuesday morning, we continued conference previews with the Big South. Every week on Twitter, we will do two conferences from the Mid-Major Madness account (@mid_madness), speaking with media members and coaches throughout the selected league.
For the full Twitter Space, hit the link below:
To open up the conversation, NCAA Hoops Digest’s Brian Wilmer and us recapped what happened in the Big South last season. Longwood nearly ran the table, losing its only game of conference play to new CAA member NC A&T. The Aggies eventually gave the Lancers problems again in the conference tournament but after beating them in overtime, it was a cakewalk for Griff Aldrich and the Longwood program to make the school’s first NCAA Tournament. After that, they fell to Tennessee in the Round of 64 but there is a lot to build off as the Lancers return much of their program.
Aldrich (56:20) then came on to talk about the future of the program. When he first landed in Farmville, Longwood was coming off a 6-25 season. This past season the Lancers went 27-6, won the regular season and conference tournament title.
“It’s truly been an institution-wide and community-wide effort,” Aldrich said. “It’s been a lot of fun the last four years to build a program that mirrors the values of the university and also the community.”
The Lancers should be the preseason favorites in the Big South.
Following him, USC Upstate head coach Dave Dickerson (1:27:00) hopped on to talk about his program. Last season, the Spartans had one of the best turnarounds in college basketball going from 5-18 to 15-17. They also won a game in The Basketball Classic, beating Appalachian State in the first round.
“I had faith,” he said. “The three things in our program that we talk about a lot are faith, faith, and faith. I had faith that we can play well in January, February, and March and we coached our team that way.”
The Spartans return a lot from last season’s team including Big South Freshman of the Year, Jordan Gainey. Last season they finished in fourth of the league.
Brian and Nick then continued to talk about the teams in the league, previewing every one. To hear about your team, advance the recording to each time stamp.
21:35 Charleston Southern
15:25 High Point
9:40 UNC Asheville
23:45 POTY & Title Predictions
Along with the Twitter Space, we also talked to Campbell head coach Kevin McGeehan about his program heading into this season. The Camels were one of the better ball-handling teams in the country last season but finished in sixth place as 11 of their 20 games were decided by two or fewer possessions.
“That the testament of really good teams, the ones that figure out how to win those,” McGeehan said. “It’s stuff we can improve from the coaching side. Some of its just attention of detail from the player’s side. Then some of it's just a mix of guys that you have from any given year and how things fall. Obviously, that’s something that every team’s looking to improve. Being at their best in the last five minutes to close out games.”
To listen to our full chat with McGeehan, click the link: Kevin McGeehan Interview
Along with the Big South, Mid-Major Madness will also preview the America East this week. Stay tuned for preview articles on that and the American Athletic this week.