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High Point Fighting Early Injury Woes

Scott Cherry and his High Point Panthers will have an uphill battle in non-conference play once again with two key injuries to his squad early this season.

Rich Barnes

When I broke down the High Point Panthers in my preseason Big South preview the two biggest areas of concern I had for Scott Cherry's squad was the teams secondary ball handler and the lack of a presence in the paint for John Brown to play alongside. Those areas of concern are now amplified after recent news regarding some early season injuries for the Panthers.

First, High Point will be without starting point guard Jorge Perez-Laham likely until conference play in January with what is being classified as a small bone injury. Perez-Laham got the starting gig last year about halfway through the season and turned around the year for the Panthers winning 12 of their last 16 games, the Panthers were 4-11 before the transition.

Perez-Laham's injury means Haiishen McIntyre will have to kick back out to the point guard position for the Panthers. McIntyre averaged 3.3 points and 1.2 assists a year ago but struggled in match ups last year against Winthrop, Coastal Carolina, and VMI who all had solid guard play. Cherry will have to rely on freshmen Austin White and Dre Barber to spell McIntyre early this season.

The other injury effecting the Panthers right now is the recovery of knee surgery for 6'6 JUCO transfer and former Delaware State forward Miles Bowman.  There is no timetable for Bowman but he's several weeks away from being a full go in practice.

The absence of Bowman leaves High Point with virtually no one to play alongside star John Brown in the paint. When Brown is forced to be the only inside presence for the Panthers it really takes a way from his versatility and his potential to be lethal from the mid-range game. Instead High Point will likely live and die by the three with outside shooters Devante Wallace, Adam Weary, Anthony Lindauer, and Lorenzo Cugini.

High Point will begin their season November 14 against Cal State Bakersfield in the Outrigger Resorts Rainbow Classic in Honolulu, Hawaii.