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Longwood preview.

Longwood Lancers
Overall record: 2-1
Conference record: n/a (Independent)
2006-07 RPI: 308
2006-07 record: 7-22
2006-07 Sagarin: 317
Series: First meeting
TV: November 18, 12 p.m., BTN
The focus of most IU fans is on the Bucket game tomorrow, but IU does have a basketball game this weekend, the beginning of stretch of five games in ten days. IU plays four games as part of the "Chicago Invitational Challenge" and then plays Georgia Tech on Tuesday, November 27. What, you might ask, is the Chicago Invitational Challenge? It is an event, in its second year, held at the Sears Centre, a fairly new arena in the Chicago suburb of Hoffman Estates. It would appear that the first two games, the games that IU will play at Assembly Hall against Longwood and UNC-Wilmington, are pointless. All of the Challenge teams will participate in two early games that have no bearing on the tournament pairings. Then, on November 23 and November 24, there will be two concurrent tournaments at the Sears Centre. The lower-tier tournament features UNC-Wilmington v. Longwood and SE Missouri v. Coppin State. The upper tier tournament features IU v. Illinois State and Xavier v. Kent State. Interesting digression: the event features two of the five teams that IU defeated in the 2002 NCAA Tournament (Wilmington and Kent State).

So, Longwood. The Lancers, who were 7-22 last year, are 2-1, with a loss to Navy and wins over Norfolk State and something called Virginia-Wise. Longwood, located in Farmville, Virginia, is in its first season of full-fledged Division I status. Longwood has surprising height (five players 6-7 or taller). Leading the way so far for Longwood is Kirk Williams, averaging 20 points per game on 156 shots per game. Unlike Chattanooga, Longwood doesn't seem to have a significant three point threat. Last year, Longwood played quickly (71 possessions per game) but poorly (.892 points per possession on offense, 1.04 points per possession on defense). Those raw numbers, both resulting in a sub-300 ranking, are even worse when adjusted for schedule. In short? A bad team that we should handle.