Hey Todd, I know what you mean. I, too, just returned home from a sports weekend (Villanova on Friday and Colgate on Saturday) in the Valley. It was great fun but exhausting. Your points are well taken. I was take-back by the beauty of the arena, ease of parking, etc. etc. but less than impressed with the size and noise attributable to the small pockets of LU faithful. I’m actually anxious to get back to the cozy confines of Stabler on Tuesday where the fans in Section 3 and 4 (albeit small but vocal pockets of energy) can be heard as they get behind their guys. I guess the price tag for this game alone was steep and may have driven some to stay to away and take it in on Fox Sports 2. Like others I spoke to, I found it hard to sit through a transplanted Villanova “home” game. Our students were seated on the floor (not elevated) and not able to stand without obstructing the views of other paying fans) far behind the basket adjacent to our bench. For the most part they were silent or what noise they did make was swamped by the Wildcat crowd. Even our cheerleaders were passive until early in the 2nd half. It was almost as if they were on orders from the “home-standing” Villanova officials to sit – and not stand – until it was their time to cheer. Sit hey did until sometime early in the 2nd half. I was caught off-guard, too , by the billowing voice of the Villanova announcer and their marketing crew that presided over the customary fan events during timeouts. Like I say, I should have known this was really a Villanova home game – although pitched as a neutral site event. The PPL Center was, however, a site to behold. Yet, hey guys…….. how about a scoreboard that portrays the names of the players on the court at the time and their individual/running stats? All we got from the overhanging center-court jumbotron was the score of the game and, of course, a big blue “V” for Villanova. While, as someone said, there were open seats, I do believe – as announced – this was a sellout at 8,751+ with many choosing to stay at home.
I can’t argue with 90% of what has been said to date about the game. Great analyses, guys on the Board. I can only add emphasis by pointing out some of the numbers – always a favorite thing of of mine to do. So, here goes…………
Can’t recall a team, no less Lehigh, making more FGs (28 to be exact) than their opponent and losing the game. Or, for that matter, finding the net 54.9% of the time and still coming up short in the end.
Obscene offensive rebounding. How can TK walk away with none in 34 minutes of play? And, JC and JG combined for just 2 in a combined 41 minutes on the court. Four offensive boards all game long! And, one of those was credited to our point guard, KR. Last year we managed a meager 8.75 OR/game (280 in 32 games). Sadly, we’re off to a sad start with four our first game leading to 21 second chance points raked up by the Wildcats.
KR is, as everyone seems to be saying, the real deal. 7 Assists / 1 Turnover in 18 minutes! Can you imagine what he might do in 30 minutes against a far lesser opponent than Villanova?
JG, with 4 boards and 1 block together with his high energy play, needed to be on the court for more than 15 minutes. Project those numbers.
Said before but needs to be emphasized……… CS could have/should have been employed at the point when KR took a seat due to foul trouble. Yes, MS is our backup PG and will no doubt excel in those efforts, but proved a bit unsteady and unsure of himself on Friday. Just saying….Corey might not have given up the rock so much in those pressure situations. While still on CS (2 for 3 with 1 for 1 from deep), how about finding him for more than 3 attempts in 31 minutes?!
Much talked about was BA’s expected early appearance of the bench. Well it finally game – after long-forgotten Devon Carter got his chance. And, when BA stepped onto the court, he was lost and bewildered. A line score of 1 personal foul and a bunch of zeros in 5 minutes tells it all. Hope we can chalk it up to opening night nerves and nothing else. Will be anxious to watch what happens on Tuesday.
The wonders of AP. Can’t help but love his 24 points but they came along 6 turnovers and an “0 for 2” from the free throw line. Glad we fed the hot hands on Friday (AP: 10 for 17 and TK: 6 for 13) but in the case of AP must warn of his swings in productivity. It’s not uncommon to see him follow a string of blockbuster outings with a 1 for 4, 1 for 3 or go 0 for 6 as he did against Navy last year. Here’s hoping for a more consistent AP this year.
Tough to watch sloppy play – trapped along sidelines, etc. – and see the opponent walk away with 31 points off our turnovers! Imagine what might have been with smarter down the middle play.
And, finally………how about the easiest shot in basketball, the free throw. Not only did we not get to the line (10 attempts in 40 minutes) but we hit just 4. How can that be!? Meanwhile we awarded Villanova the chance to score 24 times. Of course, wouldn’t you know it, they hit on 15. Net affect: – 11 points.