Sorry to be away so long. First the board was closed and then it was a birthday cruise to Mexico (yeah, I know, you feel bad), but I’m back and counting down the hours to our next game.
lfnadmin, you’re dead-on, Navy will be trouble. It could come down to whomever takes and makes their last shot. We can only hope our "D" will be on parade that day. Here, we hold the cards (FG Defense: LU .385 vs. Navy .466). The numbers are just as dramatic when shutting down the 3 pt. shot (LU .275 vs. Navy .380).
Mtnhwkfan, I share your concerns over the limited play/contributions from the bench – especially in the forecourt. But, only slightly. I’m trusting the good doctor knows what he’s doing. Some days you just gotta believe. During OOC play we remarked daily on how well the bench was playing and now that it’s crunch time (league play) we’re seeing the front line players take over the spotlight. I’m OK with that. The subs got a good feel for the Lehigh style of play leading up to January 9th and showed what they could do. It proved to be a lot. While their minutes have been curtailed, big time, over the past seven games – especially the forwards (see below), I’m assuming their skills remain sharp and they are being put to the test daily in practice sessions. It’s now time for the starting five to take over. I can’t see the senior trio of MH/DB/ZC wilting down the stretch (hopefully 10 games). They’ve waited three and one half years for this opportunity. After three disappointing campaigns and now standing on the doorstep at 5 and 2, they can no doubt taste it. MH appears content to play quarterback this year, dishing it out to CJ and DB with great regularity. Although, a 15+ point night isn’t out of the question for the leader of this team. He’s done it already vs. American, Army and Bucknell. And, there may be no one better in the league when it comes to drawing a foul in late game situations. He’s just the guy you want at the line where he’s nearly perfect at .913 (21 for 23) in PL play. DB? Who has a better long range eye for the basket? He only leads the league in 3FG% with a quiet .524 (11 for 21). I say give him the ball. Zahir? He’s the glue that holds the team together – be it on the court or from the bench. Fun to watch and listen to, he appears to be a truly good guy and one you’d want to see walk away a champion….. (http://www.lehighsports.com/sports/mbba … se_id=8625). Maybe this will be his year. As for the other members of the starting five, frosh CJ and Gabe, they’re really not freshmen at all. Forty-two career starts between them says so. I’ve never met – albeit briefly in the case of CJ – a more together and unassuming young talent. Pressure? I don’t sense it one bit. Does he ever sweat? If Hall and the others can free him up – which they have done in the past and will no doubt continue to do in the future – he’ll bury his shot (a 2 or a 3) nearly half the time. As for Iowa’s own Gabe Knutson, he shows me more style and substance with each passing game. Love his left handed play around the basket. He and Zahir really have it going in their high-low game. The key to our winning it all may simply be to keep the two of them out of foul trouble.
As for our bench forwards (the biggest area of concern I have), you can only hope they stay injury free (what’s the story with Adams?), fresh, and are ready to contribute at or near the level they did in OOC play when called upon. Here’s a closer look at their numbers during the first seven games of PL play.
Name / PL Points / PL Rebounds / PL Minutes / OOC Minutes
Holden Greiner / 8 / 6 / 41 / 180
John Adams / 9 /14 / 40 / 108
Jordan Hamilton / 3 / 3 / 21 / 40
David Safstrom / 2 / 6 / 20 / 32
Justin Mineri / 2 / 1 / 12 / 134