Just catching up on this string, after the long drive back from Bucknell last night. What a game. 3 amazing games in Sojka in a row. Unreal. Here are some of my thoughts:
1) Got to arena pretty early, about 5:15, and what struck me was the dedication to practice of CS. He stood on the court, alone, with just a Bucknell ball boy for 10 minutes when all of the other players went to the locker room. He shot the 3 ball from multiple spots for 10 solid minutes. And, he hit at a clip of close to 90%. His shot is not nearly as fluid as others, but it gets there and generally goes in. When he hit those 2 3’s early in his minutes on two possessions almost back to back, I realized why. Dedication to the practice end of things. I love him with MM on the floor together.
2) BJB. What can you say about his performance. I was critical of him just days ago, and he comes out and shuts me up, big time. He was a stone cold killer last night, on both ends. With his athleticism, he can get to the glass at will, and when his is stroking it from 3 is an almost impossible cover. His offensive game last night was every bit as impressive as a CJ performance. Yet, he also was magnificent on the defensive end, chasing Johnson. What a game. And, the guy wasn’t even breathing heavy. Just a walk in the park. And that block into the seats was amazing.
3) AD was brutal last night. Killed us on the offensive end. But, I liked the fact that he was not shy after struggling early. He showed some game off the dribble, but you can’t come inside with weak finger rolls on a player like Muscala. He eats that weak stuff for lunch. Thankfully, Reed realized he was struggling and sat him down for long stretches in the second half and at crunch time.
4) MM played a great floor game last night. Drove well to the paint in the second half and was instrumental in every second half offensive possession. He did a nice job controlling tempo, knowing when to push and when to slow it up. He has a nice array of little duck under moves to finish with the short jumper in the paint. Great game for him. And, he really dominates Bucknell, who has virtually nothing at the PG spot. 3 guys, none of whom can play.
5) GK struggled but played very hard. He rebounded well early, but got frustrated with MM’s length. Hard to post him, and had nothing dropping from outside. Got a little frustrated when committing a stupid late foul on a Muscala dunk, but Reed took him aside and talked to him at length. He was the one out of the last huddle telling Lehigh not to foul, although Greiner did. Good leadership last night. And, the reverse layup late in the game was fantastic.
6) HG was off and on last night. Early he went to a pure post up game on the smaller Ayers. I assume somebody saw the success Princeton had running that scheme, and we went to it a lot early on. He struggle to finish and took a lot of tough shots. But, again, played hard and tough all night.
7) CB buried at this point, by JG, no minutes if memory serves. JG did a great job on the defensive end on MM late. Actually, all of our bigs did, GK, HG and JG. They were active fronting him all night, and also showed well on the pick and roll. which controlled Bucknell’s shooters. Great defensive plan by the coaches, I thought. We gave up 62, but good D all night. Both teams defended really hard. JG also adding a little on the offensive end, to counteract Bucknell’s freshman, Hoffman, who played a nice game.
8) CJ looking quite ginger on crutches. Moving very slowly and taking a lot from the Bucknell students. But when he pointed his crutch at the scoreboard late, he didn’t need to say anything. And, Mr. McCollum giving it to the Bucknell students as well. Lehigh had a vocal contingent last night of maybe 100, but into it all night. Especially in the first half early and second half late. No sign of DC on the bench, or maybe I missed him, but I don’t think he travelled.
9) SC struggling for minutes currently. Looking for a role on this team.
10) Well coached game by the staff. Had them ready to go from the opening tip, and regrouped them well, after the big Bucknell run, and then when Bucknell took a second half lead. This is a veteran Lehigh club, who plays with a lot of confidence and swagger. Really a joy to watch. This team can do big things with or without CJ. Reed also did a nice job with his substitutions, I thought. He was able to get Gabe some minutes with Muscala off the floor, although Gabe struggled to get it done.
11) Last thought on game. Guards win big games in college, and Lehigh is dominant in the backcourt over Bucknell. Bucknell stronger in the frontcourt, but if MM and BJB play like that, it is going to be tough for Bucknell.
12) Last thought on night. Crowd highlight was the chant of “This Is Our House” in final seconds. And, to Bucknell faithful and those who lurk and post on here … WHO’S YOUR DADDY?