Just got back from Stabler, first visit of the season, so wanted to give a recap.
Crowd, light, not terrible, but light. Some student activity under the basket and the band brought something, but still not a hot ticket in the Lehigh Valley. Not much to say on this game. Lehigh is pretty good and FDU is awful. I have never seen a team defend so poorly at the college level. Uncontested layup after uncontested layup, uncontested 3 after uncontested 3, it was bad. Almost a 40 point lead at the half. Everybody got in the book, and that was a testament as to just how bad FDU defends. Nice to see Staggers hit his first shot he took, DC hit a 3 ball, and Goodman for the 3 to bust the 100 mark. Good win, and a fun game to watch live. Seemed like we made every shot, and FDU turned it over on almost every trip.
Few nuggets from what I saw…
BB in street clothes, I thought this might be his debut. Uncertain where he stands. Hung with Chuku, who looks pretty big and athletic.
I paid particular attention to DC all night, how he warmed up in the pre game, how he warmed up at the half, how he seemed to fit in with the rest of the guys, etc. I didn’t like what I saw of him shooting the basketball in warmups. Not a very good stroke to look at, and seems to have a tough time getting it to the rim from 3. It is an ugly lefthanded delivery, not any other way to describe it. Did not come away impressed with the warmups on. But, he got in at about the 7 minute mark, so I saw him in his longest run. He looked OK. Made a 3, didn’t turn it over from what I saw, played OK defense. I think his lack of minutes is coming from a lack of defensive fundamentals. I don’t get the impression he really played any D at the high school level except to gamble and steal the ball. His first defensive set, he got toasted and a jumper in his eye. He was better after that. He didn’t show any game off the dribble late, was content to hang outside and shoot the open shot. Not sure what he is at this point still, but I don’t see star.
CS disappointed me a bit tonight, not on the offensive end, where he continued to impress me, but on the defensive end. He could not stay in front of 10 on FDU who was the backup point, but played the majority of the minutes. The kid was small and slight but quick and got by CS any time he wanted. MM held him up better on the perimeter, but every time CS came in, 10 licked his chops and put in on the floor. Troubling.
I thought AD looked pretty good. He got into lane quite a bit, and showed an ability to penetrate and dish, and he finished in the lane. His defense has really improved. He got lost a few times, but much better than the last 2 seasons. He is clearly the best defender compared to SC and CS, which is why he is starting. I liked what he brought. He still tries to do too much at times and can force things and turn the ball over, but he has gotten a lot better.
SC is a very good offensive player. He is set up to kill a team like FDU who has no defensive discipline. Stroked it well from distance and finished from other spots and off the dribble which was nice to see. He had a really solid offensive game. Defensively he is still a bit lost, but he is there to score the basketball, and is a nice spark off the bench.
CB was terrible most of the night. Really bad in the first half and early in the second. Poor defensive positioning, picked up a couple cheap fouls, failed to catch down low, and turned it over a couple times when he tried to do anything. He really struggled early. Late second half in garbage time, he did better, finished a couple at the rim off the dribble from the high post, and had 3-4 nice late blocks. Rebounding was fairly good. Still not convinced he will ever be a meaningful player.
JG is incredibly raw. Unsure what he will be down the road, but he has nothing in the way of an offensive game. Took an open 12 footer and missed the rim completely early. Made a couple of chippy layups to get on the board. Doesn’t seem to position himself very well to rebound, but he is long. Definite project.
CJM just incredibly silky and smooth. Unbelievably FDU just left him alone from 3 several times in the game, and he just stuck it in their eye. Same with SC. But, CJ is really much improved which is a scary thought. Rebounded strong tonight in traffic. Ran a little point at times, and just showed a wonderful all around game.
HG was active and played well. GK was very good in paint, and dominated in there. They had no answers for his drop step in the paint, and was a man among boys in the post. MM was solid, active with his hands on D. FDU was content to sit outside and shoot from distance which plays into Lehigh’s hands. The way to beat Lehigh is penetration from the perimeter, then dish to bigs. FDU had nobody with those skills.
Tyrone Staggers is a pretty big body. Can he play some minutes down low for us? He is thick and seems tough and willing. Maybe.
Cory Goodman although the last man in tonight, seems to have a role on this team. You get a feeling that he is respected. Nice to see.
Reed really didn’t need to coach in this game, although FDU’s coach looked like he was going to have a heart attack in the first 10 minutes. No willing defenders on that entire squad. Quick 30 second time out at 10-2, an angry full TO at 14-2, then just gave up, and watched Lehigh extend to 20, 30 then 40. It was almost embarrassing to watch.
I came away very impressed with Lehigh for 3 reasons tonight. #1 They shared the basketball very well, the first 10 minutes were a joy to watch. #2 They defended very well, contested every shot, tons of steals, very active hands, really dominated on the defensive end and #3 CJ is a flat out, stone cold killer. Love to watch him play. Every time I go to Stabler, I cherish watching this kid play the game. It’s a treat to see a kid like this at a school like Lehigh and we will probably never see another like him.