Reply To: Rehashing Bucknell Game

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We know you love your Bucknell Bison, but you need to be a bit more objective. You have a nice little team, and I was very complimentary of them. I think they are the class of the PL this season. But, let’s not get carried away about how great they are. Mike Muscala dominates PL level competition because he is 6’11”, and he has a significant advantage over everybody who covers him. Even with that advantage, he was fairly useless in the low block vs. Lehigh. He should be able to post any player he faces and score. He did not show that ability vs. Knutson or Manieri who are 2-3″ smaller, and the double teamers who came at him who were even smaller. He was effective on the outside, and for that I gave him credit. But, he is not the second coming of Bill Walton. Unless you are a total stiff, and we have seen quite a few in the PL, at 6’11” with a little ability, you should be a dominant PL player. In a top conference (ACC, Big 10, Big 12, Big East, etc.), he never sees the court. In contrast, CJ McCollum, in my opinion, is a contributor in those leagues, not a star, but a solid player. Obviously, the guy is a great player in this league, but my comments were more to the point that I expected a 6’11” center who was POY to show more polish in the paint. He did not show effective use of a drop step move, a fade away jump shot, or any power moves to the basket. He tried some weaker hook shots with both hands and that is all he showed. He didn’t even demand the ball on the low block. He does have a good face up game for a player of his size. And, I give him credit for realizing he was not effective on the low block and moving away from the basket where he did score. But, for a POY, I expected much more. I had seen him play about 5-6 times earlier in his career on TV, but this was my first chance to get a feel for him courtside in person.

Bryson Johnson. I, and every Lehigh fan in the building, was thrilled when he shot the ball. Shots taken early in the shot clock, from 6 feet beyond the 3 point line, are not “good looks”. When you shoot 0-8, you are hurting your team, and he singlehandedly kept Lehigh in the game. Even the Bucknell fans sitting near me were groaning at his play. If you drill down his statistics, this season, he is NOT a great shooter. Throw out 2 early OOC home games vs. lightweights West Alabama and Morehead St. at home, where he shot an impressive 15/28 on FGs and 15/27 from 3, and he has been less than great. In PL play this season, he is averaging 8 points a game. He has shot 15/46 on FGs, or a clip of 32.6%. On 3s, he is slightly better at 12/36 or 33.3%. For the season, including the 2 games where he shot lights out, he is connecting at 36.6% from the field. I want him shooting the ball against my team all night. Not to mention, he is a one dimensional catch and shoot shooter, who you have to run off screens, etc. to get open. He has limited handle and can’t beat anyone off the dribble. You can tell that strictly by looking at how few two point attempts he has this season. And, don’t get me started about how great he was in high school. Every guy who plays in the PL was great in high school. The walk-ons were great in high school. And, he played in Nova Scotia. He probably played against softer high school competition that anyone who plays D-1 basketball in high school. He better have been good against that competition. Everybody else is out playing hockey. He is not even the best shooter on the team. Ayers is hitting at over 50% from 3, and Muscala at over 40%.

On your 3 “supersubs”, you wanted to speak about Kaspar, Brackney and Singleton. Are you kidding me? Talk to me, when they average over 3 points a game. Singleton 2.9, Brackney 2.9, and superfrosh Kaspar 2.5 ppg. Kaspar’s numbers are worse than Corey Schaefer, and I certainly wouldn’t call him an impact freshman. CS is 3.7 ppg in less minutes, and his shooting numbers are 38.3/39.1/90.6 to Kaspar’s 35.5/27.3/28.6.

I am critical of Lehigh’s shortcomings and the weaknesses in certain players. Take off the orange tinted glasses, please.