Reply To: Rehashing Bucknell Game

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I think you need to watch a lot more Bucknell games before making generalizations. A few comments:

1. Quote: ” Muscala wasn’t great in the low post (actually for a POY, he is limited in the post moves department), Lehigh forgot to guard him outside 18 feet, and he has that range and knocked down big jump shots, and big 3′s. . . . he has about 1/2 of the talent of CJ. He is just a 6’11″ guy with nice touch from the outside. He is not a dominator in the post. It was the first time I had seen him live, and I did not leave the gym that impressed. He is a nice player, but in a legit conference, he would be another big body, nothing more. ”

Muscala actually has some good post moves – and the great majority of his FG’s are from within a few feet of the basket – but LU did a good job doubling him and preventing him from making any moves. Last year American had All-PL center Lumpkins and opted to have him guard Muscala straight up. The result was that Muscala ended up with 33 points and 10 rebounds. If LU guarded him straight up, the result might easily be the same. AU doubled him last night and he still got 21 points (8-12 on FG’s), all on moves in the post – zero outside shots. Also 12 rebounds.

Not saying by any means that Muscala would be a star in the Big East, but he certainly would be a good player in a league like the A-10. Last year he faced Richmond and LaSalle on the road – one of whom had a past All A-10 center and one of whom had a preseason All A-10 center. In total, Muscala ended up with 38 points on 15-26 shooting while playing head-up against some very good players. He is ambidextrous btw – which helps him make a ton of baskets in the post.

Muscala this year already has 11 double-doubles and is on pace to become only the 6th player in PL history to average more than 9.2 rpg for a season. Also is on pace to easily be the second best shot-blocker in PL history (behind only Foyle).

2. Quote: “Cohen is a really good player. To me, he may be the most important player on the team. He really impressed me. He plays great defense on CJ, always seems to make the right play, plays heavy minutes, leads on the floor, and when open, makes 3 pointers.”

You’re correct that Cohen is a very important player. Not only does he play great defense on CJ, he plays great defense on everyone he guards – and those players range from PG’s to fours such as Vlad Moldoveanu. Excluding Foyle, Cohen might well be the best defender ever in the Patriot League. If nothing else, he will be the league’s first 3-time defender of the year. However, he often does not make the open three, although he did hit them at LU.

3. Quote: “The PG is a solid player and hits from 3 when left open (Ayers). ”

Ayers has hit 40-77 from beyond the arc this year, so he definitely can hit the three. He’s a very good all-around player – but he is not a PG. He played 8 minutes at the point in this game only because both Bison PG’s (Hill and Kaspar) got in foul trouble. Often he plays zero minutes there.

4. Quote: ” To me, their worst player is Bryson Johnson. He is a gunner, and not a great shooter, who’s shot selection leaves a lot to be desired. ”

This is why it’s a mistake to make judgements from one game. To begin with, there is a reason the Patriot League coaches voted Johnson to the All-PL team last year. Although you might be able to criticize certain parts of his game, to say he’s not a great shooter is absurd. Last year he ended up hitting 46% of his 217 3-point attempts – one of the top performances in PL history. Also one of the top performances in the nation. Recently he had been in a bad shooting slump – before his shooting broke open the game with American last night – but he is still at 39%, which is more than respectable considering that he is always targeted by the opposing defenses and often has to shoot from four feet behind the arc. His effective range (i.e. where he will make 35%+) extends out to about six feet beyond the arc.

Given his shooting ability, he actually rarely takes a bad shot. Yes, he missed all eight of his attempts at LU – but 7 of the 8 were good looks. In fact, the worst defense played on him all year was in that game. On a normal night he would hit 3 or 4 of the same shots if he were left that open. One thing about Johnson is that opponents never ever leave him to help on another player – which helps get open looks for some of the other players. That’s one reason why Willman leads the PL in shooting pct by a wide margin and why BU has 3 of the top 5 in shooting pct.

By the way, in his senior year of H.S., Johnson attempted almost 500 threes and hit nearly 49% of them.

5. Quote: “Also, I thought Ryan Hill was a nice player. Nothing fancy on that squad, but they play as a team, the right way. After that, the bench drops off a cliff.”

The bench definitely does not drop off a cliff until you’ve also mentioned Steve Kaspar. He’s likely one of the five best frosh in the PL this year and has been a major contributor for BU. As for other players, Brackney is hitting 60% of his threes as a shooter off the bench, and frosh Singleton had two strong games off the bench last month prior to being injured.

  • This reply was modified 8 years, 9 months ago by Bison137 Bison137.