December 21, 2012 at 3:57 pm #8576
Bison have a tough game at Princeton tomorrow night. I am heading up to Jadwin Gym to get a look at Bucknell, prior to the 2 Lehigh/Bucknell games. I will be a big Tiger fan on Saturday. I will report back after the Saturday game with a Bucknell scouting report.December 21, 2012 at 4:08 pm #8577
Do you think there will be tickets available at the door?December 21, 2012 at 4:10 pm #8578
90 – Why would you be pulling for Princeton tomorrow?
For the sake of the Patriot League, we all should be pulling for the teams to be successful in the non-conference. It is good for the league’s profile and helps come seeding time on Selection Sunday.December 21, 2012 at 4:38 pm #8579
How many pts do Tigers get from ’90 cheering for them?December 22, 2012 at 11:50 pm #8590
Ha ha, van, not too many. Can’t root for Bison, even vs Lafayette, I’d root Leopards in hoops.December 23, 2012 at 2:24 am #8596
lehigh90 – You were there. What happened?
It’s been a tough 72 hours for our “frinds” from Lewisburg, nearly losing one 71-65 to Marist (KenPom 237) and now falling to The Princeton Tigers (KenPom 101) by 12. Anxious to read The BU Board and hear your first hand report.December 23, 2012 at 2:33 am #8597
Yeah definitely want the recap 90, just saw the score. Seems tigers shot well from deep, 11 made3-balls, 44% from deep. Had 17 assists on 26 made field goals.
MM had another typical huge game, 17/11/2/2.December 23, 2012 at 2:35 am #8598
Also, PL got dominated today, worst day in long time, 0-6 vs DI opponents. Army smoked some chump Moravian type school.December 23, 2012 at 3:18 am #8600
Just got in from Jadwin. Very entertaining game. Princeton reminds me of Lehigh, in that you walk up 30 minutes before the tip, and you are sitting 4 rows off the floor. The crowd was predominantly Bucknell fans, but we sat with the only loud faithful Princeton fans, and it was a lot of fun. Princeton did a very nice job of taking the Bucknell fans out of the game from the first couple of minutes. It was a tight first half, Tigers by 3 at intermission, but they stretched that to double digits by the 10-12 minute mark and cruised home. Princeton has a nice club. No superstars, but they move the ball very well, and have several players who can shoot it from deep. They made a lot of triples in the game, and every time Bucknell tried to make a run, Princeton had an answer and usually it was from 3. But, I came away impressed by Princeton. My first thought on the game was that Princeton really made Bucknell pay with their inside game. Tigers were smart in that they posted up on whoever Hill, Ayers, or Johnson was covering. Those 3 got eaten up down low by bigger Princeton players, particularly Johnson, who was forced to cover a bigger player. When Bucknell took away the low post, Princeton kicked it to shooters and they made the 3s. Willman was really hot in the first half, and Ayers made three 3s in the first half. Willman had 10 at intermission. But, both Ayers and Willman struggled in the second half as did Johnson. Johnson made a few 3s, but he has zero game off the dribble, and when he did put it on the floor he couldn’t finish or draw fouls. He got to the line once that I recall, and missed both foul shots. Princeton banged away at Muscala in the post all night. They were very physical with him, and he was really limited in the first half. He got off a little more in the second, but by then Princeton had built a lead. He finished with 17, but was not a dominant presence in the game. He got frustrated by the physical banging he was taking in my opinion. Muscala was sporting leggings (really like Under Armour tights) which drew a lot of jeers from the Princeton fans.
Here is another thing you notice from watching Bucknell … they get nothing from the PG spot. They have 3 guys that play there Hill, Kaspar and Frazier, who is a freshman, but they get nothing from that spot. That, in my opinion, is their Achilles Heel. Lehigh can’t rebound, but Bucknell has no PG. And, that is a killer for them. The 3 guys they have aren’t terrible, but they don’t create anything for their teammates, and can’t score the basketball with any regularity. I think Lehigh has a huge advantage in the backcourt with MM and CJM. Willman and Muscala are formidable up front, no doubt, but if you can limit them, and stop Ayers and Johnson from 3, there is nothing else to worry about. Another problem for Bucknell, they have no bench. They go 9-10 deep, but there is nothing coming off the bench to make you worry too much. No scoring for sure. My last thought is this on the Bison. I like to bash a bit about the lack of talent in the freshman and sophomore classes for Lehigh, particularly the current frosh class. But, make no mistake, the Bison have brought nothing in over the last 2 recruiting classes. The only player I saw out there with real talent was the PG Frazier, who is a nice change of pace player. For me, he adds the most from the PG position. But, he is like a 2 ppg scorer. Dom Hoffman, who I was high on out of high school, was a non-factor. He may develop, but this season, he is no factor. I looked over the program, and I counted, I think, 7 players in the freshman and sophomore class for Bison (some could be walkons, but they have Banas, who was a DNP, Hass who was a DNP, Hoffman who gave nothing in really limited minutes, Kaspar who gave very little in limited minutes, Starkey who I think played in last couple of minutes and gave nothing, Singleton another DNP, and Frazier, who played probably 10 minutes, and scored a few points. So, Bucknell, is getting virtually nothing from these two classes. So, maybe we (I) shouldn’t bash Lehigh too hard. We are getting way more from SC, CS then they are getting from these guys.
So, bottom line, I don’t really fear the Bison. They are the same team as last year, maybe a bit weaker without Cohen. They are going to have trouble matching Lehigh’s backcourt for sure. Key matchups will be Greiner trying to limit Willman, as he is a good player and very good shooter. Ayers cannot handle CJ. And, we have a big advantage at the PG with MM over their 3 headed garbage. GK, of course, needs to limit Muscala, and you have to keep Johnson from heating up from 3. But, he is very one dimensional, and a liability on D, especially if you post him up. Princeton showed Bucknell’s smaller 3 players to be very vulnerable to posting up. I don’t think you can do that with MM, but perhaps CJ posting or BJB. Johnson was covering a 6’8″ Princeton player who was feasting down low.
Honestly, I came away a little disappointed in Bucknell. Maybe I saw them on an off night, but Princeton handled them tonight.December 24, 2012 at 12:46 am #8602
Couple minor corrections before I get called out by Bison 137. Frazier actually played 19 minutes and is averaging 4-5 ppg. I like his game. Guy who played a few minutes late was Brackney, no factor. Kaspar only played 4 minutes, but did have a nice driving reverse layup.December 24, 2012 at 1:45 am #8603
You’ll get called out no matter what you say 90. I fear the Bison, and really chalk up last night to looking ahead to XMas holiday break.
Princeton is not a very good team, Lafayette beat them by 20 earlier in the season, so I think Bison were just “off” last night.
Regardless, what you laid out is precisely accurate, in that much like last year we have the better guard play and they have the better front court.
With our loss of Adams/Maneri our front court depth got weaker and their backcourt got weaker minus Cohen in that stopper role that he played for them.
It should be an entertaining series, but they scare me with our fragile and small our front court is.December 24, 2012 at 1:53 am #8604
A closer look at the stats will reveal what has become a glaring weakness of the Bison. KenPom calls it “Turnover Rate Defense” or the percentage of your opponents possessions that you turn into turnovers. Your formual: turnover rate defense = opponents turnovers / possessions.
In short it measures how effective you are in forcing turnovers. Bucknell isn’t very effective. Thru 13 games, they rank last – that’s #347 in the nation – at 13.3%. Not good. Oddly enough, on the offensive side of the ball (the percentage of your possesions that result in a turnover), they’re good, very good and ranked 5th in the natino @ 15.5%. Looking at PL Stats to date, you’ll see Bucknell ranked last at forcing turnovers @ 9.3/game. In terms of steals, their record isn’t much better at 3.8/game – good for 7th in the PL.
Do not get me wrong, we have our faults, too. Just thought it informative to point out what may be obvious to some but an eye-opener for others.December 24, 2012 at 6:33 pm #8616
I think you are underestimating Princeton a bit. They did not lose by 20 to Lafayette early in the year, they BEAT Lafayette by 20 at Kirby. They have a solid club, with only two bad losses at Fordham 63-60, and Northeastern by 1 at home. They were the preseason pick to win the Ivy.
Their other 4 losses were Rutgers, Syracuse, Drexel and Wagner, 3 solid clubs and one powerhouse. Of all of the Lehigh games I have seen so far this season, in my opinion, they would be the 3rd best team Lehigh played so far this season behind Pitt and Baylor. Remember that Lehigh played Penn fairly tight at Stabler, and Penn, so far, is the worst team in the Ivy. Penn/Princeton is coming up, so that will be a barometer game for the PL.
As far as Lehigh’s rebounding problems, I don’t think Bucknell really have the roster to exploit it. Obviously, Muscala is a very good rebounder and Willman is a solid rebounder, but after that, they have no beef in their starting 5. Hill and Johnson are not going to hurt you on the glass, and neither is Cameron Ayers. Fitzpatrick has a lot of beef off of the bench, but he has a far reduced role so far this season. He is not getting a lot of minutes. Hoffman has potential to rebound, but again, very limited minutes. I don’t think either team is really strong on the glass.
I would rather get strong PG play at the mid-major college level, and give up a little on the glass then the reverse. Guards win in college.December 25, 2012 at 6:00 pm #8621
1. Princeton did not play well early in the year, but as you point out, they were the preseason pick of almost everyone to win the Ivy. With such a big lineup, they have struggled mightily against the press – but Paulsen refuses to press so that was a non-issue vs Bucknell. Pomeroy ranks Princeton #89 – basically the same as George Mason, Oregon State, and Washington State.
2. Fitzpatrick’s role has been reduced this year at least partially because he missed almost all of preseason with a broken wrist. He is just starting to reach 100%.
3. Brackney’s role has also been reduced – at least partially due to a knee problem that has bothered him the entire year. It was diagnosed as tendinitis but after it didn’t get better for several months, they performed an MRI that didn’t resolve the problem. BU definitely needs either him or Joshea Singleton, who is in the doghouse due to his defense, to emerge as a sub for Ayers. Last year Brackney became a useful sub and hit over 50% on his threes.
4. Yes, Bucknell is awful as far as stealing the ball or creating turnovers. Paulsen does not want players to ever press or take a chance on a steal – which I don’t agree with. Still it generally works pretty well. Although they are next-to-last in the nation in steals, they also are 12th in the nation in defensive rebounding and 18th in opponents’ 2-point FG pct.
5. Only time will tell, but I think Hoffman will turn out to be a very good PL player. Right now, he plays behind Willman – who is so valuable they don’t ever want him off the floor. And now that Willman has finally learned how to limit his fouls, he is averaging over 30 mpg in the non-blowouts.
6. Paulsen raves about Hass’ offensive game and he supposedly scores a lot in scrimmages. However, his defense is a work in progress and he needs some more time in the weight room. He averaged close to 35 ppg his senior year in H.S. but the competition was not strong.
7. Bryson Johnson is never going to be a guy who attacks the rim a lot, but he has actually been much more effective doing that this year – although probably not in the Princeton game. Last year, he got to the line 56 times in 34 games. This year it is 52 attempts in 13 games. Some of those, of course, are intentional fouls at the end of games, but some is also due to his going to the basket more.
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