Columbia – Game 4

Forum Forum Lehigh Sports Lehigh Men’s Basketball Columbia – Game 4

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    KenPom Projection

    Columbia (1-1) and ranked 149th
    Ivy – ranked 15th
    Lehigh (0-3) and ranked 232nd
    Patriot – ranked 19th

    Columbia wins 62-61 (50% chance)

    “Five Lions in Double Figures Lead Men’s Basketball to Win Over Wagner”….now that’s a scary headline.
    The game, Columbia’s second, took place on the 18th in what was their home opener. It followed by 4 days their opening one-point loss to a strong Stony Brook squad. In their win, freshman 6’4” guard, Kyle Castlin led all scorers with 18 points on 6-of-10 shooting. The young man also pulled down six rebounds, four on the offensive glass. For video highlights and post-game interviews go to:

    Coach Klye Smith talks about the Lions’ win and the standout performances of not only Castlin but his backcourt mate, Junior Guard, Matt Mado. Note the mention of employing the zone at times.

    KenPom tells us that Columbia is a fan of the “3,” with a whopping 42.9% of their points coming from behind the line. A stat good for #10 in the nation. To date, the Lions have played at a deliberate pace (only team slower across the nation is our own American U.) and share the ball well (A/FGM rate of nearly 61%). They have to date proved stingy in awarding bench minutes and play a mostly man-to-man style of defense. Although, they did employ the zone with positive results we are told in their win over Wagner. All things to consider.

    Colombia was selected to finish 3rd in the IVY preseason media poll. They trailed Harvard and Yale in the voting. The Lions are coming off their winningest season in 46 years and return 15 letter-winners to the squad. By no means will this be an easy foe but instead, on paper, one every bit our equal.

    Coming, as it does, on the heels of our loss to Rider, some could argue this is a “must win” game for Lehigh. Perhaps they’re right when you look down the road and see Big East opponent, DePaul, waiting in the wings on Thanksgiving eve. A 0 and 5 start is not we – the players or the fans – signed up for, I’m sure. Oh well, let’s see what tomorrow brings.

    Last night (Friday) in the PL

    Boston U. 65
    Kentucky 89

    American U. 63
    Presbyterian 38


    Interesting note on Columbia is that CJ Davis who Lehigh recruited quite heavily and was a thought of as a good prospect at the PL/Ivy level ended up committing to Columbia. However, for an unknown reason he never ended up starting school and is not on the roster.



    Is it too early to call this a must win?



    Probably 90 but it feels like it!



    Can’t argue with the fine assessments of the team and its future by 90, SB and 00 offered up in the Rider post. The present day producers on this team are young and we, as fans, need to be patient. I couldn’t be more excited about the prospects of TK, JC, AP, KR, and BA taking us forward. Together they bring a combined “games played” number of 111 into today game against Columbia. KR and BA together total 6. KenPom reports LU to average 1.32 years in experience – a rank of 282 out of the 352 D-1 teams. And, that’s not looking at simply the starting five I outlined above.

    One of the things I’ll be most anxious to watch in the coming days is the play and leadership talents of our seniors: CS, SC and CB. All seem destined – if not already (SC and CB) – to take a backseat to what I’ll call the present “dream 5” named above. And, there’s no arguing….the play of each hasn’t been stellar to date. Like others, I’ll be most anxious to watch the one guy on our team with the most experience (99 games played/40 games started) and the guy named our Captain, Corey Schaefer. Does his play pick up to his sophomore and junior year standards? Is his slow start attributable to time spent away (future job related) from campus this past summer? If he takes a back seat to KR and AP, how does it affect his play off the bench? Will his leadership talents be evident and pay dividends to the team? That last one will be difficult to judge, knowing what appears to be his silent personality. Hey, just another thing to watch as the countdown to Colgate(12/31/14) continues.



    How does that old adage go? “It’s always darkest just before… some guy steps out of the alley and whacks you with a crowbar”?



    Where do you start? It was just a pitiful performance.

    I don’t know what was worse….sitting in the cold yesterday at Yankee Stadium or watching this game on LiveStream. A true definition of a Lost Weekend. Just glad I didn’t do what I normally do, i.e., drive the75 miles one-way to witness this killing in person.

    Just some of the hard to digest LU stats and observations:

    0-13 from 3. That makes it 3 for 28 form 3 at Stabler this year. Home Court Advantage?!
     SC misses twice – actually I thought it was 3x – from deep. He’s now 0 for7 on the season.
     Jesses, after going 3 for 6 in Game 3 from deep turns in a 0 for 3 today. He’s now 3 for 10 on the season and not our deep salvation. Someone tell him.
     Austin (1-9, 0-4), some days you gotta know when to quit.
     Brandon, ditto Austin.

    We convert 14 turnovers into just 6 points while Columbia converts just 7 LU turnovers into 11 points.

    SC goes 0-2 and is now 0-7 on the season after two more misses (one an airball) in his specialty – the long ball.

    We decide to press in the last couple of minutes. How about the first 38 as we drifted further and further behind?

    We sit Tim (1 PF) for what seemed to be 15 minutes. I guess it was only 11 but he, Kahron and Miles were our only hopes on this bleak day.

    We rushed our shots – not on fast breaks but in the normal course of half-court play. It resulted in 63 FGAs – many rushed a single pass or none at all. Many were let go without rebounding help in the same zip code. In stark contrast we saw the Lions methodically rundown the shot-clock time settling for more makeable shots on just 53 FGAs.

    Goldy, as expected, gave us a spirited 18 minutes but came up short on a number of rebounding opportunities. He did pull down 2 but hey Corey Schaefer was credited with 4.

    Speaking of Corey, he continues to pass up scoring opportunities when presented. Of course, he’s not getting that many touches to begin with. To wit: Brandon and Austin: 14 FGAs to Corey’s 3. While B & A may be our future, the future is apparently not now.

    Next Game: DePaul @ 9pm (EST) Wednesday. Check out Fox Sports 1.



    To echo LU65, the contrast between Columbia’s disciplined, patient, confident offense and our solo, frantic, mad-dash assaults at the basket could not have been more apparent. With every forced shot attempt that clanked against the hoop, one could see the confidence level of our underclassmen fall. Our upper-classmen appear to have ceded leadership of the team to the Freshmen.

    Doc could make things a lot easier for these kids by implementing a strategy, a scheme, or even a play or two.

    I counted 5 Columbia back-door cuts resulting in 10 easy points for the victors. A backdoor cut does not require any athleticism or shooting precision – just a strategy, a few passes and a cut to the hoop. I think our kids are capable of that sort of basketball.

    Instead we were treated today to an assortment of wild shots, solo attacks – of the sort one can see every day in CYO leagues and playground games across America. There is little doubt that AP and BA and MS and KR are talented ball-players. But, too frequently, they are playing essentially one-on-five or two-on-five basketball. Imagine what they could do with a few screens, a pick-and-roll or even a backdoor cut or two! How about a little spacing and, perhaps, a kick-out to a shooter from the post.

    The only vestige of a scheme are the entry passes on the low blocks to TK. But, not once in three games (that I have witnessed) do I recall anyone spotting up on the three-point line for a kick-out from TK (who is normally double and triple teamed).

    I don’t know what was worse – freezing my @ss off in Yankee stadium while RS ran around like Gayle Sayers or watching our 5 man jack up three pointers like he was KG. P.S. He’s not.

    I did happen to dial in to the Bucknell/Nova game last Thursday. The Bison too are regrouping after having lost a strong Senior class. But they put on a display of controlled, efficient, and confident play making – not to mention outstanding shooting – that makes one believe the Patriot League schedule is not going to get any easier for the Hawks. I hope they can find a groove and establish some offensive flow sometime soon …


    Quote: “Interesting note on Columbia is that CJ Davis who Lehigh recruited quite heavily and was a thought of as a good prospect at the PL/Ivy level ended up committing to Columbia. However, for an unknown reason he never ended up starting school and is not on the roster.”

    It has been the plan for awhile for Davis to go to Peddie and then enroll at Columbia next year. He apparently needed to raise his grades and/or SAT’s for AI purposes. However it is unclear if he is a sure thing to end up at Columbia. For one thing, he had to reapply and I’m not sure if his grades and or SAT’s have improved enough to get him in.

    As I’m sure you know, Columbia’s top player, All-Ivy forward Alex Rosenberg, opted to leave school for a year after he broke his foot. When he returns next year, Columbia could be very good.

    Unfortunately for them, they have also lost their other very good player, Grant Mullins, possibly forever due to lingering concussion problems.


    Thanks Bison. Should have googled “Chris” instead of just “CJ.” Will be interesting to see where Davis ends up.

    That game was very disappointing, especially considering Columbia was without their top two players. ’63 nailed it for the most part. The repeated back door layups for Columbia were deflating, especially combined with Lehigh’s total inability to generate good looks.

    What bothered me the most was the lack of spacing and movement. Reed has never run a very structured offense, but there were times when there were 4 guys huddled on one side of the court. There was also an instance where AP passed inside to TK and then ran directly at him bringing his defender into the post for what resulted in a double team and turnover. I do think the team is good about looking for TK in the post on most possessions. He does get a good number of touches.

    On D, the guards have to learn to use their hands less. I’m fine with our guards reaching for steals occasionally (because I think for the most part they are quick with good hands), but when a guy puts the ball on the floor you can’t put your hands all over him. It’s resulted in serious foul trouble multiple times for both AP and KR through only four games.

    Also, I know the backup QB is always the most popular guy on mediocre teams, but I’d like to see JRG get some minutes. The production from the 3/4 spot isn’t so great that Reed can’t throw him out for a few minutes to see what he has.

    I’m trying to keep my own advice and be patient, but this team may be farther away than I thought. It would be really nice to see some improvement before PL play. With a team this young I worry about too many loses and it affecting them mentally when it comes to confidence, preparation, learning to win. Need to figure out a way to get some W’s so this doesn’t turn into a REALLY bad year.



    Don’t know about anybody else, but I’m doing a full reset on my expectations for this year. To this point, I think what we’re seeing is the difference between having some pretty good players and having a good team. As you guys have indicated numerous times, they’re young and will need time playing together. Eventually, I’ll get this through my thick skull.
    I think a break-even PL season is a reasonable, but possibly still overly optimistic, goal.
    I don’t yet have a good read on Army or Holy Cross, but I think both Bucky and the pards will be very good this year.



    Man, this season is quickly turning into a disaster. Hopefully the Mountain Hawks can turn things around before the calendar flips to 2015.



    Agree todd, I am in full reset mode. I was really encouraged after Villanova, but not anymore. I think we are probably a bottom half of the league PL team. I think the favorites have to be Army, Lafayette, and Holy Cross at this point. Boston U could be decent. I’m not sure we aren’t behind everyone. We are in the standings, but all of the other teams are getting some decent results. I think I would put us in the Loyola, Colgate camp currently.

    We have one given in the lineup … TK. You can pencil him in for 15/10, and after that, who knows.

    AP looks promising, but has to do it night in and night out.
    BA looks like a comer.

    Biggest disappointments for me are JC and CS.

    I thought CS was as close to a given on this squad as possible, and he has given us very little through 4 games. Not sure where he stands as this point, in that, is Reed going to go to his full young core, and just abandon the older guys, or is CS just grasping internally about his role. I thought preseason, CS was going to get a lot of looks and be a double figure scorer. Don’t think he has been close to double figures yet. Perhaps he is a guy who needs the ball in his hands, and can’t create enough opportunities getting open off the ball. We don’t really run anything for anybody in our offense. And, maybe he needs to come off of screens or screen and rolls to be successful off the ball.

    When JC was recruited, we were all so high on him due to his body and skill set. We missed a full year to start with his eligibility problems, last year was a disappointment and this year looks like more of the same. I’m now wondering if he will ever make a real impact in his career. I don’t see any real progress.

    Not sure, Reed has many more bullets to fire at this point. He, obviously, doesn’t like what he has seen from JRG on the practice court, or he would have gotten some minutes in the first 4 games. Same, I guess, for KM and TJ. If DC got a look in Villanova game, not sure why these guys can’t get a sniff in these games, which are pretty meaningless in reality. I think more minutes for JG is an option as well. He, at least, brings a big body and a lot of energy to the floor.

    Maybe we are best served with a lineup of TK, JG, JC, AP, KR. That is a pretty big starting 5, at least in the frontcourt. If you want to go smaller, you could insert CS or BA for JG or JC. Maybe CS could get more comfortable coming off the bench, where he would be playing more minutes against non-starters.


    I’m on board with most of what you say ’90, but not sure about this:

    Maybe we are best served with a lineup of TK, JG, JC, AP, KR. That is a pretty big starting 5, at least in the frontcourt.

    If JC is struggling to produce as a starter at the 4, why make an effort to keep him in the line-up if JG gets more minutes? I think JC has shown at this point that he is pretty uncomfortable with the ball in his hands and that his perimeter shot is pretty iffy. I think the idea of playing him in a position that will expose those weaknesses (not to mention I don’t think he can stay in front of athletic smaller players on the perimeter on D) hurts the team even more. I do like the idea of JG getting more minutes, but I would just start him at the 4 and bring JC as the first big off the bench.



    I couldn’t agree with you more, 90, when it comes to Corey Schaefer. The guy is a career .429 shooter and .370 from deep. It’s as if Reed has written him out of the playbook this year. And yes, history shows he’s at his best coming off screens and not hanging in the corner as he has this year hoping for a pass to come his way. Sad. To highlight the problem, I present below our guard numbers in terms of attempts and minutes played.

    Player / Mins. Played / FGAs / One FGA every ___minutes

    CS 97 / 11 / 9.8 minutes
    MS 60 / 11 / 5.5 minutes
    KR 113 / 27 / 4.2 minutes
    AB 79 / 20 / 3.9 minutes
    AP 114 / 47 / 2.4 minutes

    What a waste of talent!

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