March 3, 2009 at 9:47 pm #127
It’s time Marcus strapped this team on his back and carried it to the semis. And, don’t be surprised if the PL Scholar Athlete of the Year and 1st Team All Star doesn’t do just that. For when the bright lights come Mr. Hall is often at his best. I give you……….
11/26/08 Rutgers 9 for 21 (2 for 8) 8-13 FTs and 15 boards for 28 pts.
12/2/08 St. Joe’s 7 for 8 (3 for 8) 1-3 FTs and 8 boards for 18 pts.
12/8/08 Albany 8 for 15 (4 for 8) 3-5 FTs and 4 boards for 23 pts.
1/17/09 Army 6 for 10 (5 for 8) 3-3 FTs and 5 boards for 20 pts.
2/11/09 Army 8 for 18 (4 for 7) 5-6 FTs and 9 boards for 25 pts.
Having Marcus be the Marcus of old is just one piece of the puzzle. The other keys to a win tomorrow night are:
a. Not to fall behind in the first half of play. The Mountain Hawks (5-9 in the PL) have trailed at the half in 8 of those 9 losses. Five made field goals in 20 minutes of play – not one but in back-to-back games – is 6th grade "rec" basketball not Division I college ball. Missing 9 in a row from inside the arc – three scoops from the paint and three layups off the board – is unacceptable. You’d almost think that anyone of our players, if given the ball at half-court, could hit 5 out of 20.
b. Exerting our influence under the boards, as we did in each of the prior two Army games. Game One (39-33) and Game Two (49-39). There no excuse for doing anything less tomorrow night. Army is small – very small – with only one starter standing above 6’3. senior Center, Doug Wiliams @ 6’7".
c. Getting out on the perimeter and defending the "three." In short, show why we’re the 13th ranked FG Defense Team (.387) in the nation. Beware, the Black Knights have hit their stride scoring 79 and 70 points in their last two outings in wins over LC and BU. They have lit it up from deep going 15 for 33 (.456) in those games with freshman Juilan Simmons averaging 19 pts. in 27 minutes of court time. In his prior two outings, the frosh star averaged 4 pts. in 12 minutes/game. You just don’t know where the deep scoring punch will come from when you play Army. Covering all the bases won’t be easy, but essential. The top gunners are: Richards (27 / 67 for .440), Miller (26 / 77 for .338), and Simmons (37 for 113 for .327).
d. Keeping Zahir out of foul trouble and getting a 28+ minute double-double.
e. Passionate play. Losing is one thing; mailing it in is another.
Dream results from tomorrow night would include wins by Lafayette, Colgate, Bucknell and Lehigh. Anyone up for a game at Stabler on Sunday?March 3, 2009 at 9:57 pm #128
Having to schedule a second-round home game for the men in the midst of the second round of the women’s Patriot League tournament is a problem, no doubt, that Lehigh folks would love to have. I put the odds on that happening firmly between "minuscule" and "slim".March 3, 2009 at 10:08 pm #129
Second Round game difficulties. Slim for sure, but Lafayette did take AU into OT a few days ago and we have beaten Army once this year. Fun to think about, anyway.
http://www.lehighsports.com/assets/spor … 030409.pdfMarch 4, 2009 at 3:47 pm #134
For those who can’t make it up to the "Point" tonight, you can read / join the on-going blog if you wish provided by Army Athletics Communications. I’m sure they wouldn’t mind hearing from a Lehigh fan or two.
http://www.goarmysports.com/ViewArticle … ID=3684087March 5, 2009 at 1:19 am #139
Not lookin good at Army at half time….Down by 7. I think we’ve kicked six field goals.March 5, 2009 at 5:02 pm #145
Keys to the game (see above). Apparently all had to work to open the door to the semifinal round of playoff basketball:
1. Marquis the Marquis of old (Grade: F)….closely guarded with "help" within 5 feet of our star guard at all times, Marquis was doubled – if not triple-teamed – every time he came within 20 feet of the basket. He could do no better than sink 1 of 13 attempts from the field and that one was from deep in the last minute of play. It was clear from the opening tip that Army wasn’t going to let Hall beat them. Hall’s three boards, five assists and 3 turnovers were as expected. Without a guard to pick-up the slack (DB, PS, Rk, and MS combined for an anemic 3 for 19), the team had to look for an inside presence. There they found it – just not enough – from Anderson, Carrington, and Adams who combined for 12 for 24. Named a starter for the first time in his collegiate career, John Adams responded with the the game of his life, pulling down 11 boards to go along with his 12 points in 34 minutes of play. The highly charged freshman put life into the game and quickly became a crowd favorite. Close to being a "bull in the china shop," you got the sense that this 6’8" bruiser could be "special" in the days to come – a true power forward.
2. Don’t fall behind at the half (Grade: F)….It happened again! LU canned just 6 field goals in the first 20 minutes of action and trailed at the intermission. That makes 16 buckets in the first 20 minutes of their last three games (16 in 60 minutes)! Certainly not a "come back" team in ’08-’09, the Mountain Hawks have trailed at the half in 8 of our 9 PL losses. Legs/Conditioning? Heart? Coaching/Halftime adjustments? Answers must be found. Luckily, we have 8 months to look for them.
3. Defend the "3" (Grade C-)……Army went 6 for 18 (.333) falling just short of their PL .343 average. We entered the contest allowing .341 shots to fall from beyond the arc. Cleveland Richard, their top 3 pointer percentage shooter (.440) was given a few too many clean looks from outside. He hit on three.
4. Keep Zahir out of foul trouble (Grade A)…..We got what we wanted: 28+ minutes and another double-double (14 pts / 13 boards).
5. Exert our influence on the boards (Grade B-)….We out-rebounded the Black Knights 45-29 and pulled down an incredible 20 off the offensive glass! The only trouble is that effort resulted in just 7 second chance points.
6. Passionate play (Grade A)….Everyone played as if it could be their last game. It was for our three seniors. Couldn’t have asked for more.
The better team won tonight with a stifling defense and just enough shooting. Yet, you can’t help but wonder what might have been had we hit just one three in the first 59 minutes of play or sank the front end of three missed "one and one" opportunities. When it comes to free throws, you can’t blame the refs. They sent us to the line 26 times to Army’s 15. He hit on just 17 attempts.
So, it back to the drawing board – a year wiser and more experienced – with hopes of a strong incoming class and success in ’09-’10.
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