March 10, 2017 at 6:26 am #30946
I wanted to start a thread discussing the last four years a little bit more broadly than the discussion of Reed on the other thread. A few thoughts and apologies for the length (maybe LFN should bring me on as a blogger instead of a poster):
– When TK and AP arrived 4 years ago, they were joined by Miles Simelton and Shane Whitfield. This was likely the most talented class that Lehigh has ever put together. Unfortunately, Miles and Shane chose to finish their careers elsewhere. Miles was first team all conference this season and averaged 15ppg and 3apg while shooting 44%/40%/81% at the D2 level. Shane averaged 12ppg/4apg/2rpg for Campbell in the Big South. Those guys were both very athletic, and Miles especially was a tenacious defender. Those guys would have helped immensely.
– Player development seems to have really stalled. TK got incrementally better and his stats improved every year. Same is true for AP to a lesser extent. But did either of them really make a leap during their career? What about the other guys during this era? Goldsborough, Chuku, Carter, Ross? It doesn’t seem like the guys are developing much during their time at Lehigh. Also (and it’s only one year),Holba and Andree showed flashes this year but their diminished roles down the stretch were discouraging (for fans and I assume for them as well). Hope this improves and seems like an area a shake-up in the assistant coaches could help.
– In addition to Shane and Miles, Tyler Jenkins chose to leave the program as well. He provided a great change of pace behind KR. He is averaging 8ppg/2rpg/2apg for the #2 ranked D2 team in the country while shooting 51%/45%76%. Yes, injuries hurt the depth over the past few years, but what about the transfers?
– Lehigh was 4-5 against the RPI top 150 this year. Lehigh was 3-1 against Bucknell and Princeton this year. However, against teams with an RPI of 150+ Lehigh was just 15-7. Want to know what Princeton and Bucknell were combined against poor teams (150+)? 38-2! Those teams brought it every – single – night. They weren’t necessarily better, but they were vastly more consistent. I don’t know if it is effort, energy, or what is going on – but that was a huge issue over the past 4 years.
– This team taunted us with their talent from the time they stepped on campus, but they were never able to figure it out. Players and coaches were always willing to talk about how they were underacheiving. It struck me as odd how open they were about it – almost like they were comfortable knowing they could potentially be good and that was enough. Them not making the NCAAs is not a case like Monmouth’s that went 55-14 over the past two years. They were never able to put it together. It seemed like the players and coaches were always saying things like, “our intensity just wasn’t there”, “we were on our heels”, “they punched us in the mouth”, “our defensive energy was low” – but then we heard those things on refrain for four years.
– Last thought, and maybe I’m reading too much into this. After the semifinal win over BU, Reed said “Tim has been a dominant player; he’s scored the ball for us and he’s rebounded for us. When he’s been committed to our team winning and our team has been committed to winning, good things have happened for us. For Lehigh Basketball, it’s not about the individual accolades.” The when in that statement is really telling to me. Not sure if Reed meant it that way, but it makes me curious (and excited) to see what this team looks like next year if it’s more democratic. Will be interesting in the least.March 10, 2017 at 10:11 am #30950
Bum, very accurate. I’ve had that general theme rolling around in the back of my head for a while but could never put my finger on it. They never seemed to take that leap. AP was a primary example. I thought he had big time talent that never quite got to his potential, at least not consistently. And consistent TEAM play has been lacking. So many forced passes to TK that resulted in TO’s over the four years.March 10, 2017 at 12:23 pm #30951
in regard to Holba, who I really like, I’ve noticed that the team seemed to lose confidence in him on the Offensive end, he got fewer and fewer touches as the year went on and it hurt the offensive efficiency when that happened, perhaps next years team chemistry will be different and he has a break out yearMarch 11, 2017 at 12:50 am #30952
Excellent observations, StablerBum.March 11, 2017 at 12:51 am #30953
Coach Kroogs. We miss him. Team needs someone like him.
Do agree with the thoughts posted above. Between the players who transferred and those who were hurt, safe to say the turnover not conducive to building a team. Doc great at building men and recruiting. Improvement of individual skills within the team concept???
As to Matt, I think he has lost confidence in his O. Even when he had the open shot he rarely took it.
Admit tho I am looking forward to next year.
March 11, 2017 at 3:52 am #30955
- This reply was modified 2 years, 8 months ago by RichH.
[quote quote=30953]Admit tho I am looking forward to next year.[/quote]
Admire your optimism, Rich. IMO, absolute best case scenario is that next year’s team is this year’s team, minus TK production. Not pretty. And that assumes that one of our (very promising) frosh 2-guards steps in to instantly become AP. Long shot, to put it kindly.
But as I’ve said before, I am ready to turn the page. This was a painfully disappointing era. Can only hope that either JL or CS provide a very, very positive surprise. Realistically, two of JL, CS, or MH will need to shake up the world for a decent season to happen.
And then hope that we learn how to recruit balanced classes.March 11, 2017 at 11:01 pm #30957
Admire your optimism, Rich. IMO, absolute best case scenario is that next year’s team is this year’s team, minus TK production. Not pretty.
I see the ceiling of next year’s team much differently. Best case is KR continues/improves his all league form, while Leufroy becomes an all league scorer. The combination of Tejada, Bennett, and Wilson more than makes up for Price’s production. Alston continues his development. The offensive flow and spacing is better without trying to funnel the ball to Tim every possession. Not saying this will happen, but I don’t see next year as all doom and gloom.
The big question is the frontcourt. I like both Andree and Holba and hope they step out of Tim’s shadow next season. and CL and CS remain huge question marks.
This was Tim’s team for four years, so I really don’t know what it’s going to look like next year without him – but I don’t think it is just going to be the same team/scheme/style minus TK and AP. At least I really hope not.
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