Game 18: Bucknell

Forum Forum Lehigh Sports Lehigh Men’s Basketball Game 18: Bucknell

This topic contains 33 replies, has 14 voices, and was last updated by  TMH 7 years, 9 months ago.

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    Game Notes

    Lehigh Men’s Basketball

    KenPom Rankings and Chance of Winning

    BU (16-3, 3-0) 43rd
    LU (13-4, 3-0) 60th
    BU wins 71-65 (72% chance)

    Two Horse Race

    Team / KenPom / Sagarin
    BU / 43 / 46
    LU / 60 / 58
    HC / 193 / 203
    Army / 223 / 217
    CU / 255 / 258
    LC / 256 / 266
    Navy / 281 / 277
    AU / 283 / 281

    Where both teams excel (KenPom Rankings)

    TO% – the percentage of your possessions that result in a turnover
    BU 15.2% (3rd)
    LU 17.6% (36th)

    Offense Efficiency – the number of points that a team has scored per 100 possessions
    BU 109.6 (35th)
    LU 109.2 (37th)
    Free Throw %
    BU 75.5% (20th)
    LU 76.9% (9th)
    BU 38.0% (29th)
    LU 43.5% (2nd)

    Where BU Struggles
    TO% (Defense) 14.4% (346th) – the percentage of your opponents possessions that you turn into turnovers.
    Steal % (Defense) 6.0% (345th) – the percentage of your opponents possessions that result in a steal.

    Where LU Struggles
    Offensive Rebounding (265th)
    Defensive Rebounding (313th)

    Where the two teams differ widely
    Pace of Play – Tempo or the average number of possessions in a game
    BU 63.4 (392nd)
    LU 69.0 (73rd)



    Awesome, guy fresh off a vaca and nails it, well this opens up all BU game talk baby, let’s get this going!


    Thanks ’65



    Ooops, BU Pace of Play should read 292 not 392.



    Let me try to kick this off with a quick post before bed here, really excited for the matchups in this game, some really juicy ones. Just go into the opening matchups to start the game cause its late.

    GK vs Muscala – Muscala is going to get his, he did in the championship game and he will this year in all PL games, so you got to hope GK can offset some of his production like he did in last years championship game. Gabe gave Mike some trouble last year as he put in 23 in that championship game which helped offset the 30 that Muscala went for. How we mix in the double team will be perfect world you bring the double and rotate around to cover Willman who is deadly from mid-range, as well as get on Johnson and Ayers, and hope the ball ends up in Hill/Frazier/Kaspar’s hands and make those guys beat you from outside. If the combo of those 3 beat you, you just tip your hat and move on.

    HG vs Willman – This is really juicy man, what a matchup, HG playing his best basketball of his career and Willman is just so solid and tough. HG a step quicker and will try to isolate Willman off the dribble. I think we’ll see a lot of Pick-N-Roll action with HG and Mackey at the top of the key, and we’ll see how BU wants to play it. Make Willman defend from 20 feet on in, and putting the ball in Mackey’s hands and let him operate and make the decision at the top of the key. A question for 137, how much is Willman operating out of the post on offense this year? Is Paulsen going to him down low or is Willman pretty much just shooting mid-range jumpers that he specializes in when he is open off a Muscala double team? This is one of the matchups that has to go LU’s way for a win.

    Bailey vs. Ayers- My best guess is the more physically gifted, long and athletic BJ draws Ayers from the tip, as I think Ayers to big and strong for AD to cover. BJ is our best perimeter defender and even though he gives up couple inches to Ayers, I think he is a better athlete than Ayers and BJ is deceptively long. I think he can slow Ayers down and on offense if BJ can hit a couple open 3 balls like he did down the stretch last year, that’d be great. As we have discussed, like seeing BJ be aggressive on offense nad look to penetrate off the dribble, he has gotten into the lane but hasn’t finished consistently, but I’d like to see him try to take it to Ayers on the offensive end.

    AD vs. Johnson – We know Johnson’s game, he takes 7.8 shots per game and 5.2 of them are from 3. AD has to stay active running around screens and running out on Johnson, should be good matchup. I think AD can take him off the dribble on offense, AD needs to make Johnson work on defensive end.

    Mackey vs. Hill – Mackey McKnight, aka the Maestro Man, has to make it happen for LU to win. Mackey should have an advantage over Hill or Kaspar, and he has to be the lead dog for LU on Wednesday. Again, you’re going to see a lot of Mackey and Greiner PNR at the top of the key, and will be interesting to see how BU defends it. The PNR with those two has been deadly the last 3 games, deadly.

    Will be interesting to see the tempo of the game, we want to speed it up and they want to slow it down. Last year we played 3 times vs BU, and we played a game in the 50’s, a game in the 60’s, and a game in the high 70’s/low 80’s.

    Bench  – we clearly need to win bench production, so that means CS JG SC really bringing it. Would love to see SC outshoot is canadian counterpart in Johnson, that’d be cool.

    More over the next 40+ hours, but that should get everyone started when they wake up tomorrow.



    Solid observations, OO. Sure wish you were going to be there to share in the fun tomorrow night.

    Some early Tuesday morning thoughts…………

    > Bucknell sports a +5.2 rebounding margin this season and are 13-1 this season and 52-5 over the last three seasons when winning the battle on the glass. The Bison have outrebounded 14 of their 19 opponents so far this season and been even on the glass once, and that includes outrebounding a Missouri team that was No. 1 in the nation in rebounding at the time. The only teams to get more boards than Bucknell are Penn State, Marist, Princeton and Colgate. Perhaps not coincidentally, Penn State and Princeton are responsible for Bucknell’s only losses of the season, and the Marist and Colgate games were close at the end before the Bison prevailed. In PL games this year, they hold a +5.7 margin to Lehigh’s +0.0. Can we shrink that BU rebounding advantage on Wednesday night?>

    Bucknell ranks 11th nationally in fewest fouls per game (14.4). Muscala averages only 1.9 fouls per game, allowing him to stay on the floor for about 32 minutes per game. In fact, only Joe Willman (2.2) and Ryan Hill (2.0) average 2+ fouls per game. Can we get to the line while, ideally, putting MM and JW into early foul trouble?>

    Bucknell has held its three PL opponents to just 11 made 3’s on 44 attempts (.250) this year which is 2nd best in the league. They held the Leopards of Lafayette to just one 3 on 13 attempts this past Saturday. Only Lehigh sports a better 3FG% defense average of .227 (15 for 66). The two teams rank 1st and 2nd in both Scoring Defense and FG% Defense, as well, with LU holding a slight advantage in each. Can we get enough open looks to connect on the 3-ball Wednesday night while stifling the long ball attempts of Ayers and Johnson who combine for 75% of BU’s 3 point attempts? >

    Muscala is as near as they come to being a one-man wrecking crew. He leads the Bison in scoring (20.1), rebounding (11.2), assists (2.9), blocks (2.7) and FG% (.543). He sits atop the league in scoring, rebounding and blocks and ranks in the top 20 nationally in each of those categories (6th reb., 16th pts., 20th blk.). Can we do what few teams have been able to do this year, i.e., contain MM? Penn State did holding Mike to 2 for 4 shooting and 10 points while out-rebounding the Bison by 7. In that game, Bucknell was held to just 5 made 3’s. Get the tape!

    > BU’s Home Court Advantage. Can we again withstand early assaults from the home team and lead at the half – something we’ve done most of the year?

    Answering “yes” to all the above questions will give us a realistic chance of pulling off the upset. With the win, we go 3-0 in our last three visits to Sojka Pavilion and send a clear message to the Bucknell faithful that the race is on – CJ or no CJ.


    Quote:    A question for 137, how much is Willman operating out of the post on offense this year? Is Paulsen going to him down low or is Willman pretty much just shooting mid-range jumpers that he specializes in when he is open off a Muscala double team? This is one of the matchups that has to go LU’s way for a win.


    They play it both ways – especially if Willman doesn’t have a big defender on him.    In that case, Muscala will also pop out high and Willman will post up.   JW has a good ability to back his man in and then shoot a little stepback jumper from 4-8 feet.    Muscala has turned into a very good passer and a number of his assists go to Willman.   He is currently 6th in the PL in assists and, unlike past seasons, he also has a very good assist:turnover ratio.   In fact, there are only three regular big men in the league who have an assist:turnover ratio above 1.0  –  Muscala (1.53), Willman (1.19), and Greiner (1.18).   Most of them are nowhere close to 1.0.



    A tip of the hat to Mike Muscala………..

    Scouting Report – Mike Muscala

    Job #1 tonight: Limit (can’t stop) the effectiveness of this guy. How, will be the question. Speed to the basket, double-team ploys, takin’ it to him in an effort to draw PFs, or a new scheme Reed might employ, who knows? One thing is for sure, however. We need to see the Gabe of old and not the Gabe who went a combined 8 for 22 with 6 boards and 22 points in his last three games. How he bounces back will tell the tale. I guess it’s fair to say that all eyes – including those of the NBA scounts present – will be on Number 31.”



    Some final thoughts as I start my trek west to meet TMH and then on to Lewisburg:

    1. Lehigh’s Game Notes tell us what a win tonight would mean for Lehigh fans, e.g., Reed’s 108th career win, etc., etc., but has anyone given much thought to what it would mean for Bucknell fans who delight in Bracketology and their lofty NCAA seed projections. Might it just damper their enthusiasm a bit? Checkout their Board below.

    2. You can’t score if you don’t have the ball.
    In league play to date, Lehigh stands alone at the top when it comes to ball thefts with 35 Steals. That’s nearly 12 per game and slightly better than twice the number posted to date by Bucknell. MM, AD, BJ, and HG are all in the League’s top 7. That fact alone won’t do it, in terms of pulling off a win tonight, but it’s certainly worth watching.

    3. What surprise performances will it take to get a win tonight? Or, maybe just a gutsy defense and pin-point threes will do it alone. Of course, anyone of the following would help: AD going off for 15, SC burying 5 from deep, BJ registering 4 blocks and 10 points, MM dishing out 7 and scoring 14, JG/CB combining for 10 boards in relief performances, HG bringing back memories of Michigan State, or GK reliving UNT? What do you think will be needed?



    Full recap coming, but I just exhaled, What a win what a game….BJ Bailey, any questions? Just answered them all, he was balling


    CBS Sports net had weather problems in Allentown area tonight, so I followed on……as best I could.

    For those who were there,  how did we do this?  Stats say we shot the lights out from 3, and they didn’t.  Was

    this our best team oriented performance of the year?



    WOW!! Listened to entire game on the radio. Can you believe what this TEAM is doing w/o CJ? What a joy watching (listening) to Goldsborough

    progressing. MM really stepping up. If HG could be a little more consistent, and Gabe could shake out of his funk, look out!!



    BJ was huge.  Team defense was fantastic.  We shot a horrible FG % and won anyway; I see nothing but upside.  We will not have a shooting night this bad again this season, I’m sure of it.  The end game lineup was killer – loved it.  MM, BJ, GK, HG, JG.



    Simple in a way. We have best G rotation in PL. Bigs do just enuf for us to win. More than that we romp.
    Pissed missed this game. But so proud of them.



    I think you are spot on Rich. And with JG improving each game, the others just need to stay focused for us to be successful.




    Posted recap, but few thoughts.

    1.) Crushed 3 ball tonight, 10-18 from deep. Only 11 2 pointers made all night.

    2.) Guard play – BJ was best athlete on floor, hit 4-4 from 3, and drove into heart of defense and finished or got fouled. Mackey, what a floor game, didn’t shoot great 5-15 from the field but 3-5 from 3 and ZERO ZERO ZERO TURNOVERS in 37 minutes. When we were down 7 in 2nd half those two were huge.

    3.) BIG lineup, with 6 mins left, we went with knutson/greiner/goldy up front and that helped us control glass…we were down 13 on rebounding margin and ended up only down 7…that big lineup was big on glass down low late in game.

    4.) Bench – Schaef with 2 big 3s and goldy, huge. goldy hop off floor soo quick, he such an athlete, spadola on broadcast loves the kid…he is bloosoming and we need it bad.

    5.) 6 combined points from Knutson adn CJ and a win at BU, amazing.

    6.) Held their guards in check, their bigs got theirs in muscala and willman but ayers/johnson/hill/frazier were struggling from the field.

    7.) Interesting matchups, we elected to put BJ on Johnson and AD on Ayers at the start…shocked they put Ayers on Holden, and not WIllman, but was good call…so interesting inside teh game matchups from both coaches..holden got his early but struggled late, ended 4-12 from the field.


    Huge win, first place, feels good..need to keep grinding, get better, progressing daily….big day!


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