March 23, 2010 at 1:13 am #1946
After a thrilling season, we can now turn our attention toward next year. It was a great note for the seniors to go out on, hopefully setting the tone for establishing some consistent success.
Outgoing: Hall, Carrington, Buchberger
Combined per Game Stats:
(This does not include Shamis – I don’t think we have verification on his status for next season)
B.J. Bailey – 6’3 – B.U. transfer will be eligible after the first semester. He got some early playing time for BU as a frosh, and had scholarship offers from LU, BU, Fairfield, and Iona (maybe Wagner too). Not a pure point guard, but not sure of exactly what position the LU staff thinks he will play.
Anthony D’Orazio – 6’2 – Early commitment has had a stellar sr season. His team is 29-1 and playing in the NJ tourney of champs final this week. Had 31 in state championship, and hit for over 40 earlier this year. A good shooter, with an ability to put the ball on the floor. Been named South Jersey POY by multiple publications.
Mackey McKnight – 5’11 – Named Houston Sun POY and led his h.s. team on an overacheiving playoff run. According to the Houston Sun he led the greater Houston area in scoring this year. This, despite the fact that he is mostly regarded as a pass first point guard.
Kevin McCarthy – 6’9 – Big man commited to us during his sr year of high school but prepped this past year at Exeter Academy. Exeter plays in an extremely tough league with a lot of top New England prep schools and really struggled. Hopefully the level of comp will help McCarthy adjust quickly to the PL, and the losing didn’t hurt his make-up. According to the Morning call he averaged 10 pts, 8 rbs, and 2.5 blocks this past season.
There will obviously be a lot of minutes and shots up for grabs next season. Here’s hoping that our younger contributors (CJ, Knutson, Ojo) continue to improve, and that guys who have shown flashes (Adams, Greneir) take a big step. For guys like Small, Maneri, and Safstrom this will be there big chance to become major pieces for the squad.
It will be interesting to see where the new energy and leadership come from. I see a lot of fire and hustle from Adams that may help off set the loss of Zahir, but I’m not sure where Marquis’ calm demeanor will be replaced (Bailey? McKnight? D’Orazio?).March 23, 2010 at 10:28 pm #1948
Very good incoming class but Reed cannot replace seniors. We face liklihood of being a 1 star team, a great star, but not nearly enuf to win PL again. Ojo and Knutson must keep developing. Small has the raw talent but so far not the discipline. Adams could be excellent if he could stay healthy. Reed has to improve also. Next season will call for more and better coaching to be competitive for titleMarch 24, 2010 at 1:48 am #1949
Next year’s team could be very young. McCollum and Knutson will be sophomore starters. I see Ojo starting in Buchberger’s place. That leaves point guard and the 4 spot up for grabs. McCarthy, Adams and Greiner vie for the 4. I don’t see Small as the pg. McKnight? Bailey? Where does D’Orazio get his minutes? Under that scenario Ojo’s the only senior starter along with 2-4 sophs, 1 jr, 1-2 freshmen. Can a team that young win the P-L?March 24, 2010 at 5:28 am #1950
I agree with most of the points. Yes, Reed needs to become a better coach. Watching the league the past 3 years, Reed tends to sit some of his sophomores. Of course, we know he will not sit CJ. McCarthy is 6’9", I assume he will compete with Knutsen, not Adams and Greiner. Ojo will be fine, the pg spot is open. A lot depends on how hard the team works this summer, remaining healthy and team work. It will be a tough season for the PL, no one goes down easy. The PL tournament was as tough as I have seen in the three years I have observed the teams.March 24, 2010 at 2:22 pm #1951
To me, this all comes down to who can begin to replace Carrington. More than anyone he was the guy – somewhat surprisingly – who carried the team on his back through the playoffs and even, for a while, vs. Kansas. Buchburger was good, but we have a pretty good player in Ojo that seems ready to jump right in to be that guy. Hall was great, but we have the BU transfer coming in and it would be foolish to count Small out entirely.
But Carrington has no easy plug-in solution. Grenier, charitably, would need to work real hard to be the starter. Adams or even Safstrom could be the guy, but both are rough at this point. D’Orazio looks good as a senior in HS, but then again a lot of kids do. But even if they did bulk up and got the same consistency as Z delivered on the court, just in terms of emotion Carrington was the emotional core of the team. More than anything it’s that that needs to be found on next year’s team.March 24, 2010 at 4:13 pm #1952
McCarthy is 260+, not likely he competes with Knutson who is a mobile athletic 6’9" small forward type. When Reed goes bigMcCarthy will be a C or PF. Greiner a tweener at 6’7" athletic but notas quick as Ojo nor as strong as Adams.March 24, 2010 at 5:51 pm #1954
As impressive as the combined per game numbers were last year for Hall, Carrington, and Buchberger…………….
I worry more about the loss of leadership – on and off the court. Who will the players rally around in the coming season? Who will the coach trust to execute his game plan? Who has the necessary "cool?" It’ll be an interesting off-season for sure.
Your vote for Captain(s)?
PetersMarch 24, 2010 at 10:19 pm #1955
That’s a great question.
I’d make McCollum one of the captains. He’s the best player on the team…and there’s precedent. Marquis was a captain as a sophomore.
After that I guess I’d go Ojo…he may be the only senior starterMarch 25, 2010 at 2:17 am #1958
It is hard to move on to next year’s team after the great ride we have had this year. Thank you to Marquis, Zahir, Dave and Matt! It was your leadership that made the defining difference this year.
And speaking of leadership, I agree that is the biggest question for next year. I don’t see it coming next year from McCollum or Small after witnessing their inappropriate behavior towards the Lafayette fans after the Championship Game. Although the Lafayette fans were certainly obnoxious, good leadership skills would have called for some restraint.
Ojo certainly offers some of the enthusiasm you want to see in a leader….but he had to be restrained by other players from getting charged with technical fouls in critical tournament games. Not a good sign for leadership skill.
I see Marquis as being a rare exception of a sophomore that can carry the leadership mantle. I may be wrong, but I don’t see Knutson or Greiner rising to that same level.
Maneri, Hamilton and Peters have not had enough of a role on the team to warrant a leadership position.
That leaves Adams, Keefer and Safstrom. Adams is the more emotional, while Safstrom and Keefer are steadying influences. The only problem is none of them are assured of a starting position. Nevertheless, they would be my choice for Captains.March 25, 2010 at 2:49 am #1959
So….what do we need to replace next year but our 4-year starting point guard, our 4-year starting forward, and our best 3-point shooter! It sounds daunting, but as always, I choose to be optimistic.
At point guard, the candidates are Shamis (if he returns), Small, Bailey and McKnight. Because he was included in the “Senior Day” ceremony, I am guessing that he is gone. I love Small’s quickness, but I haven’t seen his game progress tremendously over the past three years. How many times has he penetrated to the basket only to have nowhere to go? It would seem that Bailey or McKnight will have a great opportunity to be one more Lehigh player to vie for Rookie of the Year.
The shooting guard positions seem to be pretty much locked up by McCollum and Ojo, but Keefer and D”Orazio will get minutes as reserves. (I also see Hamilton as a better fit here than as a forward)
The bigs can be divided between the bigs and not-so-bigs, or perhaps quick and not-so-quick. The Quick being Knutson, Adams, Greiner and Hamilton. The Bigs being Safstrom, Maneri and McCarthy. This past year we had Carrington who is a freak of nature who presented a match-up problem for everybody. Next year, I expect to see the starters changing depending on the opposing forwards/center. Knutson will likely again start every game, but the other starting forward could be Adams or Greiner against smaller teams; and Safstrom or McCarthy against teams with a bigger big man.March 29, 2010 at 11:44 pm #1985
I would think Keefer will be a captain. He may not be a starter, or even get major minutes next year, but he will be a 4 yr contributor who has spent a decent amount of time on the court over his career. I could also see Ojo get a nod as a likely sr starter, and McCollum as the team’s best player.
I am not totally convinced that Bailey will be played at point guard. He is consistently described as a combo guard, and he has the size to play off the ball. It will be interesting to see how it shakes out. Dr. Reed clearly has no problem playing freshman, and I could see McKnight getting major minutes at the point. He comes from a good basketball region, played high level AAU competition, and had a terrific senior season.
Maybe something like:
Hamilton and Peters need to make some nice strides in the off season to crack the rotation.March 30, 2010 at 4:52 am #1987
I have to agree with Keefer will probably be a captain, based on what the coach has done in the past. McCarthy, if he works hard will get the nod and yes BJ will not be true point. If he is, it will surprise me.
On another note, the remaining teams in the PL have one assignment. Shut down McCollum. He will be the main player teams focus on. The more experienced coaches, like LC, will figure out his weaknesses. Now McCollum probably expects this and will come back next year with some surprises of his own. Despite making it all the way this year, some games being hairy, Coach Reed needs to get more of the team on the floor. They do not have the senior leadership coming up that they had in the outgoing seniors. Ojo played more this year than the previous two, Prentiss played behind Marquis and Keefer lost his job. Or maybe we can look at it another way, they want to prove something. They need poise, control and hard work to get back.March 31, 2010 at 3:22 pm #1993
What a difference a year makes………..
I quote from a LU release dated 11/10/09
"With seven of its eight top scorers back from a season ago, including two of the top players in the Patriot League, expectations are high for a big year from the Lehigh Mountain Hawks. Third-year head coach Brett Reed returns four starters and nine letter-winners for a team that features plenty of depth, talent and experience and is primed for a run towards the top of the league…..
What a similar release might say when published in November of this year…………
"With only three (McCollum, Knutson, and Ojo) of his top six scorers back from a season ago, fourth-year head coach Brett Reed will be looking for others to step up in a big way if the team has intentions of returning to the Big Dance……
Just how big will the loss of Marquis, Zahir, and David be this year? Remember, these were three guys who, along with Matt Shamis – the other graduating senior/co-captain, the other 11 players looked to and rallied around since the beginning with informal summer workouts and lasting through the completion of play against Kansas on March 18th. It’s not so much the numbers – as imposing as they are and quoted below –
82.9 minutes per game or 43% of a 200 minute regulation game
29.1 ppg or 38% of the offensive production
13.2 rpg or 36% of the rebounds
– but the intangible leadership qualities each of the four possessed that will be need to be replaced. My hunch is that a leader or two will step up and make himself or themselves known to the team this summer. I got a feeling the coaches, as tapped into the team as they appear to be, already know their names. Like StablerBum, my money is on Rob Keefer as the only sure bet. As much as I admire the energy that Small, Ojo and Adams bring to the game – both on and off the court – I don’t see them grabbing the reigns of leadership. While I could be wrong – and often am – I sense those joining Keefer will be Knutson and McCollum. Oh, how I’d love to be at practice this summer to see it all play out.April 1, 2010 at 6:28 am #1995
Not to disagree, but a leader has be be respected by his team, as McCollum may be, but there was some conversation near the end of the season about McCollum’s maturity. Knutsen is a little more subtle, but watching him in one of the games at LC, he was feeling it. There are veteran posters on other boards who may not agree. Will the upperclassmen follow younger players?
Keefer does have a calm demeaner, but can he lead. How does he feel about being replaced. How will the soon to be juniors feel about riding the bench. Adams is still young,but watching him in the bay, he was a captain in his senior year. His high school team was stacked. For instance, Lumpkins had to step up at AU. Small is calm, at least from what I have seen. Ojo, oh well?
What Reed need is for the team to buy in and respect him and most importantly, the league. Who knows. Looking forward to next year!April 21, 2010 at 9:09 pm #2039
norcalfan, you say that Reed needs "for the team to buy in and respect him and most importantly, the league." What do you base that comment on? Am I missing something? Please enlighten. I have attended countless games over the three year span of his leadership and met informally with a number of players. Never once did I walk away feeling there was a respect problem. On the contrary, seldom have I witnessed a more relaxed family atmosphere. Stat-wise, you can’t argue with the results …… a .567 winning percentage, most wins by a head coach in this first three years, a trip to the Big Dance, and apparently a good nose for talent when it comes to recruitment.
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