league at halfway point

Forum Forum Lehigh Sports Lehigh Men’s Basketball league at halfway point

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    Bucknell is obviously the class of the league. American is second but closer to the field than to Bucknell. There’s the pack in the middle and then Colgate.
    Lehigh’s first half losses to Colgate and Army were bad. They must avenge them in the second half. Beating Navy on the road won’t be easy. Avila and Sugars are two of the better players in the league.
    Lehigh could beat American on Sunday but will have to play like they did at Lafayette.
    A 5-2 second half is doable. That would make Lehigh 8-6, maybe good enough for a third seed and a home game in the tournament.
    Inconsistency born of youth and a lack of leadership will be the story of this season. That shouldn’t be a surprise. The P-L is almost always a senior league. Bodes well for the next two years.


    "hawktalker" wrote: The P-L is almost always a senior league. Bodes well for the next two years.

    Yes, LU should be strong the next two years. Don’t forget, however, that Bucknell’s starting lineup consists of three sophs, one junior, and one senior – so they should continue to be pretty good also.



    As I follow the Bay Area/San Franciso high school graduating classes of 2008 from the West Coast, it has been interesting watching LU/BU/AU this year. I will only post about LU. Lack of upperclass leadership is missing. Watching the 2007, 2008 class, I saw senior and junior leadership and now Reed changed the system. In looking at the Morning Call article, the team is not motivated. Is having frosh/sophs getting all the minutes motivating? How do you get upperclassmen to buy in. If you leave a player on the floor long enough, their confidence builds. Reed has not allowed some of these players enough time on the floor. For instance, Hamilton has done a good job, but all I hear about is HG. Leave Hamilton in a game as Logie did the other night and he gains confidence. If he does not worry about being pulled because of fouls or not playing perfectly, he relaxes and does well. Oh yes, HG does play offense, but you need defense to stop scoring. Adams did fine at the beginning of the season. LU needs defense, should have let him stay on the floor pre season. His fouls decrease because he does not need to worry about being pulled in 2 minutes. Now he is getting 2-3 minutes. Maneri was working hard and now he is on the bench. He got a T and has not seen the floor since, play the guy Reed. Keefer, former ROY, limited time. He makes some nice shots when he is in. McKnight a better player than Small. Why did Prentice start some games, played lot’s of minutes, did well and now he is behind McKnight? Was McKnight hurt? Reed has his mind made up, regardless of the losses he has suffered. I think it boils down to he recruited the froshs and sophs and he has put aside the juniors and seniors. We see the same with BU, but it is working at BU. The team seemed motivated to win last year. Was that due to leadership by Marquis, Zahir and Buchberger? They were upperclassmen. I am disappointed in the way Reed has chosen to do this lineup. You need more than 5 players to win this thing. What happens when there are injuries, other role players are not on the floor long enough to feel confident. While CJ is good, teams are finding a way to slow him down. As PL play resumes, they will work even harder to do so. I am sure I will get your opinions, which I welcome, but that’s how I see it folks.



    Some very fair and interesting comments, enjoyed reading them, thanks for posting. I’ll try to take them in reverse chronological order, because the last statement was most interesting in my opinion.

    1.) Re: teams slowing CJ down – Not sure I agree with teams slowing down CJ – He has scored 23 or more in all 7 PL games, and leads league in scoring with a 25.6 ppg. He also leads the league in rebounding, yes, rebounding. A very interesting stat, I have a ton of interesting stats that I’ll post pre-Sunday game in an interesting stat blog. CJ doing his thing, even with all attention of opponents and lack of inside game and a frosh PG. Intersting part of CJ is that he is doing it different, 3pt fg% way down, but FTs way up as he has gotten to the tin more and been more aggressive and less of a spot up shooter….fun to watch, next year will be combo as he gets to tin and jumper from distance picks back up, he’ll average 25 ppg next year..up from 19 frosh, and he’ll finish above 23 this year with hopefully 10 more games to go…

    2.) Re: Reed not allowing some guys enough PTime – I don’t necessarily agree. I can also through last couple of non-conference games I posted about how we had 10/11 guys averaging double figure minutes. Clearly, Reed and staff were working on combinations and trying to figure out how and who to trust come league play. This is smart, we’d all be complaining if he tightened it up early and gave no one a shot, but he gave everyone PT and cost them a few non-conference games but it was for the better as team developed and learned to play in tight games, which paid dividends in HC game for example….
    Yes, he has shortened bench in league play, I can’t blame him, he wants to win and wants his best guys out there.

    I do tend to agree with you a bit with regards to some of these guys have gotten "buried" a bit, aka Adams in particular. Adams, I was high on and counted on significantly pre-season as a contributor in front court. I liked his play last year when he was healthy and on the court, and to be honest with you, at this point in season his Minutes Per Game is not what I predicted.

    3.) Re: Upper class leadership and defense – I can’t agree more, biggest difference in this team to last years is leadership and defense. Z and Buch were plus PL defenders, and Hall was adequate, and the three were a great "leadership" class. We miss them for both of these aspects.

    4.) Re: Upper class minutes – Let’s be fair, the Soph class will go down as the best ever in LU history, that can not be argued. The current frosh class intrigues me, as we look to have a 4 year starter in Mackey and I’m high on Anthony and McCarthy, and think one of the two will break right and have big impact on program. Small just isn’t good, so how can you play him at all. Keefer, yes ROY, but he is a senior and with CJ on floor for 35+ you only have so many minutes for him, especially with Ojo at the 3 and playing 30+ mins a game. Safstrom is what he is, how much more PT can he get, when you can work in McCarthy more and get his experience level up as he has shot to help the CJ era out where as David is done after this year. Hamilton lost out to HG, whether you believe he deserved to or not, HG is getting his minutes. I think reason you hear about HG is he is on the court more then Jordan and he is doing well. I’d counter that he has made some nice defensive step-in steals and plays on D end of late, and his shot is more consistent then Jordan and I think his rebounding has picked up as well. HG has improved, and I’m excited about his progress in next two years…



    Norcal, I agree with you on the matter of leadership this year, but little else. I guess that’s the beauty of message boards and personal opinions.

    This year’s edition of the Mountain Hawk basketball team is truly "leadershipless" – if that were a word. At least it is when compared to Hall, Buchberger, and Carrington – all 4th year players and each commanding the respect of others by either their steady play, courtside demeanor or over-the-top play when needed most. The closest thing we have to that this year is Michael Ojo. The rest – and that includes our star player, CJ McCollum, are either too young or lack inspiration to lead as a commander would in time of war. As Coach Reed is quoted as saying, "it’s not their nature." There’s nothing particularly wrong with a person possessing those qualities – especially if they play well, and fulfill a role on the team. It is simply the hand we were dealt this year – 13 role players, if you wish, each doing his part. Sadly, at 3-4, it hasn’t been enough. But, there are 7 games to go – 8 for sure – and this team hasn’t yet peaked. It’s not too late for a leader to emerge and carry the team into 2011 and beyond.
    Speaking of records, the optimist among us would say – and rightfully so – we’re 4 points away (1 point loss to Colgate and a 3 point loss to Army) from being 5-2 and tied with AU for 2nd place. As it is, we’re 3-4 and in a four-way tie for third with 3 teams we have already beaten. All things considered, I’ll take it, thinking our best ball is ahead of us.

    As for Coach Reed, you know already my feelings. I see him as a compassionate leader – skilled in Xs and Os – and a good judge of talent. His record to date of having the best three year start of anyone to take leadership of the Lehigh team speaks for itself.

    As for freshmen and sophomores getting all the minutes, well why not if they give us the greatest chance of victory? During OOC play, the coach awarded 10+ minutes of playing time to 10 members of the team – probably the highest in the PL. Once league play has began, that number has fallen to 7 players – quite appropriate and understandable in my view. Far be it from me to question why Adams, Mineri, D’Orazio, Hamilton, Keefer and others who may be personal favorites of ours are not getting the minutes they once did in earlier games. I can only assume that the coaching staff see things we’re not privy to and is playing those that give the team the best chance of winning night-in and night-out. I also think the emergence of Safstrom – after all these years – and the surprising good play of freshman McCarthy in the post, as shocked us all and limited – perhaps rightfully – the playing time of Adams and Mineri. Both juniors, they will have yet another year to impress and contribute. As for the "4" position, I think the decision to go with Greiner who got his first start against Marist (19 points, 11 rebounds in 32 minutes) was a good one and is beginning to bear fruit in PL play. He’s averaging 7.8 ppg and 5.2 rpg since being inserted into a starting role two games into PL play. In PL play alone, the guy is ranked 30th in scoring, 15th in rebounding, 4th in steals and 4th in blocked shots. I’d say the move to Holden was a good one.
    When it comes to Mackey McKnight and Prentice Small, the first is a true find while the second is a gentleman yielding to youth. As for MM’s playing time, the story is that "Mackey was sat" (disciplinary?) one game and that was against NJIT. He is the heir apparent to the pg throne and it’s no secret to anyone on the team, especially Prentice who appears happy in his role as mentor and spark off the bench. Mackey showed me a lot after the Bucknell game in which he couldn’t buy a basket (0-9) coming back three nights later with a solid 9 points, 8 assists and just 2 turnovers in 37 minutes of floor leadership. The kid is confident if not cocky. Hey, he’s ours and he’s a freshman! And, he may be the 3rd best pg in the league (HC senior, Andrew Beinert 3.2 A/TO; BU senior, Darryl Shazier 2.7 A/TO; LU freshman, McKnight 2.6 A/TO). How great is that?!



    CJ at the halfway mark -truly remarkable

    Scoring (ppg)
    1st CJ 25.6
    2nd Muscala 20.0
    3rd Moldoveanu 19.7

    Rebounds (rpg)
    1st CJ 6’3" 9.6
    2nd Muscala 6’11" 8.7
    3rd Moldoveanu 6’9" 8.1

    Free Throws
    1st Darryl Shazier .944
    2nd CJ .918
    3rd Moldoveanu .909

    1st JJ Avila 2.3
    CJ 1.9
    Hoban 1.9



    He is amazing, the transformation of his game to be more willing to go inside and battle in traffic, a reflection on the fact that he is second in the nation with 144 FTs made, unreal. Now the inside game and extra attention D has led to his 3pt FG % to drop, but man leading PL in ppg by 5.6 points and in rebounds, at 6’3, sick! Below is excerpt from post I made earlier in season regarding CJ attempt at 3,000 points, which is seeming more and more possible rather then impossible with each game………
    – – – – –

    Over the last 4 years, the Hall and Z era, the team played 31, 29, 29, 33 games respectively in each season. This included 3 one and dones in PL is quick memory holds(thanks Army), and one glory ride to the NCAA Tourney versus Kansas down 6 with 13 minutes left in 2nd half. So, if you use that exact game total, 122 to be exact for CJ Career, he’d have to average 24.6 ppg to get that accomplished. That, off of last years 19.1, would be tough but certainly not impossible. However, if you assume CJ gets to tourney just one other time, plus let’s say one one and done and maybe a PL final exit, that would safely put a game total at around 33, 33, 29, 32 which would equal 127. If he plays 127 games for his career, he’d have to average 23.6 points per game. Now he didn’t do that last year, but he looks to be on pace to average that this year if you just take his PL games average from last year and apply that to his current out of conference game average of 22+ per game. Of course, if he goes 4 for 4 in PL play and gets 33 games a year, he’d only have to average 22.7 per game…..its simple right, more wins = more games = lower ppg to get to 3,000.



    Thanks to all who posted. I will return to the high school games during the week, since I can’t always catch the PL games live. I appreciate the input and as you said, it is message board banter. As much as I have to say, I truly want the team to do well, regardless of who is on the floor. I am not the coach and have never coached. I just disagree with how things are done. The responses are respectful and I hope I have been as well. These are my observations and opinions only, which do not matter much. Have a great second half of the season. After the CJ era, I will not know any of the kids on the team:). The best thing of all is that these young men will leave with a great education from Lehigh University. I spoke with a kid today whose friend attends Lehigh and thinks it is a great place to get an education!



    norcal, do not stop observing and offering opinions! They matter. To the best of my knowledge, none of us who take the time to post have ever coached a game of basketball – except maybe at the Rec or CYO level. We’re just fans of the game and Lehigh in particular. We resepct one another and their comments.

    AU @ LU
    CBS College Sports TV
    2pm (EST), Sunday

    Now that’s a Super Bowl Pregame Show worth watching!



    Thanks LU65. I attended 3 high school games tonight at 2 different high schools. It was great fun. Miss seeing the west coast guys in action. Andoh’s play time is worse than Adams. Well at least Lumpkins and Adams have a ring and the way it looks, Andoh has a good shot this year. Mitty, home to Andoh and Adams and Serra, home to Lumpkins are doing well. Mitty and Serra are in a dual for 1st and 2nd place. The brother of Drew Gordon, only a sophomore, is a beast at Mitty. Check him out. Brother of Andoh is at St. Marys Berkeley and is doing well.
    I hope I have a chance to catch the game on Sunday. BTW, Adams was suited up last game. Hopefully nothing serious, that old flu bug is hanging around. Good luck with the rest of the season, I am sure I will be back at some point with my opinions:).



    I’m going to the game this Sunday with my wife and kid. I cannot wait.

    I echo the sentiments of a lot of folks on this board. IMO, Lehigh needs three things the rest of the way most importantly:

    1) "leadership" (i.e., a Marquis Hall-type who can hold onto the ball late in the game, not make a turnover, make the big back-breaking shot.) Ojo has been this guy sometimes, but not consistently. I like Prentice Small a lot, but he’s not the guy either (I groan whenever he penetrates in the lane). if Ojo steps up and can be that Hall type of guy, Lehigh will be a much better team.

    2) improvement beyond the arc. 31% as a team will not cut it – when CJ or Ojo are resting, Lehigh doesn’t have a true 3-point threat, and the League knows it. McKnight or Keefer are our best chances at getting hot from 3 point land aside from the "big two". If one could develop as a compelling third option, that would bolster Lehigh’s chances significantly.

    3) overall shot defense. You can win games by being outrebounded, and the gap has been closing on that score, thanks to Holden Greiner. But you won’t win a lot of games when you’re getting outrebounded AND out-percentaged on the other end. There needs to be better defense underneath by all of them – Greiner, the revolving door at center, Hamilton, Knutson – to contest shots – and better defense on the outside, too. Just a couple of percentage points on that score would make a huge difference.

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