December 5, 2014 at 8:25 pm #17083
The Mountain Hawks travel into the Big Apple on Saturday to take on what appears to be the worst team in the Northeast Conference, the 0 and 5 Blackbirds of LIU Brooklyn. Pomeroy ranks them 314th or 100 pegs below the Mountain Hawks who hold down the number 214 slot. FYI, the SFU team we just beat (barely) ranks second in the 10-team NEC. Pomeroy give us a 59% chance of knocking off the Blackbirds and scores it 68-66.
The stats tell us that LIU Brooklyn is both small (starting forwards are 6’6” and 6’7”) and young (starting 2 seniors and 3 freshmen – including redshirt frosh, Nura Zanna). Additionally, the team doesn’t have a “double-digit” scorer or rebounder and has trouble hitting for average on both their 2 (.395%) and 3-point (.255%) shots. OK, so why worry? Perhaps there are two reasons. One, complacency following three straight wins and two: LIU’s #15, Nigerian-born Nura Zanna. At 6’7” / 240, the young man carries a .514 FG% (8.6ppg) and is good for 7 to 8 boards/game. In their first game of the year, Zanna battled St. John’s Chris Obekpa under the boards limiting him to just 5 pts. and earned NEC Rookie of the Week honors for his work. I would expect Coach Reed to address the first concern and for TK/JG to address the second. Yet, it’s only fair to point out that LIU Brooklyn led Temple at the half and took St. Joe’s into overtime before dropping them both.
Everyone but 6-1 Army plays on Saturday. Here’s a quick look at the schedule and what’s available on the Patriot League Network:
St. Peters at Boston U. (2-4) – PLN game – PLN game @ 2pm
Wagner @ Lafayette (4-2) – PLN game @ 2pm
Mt. Saint Mary’s @ Loyola/MD (3-4) – PLN game @ 7pm
Navy (2-6) @ The Citadel
America (5-3) @ Illinois
Holy Cross (4-1) @ Sacred Heart
Colgate (1-6) @ Ohio State
Bucknell (3-5) @ Columbia
Lehigh (3-4) @ LIU/Brooklyn
This is it for the Mountain Hawks……our final test before exams and a chance to even our record at 4-4. Up next will be the Bobcats of Quinnipiac on Thursday the 18th up in Hamden, CT.December 6, 2014 at 3:49 am #17087
Game should be carried on NEC streamDecember 6, 2014 at 4:24 am #17088December 6, 2014 at 8:06 pm #17092
Goldie gets the start!December 7, 2014 at 1:09 am #17093
Quick Observations – others will certainly have more insightful comments to add, I’m sure.
JG: Coach Reed gave Goldie a start and he didn’t disappoint. Number 40 recorded his first career double-double with 13 points and 10 rebounds today. When taken along with his performance in the last three (11 of 13 from the field, 5 of 6 from the free throw line and 19 boards), you would have to think –at least I do – that Goldie has won another trip to Center Circle when next we tip it off against Quinnipiac on Dec. 18th. If so, it would be his seventh starting assignment, having done it twice last year and 3 times as a freshman.
AP: After another dismal long range shooting performance from behind the line (1 for 6 today and a combined 3 for 15 in this last three), AP is beginning to worry me. Scoring wise, he’s been bailed out over the last two games by going 12 for 14 from the free throw line. I’m hoping to see more consistency in our second year shooting guard and someone who know when to give it up when things aren’t going his way.
KR: Had his breakout game of the year with 19 points (career high) and 5 assists. Textbook play if you ask me. Only wish he’d lay off the three (1 for 3 and now 3 for 14 or .214 on the year) and either drive thru traffic or find another perimeter shooter if a three is needed.
MS: Played a highly composes game (1 turnover in 24 minutes) and kicked in 10 points along the way. Proving to be a more than adequate backup PG to Kahron.
TK: MIA today going 2 for 6 in 18 minutes while picking up 5 PFs . That a three game slide of 6 for 16 shooting and 10 PFs. All this while bringing down just 15 boards. Maybe exams are on his mind. Or maybe it’s better technique.
SC: He connected on a couple of long range bombs in his 15 minutes. Defense proved adequate if not good. Glad to see the senior contribute. His 3-point shot expertise will no-doubt be called upon down the road.
JC: Went 1 for 4 and was nearly invisible. Best thing you can say is that he didn’t take a three-point shot after going 1 for 5 against St. Francis and having 3 “o-fers” to his credit in other match-ups this year.
Bottom line, we won this game after sleep-walking thru the first 10 minutes and hitting 28 of 32 form the line – all in the second half. Exciting at times, to be sure, but a team we should have handled with ease in my opinion.December 7, 2014 at 2:02 am #17094
With no TV and at work, I saw and heard nothing so the box is all I have. TK played only 18 minutes so he must of gotten in foul trouble early. Fortunately JG seems to be emerging as our #2 big. 34 minutes, 10 boards, 13 points, 3 blocks, and even better: 4 assists. This is TK stuff. As to concerns about AP’s shooting, shooters run hot and cold. But at least this year he goes to the basket and gets his points at the line. Yes I too wish he were more consistent. But this is becoming a well rounded group as today KR is the leading scorer. My long term concern continues to be giving up all these offensive rebounds. LIU had 13 again. My question after this game is….. is this our best starting line up?
In summary, I’ll take a road win any day anywhere against another scholarship program, particularly on a so-so shooting day and TK hobbled with fouls early.December 7, 2014 at 2:31 am #17097
jimk72, love your point about getting to the basket. Especially, when you look at our FT numbers. Following today’s action, we are the 18th best in the nation – and first in the PL at the 15-foot shot coming in 76.9%.December 7, 2014 at 4:45 am #17102
Today was my first time seeing this year’s team play live. TK had a tough day with double-teams (sometimes triple) and some cheap fouls.
AP missed a bunch of jumpers but I thought he did a pretty decent job of impacting the game in other ways. He had a huge block late in the game when the result was still in doubt.
KR played well and was the beneficiary of a couple of beautiful passes from JG.
Love MS’s athleticism on D and aggression on O. He and KR are so quick on defense that I think they may cause some problems for PL point guards. MS was aggressive but under control on offense was a huge spark in the first half.
JG was the player of the game no doubt. That was a borderline all-league out of him tonight. He was money from the line, solid on D and a great on the boards. Really nice to see him step up the way he did in a starting opportunity.
BA and JC didn’t have great games, but this team is starting to show enough depth that there are other guys to step on when some guys have rough nights.December 7, 2014 at 5:24 am #17103
The takeaway has to be we won even tho two starters had bad games. Bench stood up.December 7, 2014 at 4:02 pm #17106
Spot on, Rich. We’ve got to be happy about bench production, and the fact that scoring has been very well distributed recently. I think we’ve got the best depth we’ve had in some time. I don’t think we can definitively draw the cause and effect line, but we did get 32(!) second half free throws. I think it’s likely that LIU fatigue contributed to that, and depth could be a cause there.
I have some concern about front-court production. LIU was a smaller team, but won points in the paint by 30-24. TK and JG only got a total of 9 official FGAs for the whole game. Now that’s at least a bit misleading, because JG did get to the line, erasing some FGAs. But it did feel like we struggled to get the ball into the post where we should have had an advantage.
In the end, a good road win on a bad day.
P.S. I think some of the foul calls were suspect. I might go back and have another look, but the 5th TK foul, in particular, looked like a garbage call to me in real-time.
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