August 30, 2012 at 4:22 pm #6541
Tyrone Outlaw is really interesting to me. Based on what I read, he seems to be a late bloomer that I think could really thrive in the Lehigh system. If you are reading this Tyrone, enjoy your visit. We would love to have you.August 30, 2012 at 6:19 pm #6542
OK, another question for the board (TMH and hopefully others). How would you feel about a Lehigh jump out of the PL, and moving basketball to the A-10 and football to the Colonial Conference? A-10 is losing a couple of basketball, actually, I guess all-sports, teams (UNC-C and Temple) in a year or two, and Colonial is losing a couple as well (ODU and Georgia St.) Now that would excite me. I am willing to pitch the academics a bit to play better competition, but I don’t want to pitch it to play the same competition.
But, the prospect of being in a conference in hoops with Butler, Dayton, Richmond, St Joe’s, Lasalle, St. Louis, St. Bonnie’s, VCU and Xavier, among others, would really excite me. Playing football against, essentially, most of the top 20 in the country in the FCS, would also really excite me. We would take a beating early in the A-10 in hoops, but, hopefully, we are not a Fordham, and we build a solid program in a multi-bid league. Football, I think we could hang pretty well moving forward.
Regarding prior posts on soccer and lacrosse. I admit, I am not a huge lacrosse fan, so PL lacrosse doesn’t get me going. I don’t live in the Lehigh Valley, so not going to travel for a game unless something really big like NCAAs. Soccer, I am a huge fan of it, carry season tickets to MLS, and watch a ton of Euro stuff on TV. But, American soccer is weak at all levels, so not going to travel for that either.
As stated in the past on here, I don’t like the size argument for Lehigh being small fries in athletics. They have a top 10 wrestling program, top 10 lacrosse, top 10 FCS football, and a good showing in basketball (hope it continues and builds). Most private schools in the FBS are on the smaller side. We compare to the following (undergrads only):
Wake Forest 4400
That list is nice company, by the way, academics and athletics. Would be a great 12 team conference, if you don’t mind the travel. Gotta dream big.August 30, 2012 at 9:13 pm #6543
I apologize for posting the Tyrone Outlaw piece on the wrong thread. If a mod could change it, I would appreciate it.
Lehigh90.. I would love to continue this. The discourse is great and it is always good to be talking Lehigh in a positive sense. I suppose the question is, would I rather we be a relatively big fish in a small pond or a very small fish in a big pond and 1.) I would prefer making the current pond bigger. I think we just did that in lacrosse in a big way and believe me that may be the fastest growing sport in America. I also believe that merit scholarships in football will pull the entire league up. We will never compete over the long term in basketball because the university’s academic requirements won’t allow it. Duke and Stanford are anomalies that would be nice to strive for but we neither have the endowments nor the national reputation to get there now. Even with CJ, we are not a dominant force in basketball. Bucknell will give us all we can handle. American and Holy Cross beat us last year. Where will we be in 2013-14? We have virtually no fan base and a relatively poor record of even making the tournament. NCAA basketball at the higher levels is a very murky, slimy environment that I prefer that Lehigh avoid.
This is all moot by the way, since the administration has assure me that Lehigh is not going anywhere as far as league change.August 31, 2012 at 3:27 pm #6548
This is a big season for the future of the basketball program, no doubt. We should on paper have one of our best, if not the best, teams in the history of the program. It is imperative, if we want the program to continue to build to a long term winner, that we finally get support from the students, university and the Lehigh Valley. 800 fans at a home game is not going to cut it any more, if we want to build a real program. We need to get Stabler to be a dominant home court for us, where we can put at least 2500 in the seats for home games, and near capacity for the larger games. If they can put in another season like last year, with fan support of the community, retain Reed, and continue to attract better quality athletes to campus, they have a chance for relevancy. If we continue to draw the same interest as past years, we are doomed to be a relevant program in the PL a few times every decade and little more. With the home schedule shaping up like it is, it is going to be tough to draw big crowds. I wonder if they are having any additional success with season tickets, and if they can start to get 1,000 students or more at each home game.
The beauty of lacrosse and wrestling for Lehigh is they can attract Top 20 teams to come play on campus. People want to see those teams play, which is why you can get 5,000 at a wrestling match and 2,500 at a lacrosse game. Basketball is never going to have that luxury. But, we should be making every effort to bump up the program’s interest to the level seen at Bucknell. Certainly, not impossible, but they have to make the students passionate about basketball.
What always gives me hope about basketball is you only need to get a few studs on the team to be good. And, in this era of one and done basketball players at the higher levels, the mid-majors are more competitive than ever. The mid-majors can build senior laden teams that are tough come tournament time. There are also a number of ways to skin a cat in recruiting. A team like Loyola (MD) has done it with transfers. Whether that can be done now with an academic index is in question. Colgate this year is bringing in 4 new players, none directly from high school in the traditional manner. They have a Euro guy from Spain, who played one year of PG basketball in a US high school. They have a JUCO player from Alaska. And, they have a transfer from Monmouth and a transfer from Ohio U. With European and African players, JUCOs and transfers, you can build something very quickly (although much tougher in the PL). Every tradition has to start somewhere, and hopefully CJ is what starts ours.
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