January 10, 2014 at 4:26 pm #12991
KenPom Rankings and Chance of Winning
LU (8-8, 1-2) 198th
Loyola (6-8, 1-2) 273rd
LU wins 69-68 (52%)
Before putting this one in the win column, remember it took a 81% (17 for 21) shooting exhibition by the 3-0 American Eagles in the second half of their last game to finally down the stubborn Greyhounds of Loyola. This team can score and do have a home win to their credit – unlike Lehigh. Loyola also possesses two extraordinary talents in 6’3” Sr. Guard Dylon Cormier and 5’9” Jr. Guard R.J. Williams. It’s hard to miss them as you watch the game. Let’s hope MM and CS are up to the task of slowing them down. Simply: the key to the game. Cormier averages 22.3 ppg (only one in double figures) and is the team’s leading rebounder with 5.9 rpg. Williams, on the other hand, leads the team in assists and has already recorded 34 steals in just 12 games. In fact, he ranks 6th nationally in steal percentage @ 5.5% or simply stated this is the percentage of possessions that a player records a steal while he is on the court.
After dropping two heart-breakers at home, it’s imperative we win one on the road to even-up our record @ 2-2. Of course, at 1-2 (like us), Loyola fans are probably thinking the same and worried like us, no doubt, that American (playing at winless Colgate) and Boston U.(playing at winless Lafayette) will go to 4-0 this weekend. The divide between the “haves” and “havenots” may well become more pronounced and neither team will want to sink any further back in the standings. It has the makings of a good game.
The challenges Lehigh will face, besides game planning for a new – sight unseen opponent – start with travel and new surroundings. I’ve always wondered about the so-called “x” point advantage given to home team in betting circles. Is it 3 pts., 3.5 pts., or possible 4? I’m guessing, it’s even greater when the visiting team has never laid eyes on the court – the unenviable position we face on Saturday. Just what is “x”? Whatever it is, I’m certainly thankful the Loyola students are still on winter break. Hey, I’m looking for any advantage. While dated (2/8/08), the articles below sheds some light on the subject if you’re interested in such things.
And finally, it may be time – perhaps past time – for JG to get his 4th career start and first as a sophomore. Maybe we were expecting too much, too soon out of Shane Whitfield. No doubt his time will come and his performance will improve, but based on what I’m seeing it’s Goldy’s time to shine. He’s simply more comfortable with the offense (something you’d expect from playing in 31 games as a freshman 16 as a second year man). To boot, he’s a far better rebounder and as shown, a sparkplug to our offense. Why not see if the fire is still there or perhaps better said, see if the fire can’t spread. His spirited play seems infectious and not only a crowd favorite by a team favorite as well. In his last two games he’s gone a combined 5 for 5 and pulled down 10 boards compared to Shane’s 2 for 9 and 6 boards in 7 minutes more playing time.January 10, 2014 at 4:44 pm #12993
I don’t see JG supplanting SW in the starting line up just because it doesn’t make sense from a rotation standpoint. If JG, TK, and JC all start you have exactly zero big men on the bench. Not to mention that would put JC at the 3, which I’m sure HE would think is great, but I’m not sure the rest of us do. Now, if you want to talk about JG replacing JC in the starting line-up…I’d be open to that conversation.
Honestly though, the minutes are spread around pretty well amongst the frontcourt guys and I don’t think it really matters who starts. I love JG’s play of late as much as anyone, but he is not a star. He is a hustle/glue guy and as long as he comes in and does his job, he should be getting around 20mpg. More minutes than that and I think you start to negate his effectiveness by forcing him to conserve energy and be game planned against.January 10, 2014 at 5:50 pm #12994
The other issue with JG – in spite of (or perhaps due to) his spirited play of late – he is extremely prone to foul trouble. Until he learns to avoid the cheap fouls (and silly TOs) his minutes will always be limited. IMNSHO.January 10, 2014 at 6:00 pm #12996
Good point on the fouls. Although he seemed to play smarter and with much more focus against Army than he has other times I’ve watched him. And to give him some credit on the foul issue, he has dropped his per 40 minute foul rate from 7.2 last year to 5.7 per 40 this year. So it seems like something he is is improving on, and not something exacerbated by his recent play. You’re 100% right though that foul trouble has certainly been an issue for him and he still had 3 PFs against Army.January 10, 2014 at 6:15 pm #12997
Points well taken, guys. Nothing like a little chatter on the Board. Love it. But, I still wouldn’t rule out JG getting a start, based on our opponent’s perceived strength, placing SW (still a big man at 6’7″) on the bench to begin a game or two. It just might address one of our problems – that of rebounding – and send a message to all re: fight and hustle.
One last stat. Minutes between Rebounds……………
JG 1 every 4.4 minutes
SW 1 every 7.9 minutes
As for each player’s propensity to commit a personal foul, here are the numbers……
JG 1 every 7 minutes
SW 1 every 7.9 minutes
Not a huge difference. Sure you will agree.January 10, 2014 at 6:37 pm #12998
Since this is the closest LU will be to North Carolina in the regular season, I’m driving up for this one. Meeting a buddy and fellow LU alum who lives in B-more. Anybody else making the journey?
Very excited to see this team live!January 10, 2014 at 7:16 pm #13000
But, I still wouldn’t rule out JG getting a start, based on our opponent’s perceived strength, placing SW (still a big man at 6’7″) on the bench to begin a game or two.
My point is more that if we start JG with TK and JC and we are being soft inside and not rebounding, who do you bring in? At that point we have no real interior player to bring in to change things up. As it currently stands, the coaches could say to TK or JC – “rebound or we’ll take you out” – and they wouldn’t really be able to do that if all 3 started. Except to go SMALLER, which would defeat the purpose a bit.
Also, I agree that JG is a superior rebounder to SW. I think that is quite obvious while watching, and backed up further by the stats. I still think starting all 3 of your eligible interior players at the same time is a strange move.
If it were up to me, I might go back to starting AP for a few games. I’d also tell Shane to attack when he is in and not fear the consequences. He is much more effective when he asserts himself instead of trying to blend in.January 10, 2014 at 8:23 pm #13001
As far as Shane asserting himself more, I agree. AP and Shane have both been reluctant to “let it fly.” I thought Austin came out and went strong to the basket early against Army, then backed off when things didn’t go well once. He’s got a very good move and needs to use it. I completely agree they both need to be more aggressive, but with good judgment. It’s understandable for freshmen, but after 16 games they aren’t freshmen anymore.
From here on out though a bigger concern for everyone is being under control and focused. Doc has been preaching every possession is precious during the last two post game postmortems. The big run’s that killed us at Army involved consecutive wasted possessions. The guards allowing SW to bring the ball up during a crucial 2nd half sequence is an example of just poor focus and judgement in that game. MM is the one who has to lead with good passes, good shot selection, and just generally good decisions. Hopefully it all comes together tomorrow.January 10, 2014 at 9:38 pm #13002
SB, I really do get your point and yield to you on b’ball wisdom. As you say, My point is more that if we start JG with TK and JC and we are being soft inside and not rebounding, who do you bring in?
My comical response would be “the undertaker.”
Or, maybe go small and play some uptempo ball as we have done in the past. It seemed to have worked on many occasions. Whats more, we may have the guard corp to pull it off this year.
For what it’s worth, Goldy’s 3 starts last year in Games 23, 26 and 31 came after relatively poor team rebounding performances (-7, -7, and -10) in game(s) leading up those starts.January 11, 2014 at 4:10 pm #13016
AP and Shane have both been reluctant to “let it fly.”
jimk72, I agree on your above point about Shane but after watching ever single game this year it is apparent that AP has no problem chucking. I think his shot selection is awful (deep 3 when we went up two against army with 25 seconds on shot clock) and chooses to let it fly at bad times. I realize AP has flashes of greatness but also think he is a huge liability at times. His defensive effort is suspect and physicality just not there. Defensive stats are deceptive because he does get steals and is deceptively long but if you watch the whole picture he gambles hanging his teammates out to try and gives up a ton of open looks.
I also agree that after 16 games freshman are no longer freshman and it may be time to send some messages to the diaper dandys that winning basketball is not just about scoring.
January 11, 2014 at 8:01 pm #13023
- This reply was modified 6 years, 9 months ago by pafan11.
pafan11, my “let it fly” comment was not very specific & was directed to their moves to aggressively attack the basket. There’s no question AP will put 3’s up at anytime. But in the 8 games I’ve seen in person he’s very hesitant to drive. Your observation about his defense is also spot on and probably explains why he lost his starting stature in deference to SW.January 12, 2014 at 12:48 am #13025
I could almost get by BU and Army,there was no excuse for losing this game. Again wasted entire 1st half.No focus for the 1st 5-8 minutes . MM takes TWO SHOTS 1st half.Why? We play last 10 miutes of the game just like the last 2. No margin for error. Frustrating.JG tho looked great.January 12, 2014 at 4:39 am #13030
Another game lost because the kids dig a hole and fight like hell to get out, only to fall short by a basket or two. Very frustrating, but recognizing a lot of college inexperience out there. Hopefully these close losses don’t have a negative psych impact. On any night virtually any team in this league can beat the other.January 12, 2014 at 7:47 pm #13034
Disappointed to say the least.
TK, our “4-year starter” and big guy @ 6’10” can’t be shooting .467 from the field in Patriot League play and only .357 in his last three. This after 13 preseason games in which he showed so much promise. What’s more, his 4 game PL experience also includes 11 TOs and 0 Blocks.
MM must come to play 40 minutes/night. Yesterday was not that unusual, looking back on the last four games. Here are the shooting percentages in PL play.
1st Halves: 4 for 16 (.250)
2nd Halves: 20 for 35 (.571)
Our bench – what bench! It went 3 for 14 in 66 minutes yesterday.
DC was one of the first called in? Someone explain.
JC (0 for 4 for the field) upset over not starting? Let’s hope not, he’s been solid (.400 FG%) to date and good for 4 to 5 boards/night.
SC: the rehab work continues – this time going 1 for 4 from deep. Future?
SW: so quiet was his 4 pts/1 rebound, I can’t recall the particulars. Sums up most of his games.
In case you were wondering, here’s how our freshmen are doing when it comes to making a basket (FG%s) in PL Play. Strangely, most fared better in OOC play. With the possible exception of JC, nothing to brag about.
JG: Validated his start yesterday going 7 for 11. Now shooting an insane .758 overall and .750 in PL play with 14 rebounds in conference action. Not too shabby given the minutes awarded. Now if only you could work on the PFs (9 in 61 minutes or 1 every 6.8min.).
Next up: Undefeated AU on Wednesday night at Stabler. Wish the game were tonight to wash away memories of yesterday.January 13, 2014 at 5:40 pm #13045
Didn’t get a chance to see the game. How was Devon Carter in his cameo?
I’d love to see Jesse bounce back in a huge way on Wednesday after getting held scoreless on Saturday. He shouldn’t be shooting 40% as one of the biggest and most athletic guys on the court in every PL game in which he plays.
Great to see JG continue his good run of form.
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