February 9, 2010 at 1:59 pm #1630
Biggest game of the year
At least, until the next one is played. But, at 6-2 and a chance to go two up over visiting Navy, this one is huge. Were we to win it and were to the Leopards to drop one at home to Colgate (maybe the funk continues for Hanlon’s crew after the drubbing at the hands of Holy Cross on Saturday), the dream gets even sweeter…..a two game lead over Navy, Lafayette and either BU of AU with destiny truly in our hands. That’s the positive spin alright. But, what if Navy wins and wins again – this time over Lafayette in their return visit to the Valley on Saturday. Well then things get a little dicey. The Middies would lay claim to First and own a tie-breaker advantage over us. Gotta love it. This in February Madness – PL Style.
Tomorrow game will features two of the league’s finest when the PL Rookie of the Week (LU’s McCollum) meets PL Player of the Week (Navy’s Avworo).
http://www.lehighsports.com/sports/mbba … se_id=8648
http://www.navysports.com/sports/m-bask … 10aac.html
PL Standings / RPI / Sagarin / Pomeroy
LU 6-2 / 168 / 214 / 197
LC 5-3 / 207 / 240 / 245
Navy 5-3 / 276 / 285 / 296
BU 4-4 / 282 / 275 / 26
AU 4-4 / 312 / 304 / 281
HC 3-5 / 278 / 271 / 235
Army 3-5 / 221 / 229 / 219
CU 2-6 / 314 / 298 / 278
Sagarin………LU – 9
Pomeroy……LU stands a 88 % of winning
A closer look at the numbers (PL only) …. LU / Navy
Scoring Offense / 76.8 (1st) / 75.2 (2nd)
Scoring Defense / 67.4 (2nd) / 76.8 (8th)
Scoring Margin / 9.4 (1st) / -1.5 (6th)
FG% / .455 (2nd) / .443 (4th)
3FG% / .412 (2nd) / .424 (1st)
FG% Defense / .394 (1st) / .468 (8th)
3FG% Defense / .273 (1st) / .390 (6th)
Rebounding Margin / 1.2 (3rd) / -5.5 (7th)
The keys to an LU win would seem to be our superior rebounding ability and overall defense – at least on paper. Looking over the Top 20 Rebounders in the PL you see four from Lehigh and only one from Navy, that’s Sugars with 8.3rpg. Lehigh’s four (MH, CJ, GK and ZC) combine for 21.9rpg. In our first meeting of the year, neither our rebounding nor our "D" were really evident. We did out-rebounded them by three (42 to 39), but it didn’t translate into points. In fact, Navy out-scored us in the paint 38 to 22 and held a two point margin on second chance points. In that same game, Navy converted on 48.4% of their shots and hit 7 three-pointers. Like I say, on paper we may hold the edge but will it translate into a victory tomorrow night? Two things are for sure, however. One, the Middies are experienced (juniors and seniors regularly average 190 + minutes per game and like us they have multiple scoring weapons in Harris (21.9ppg), Sugars (14.5ppg), Avworo (9.4ppg), and Garcia (8.4ppg). It should be an exciting battle for First.
Game Notes will be released soon.February 9, 2010 at 5:32 pm #1632
Given blizzards here in the NE seems unlikely that either M or W games will be had Wed. Z has to show up for this one. Refs also need to clamp down on N’s mugging D.February 9, 2010 at 6:53 pm #1637February 11, 2010 at 3:51 pm #1647
Despite out-rebounding Navy 48 to 34 (13 to 5 in the offensive category directly leading to a 10 point LU edge in 2nd chance points), Lehigh had no answer for the league’s top scorer, Cliff Harris. The senior guard drained 8 of 14 from beyond the arc, 2 from in close and 12 out of 13 from the foul line to tally 40 for the night. Oddly enough Lehigh connected on three more field goals (28 to 25) but were done-in by type (see below) and the team’s ineffectiveness from the free throw line where they sank just 18 of 29 attempts.
Made Field Goals
LU 24 2’s and 4 3’s
Navy 11 2’s and 14 3’s
Contributing factors to the loss included (maybe it’s just a Navy thing):
Carrington’s limited time on the court. The big guy fouled-out after scoring 15 points in just 21 minutes (.71 pts/min). In the early Navy game, Zahir was a victim of fouls departing after just 24 minutes with only 9 points to his credit.
Buchberger’s eye or was it his weary legs from chasing Harris all over the court. Whatever, his shot was off – way off – all night going 0-6 (5 of those from three where he had been deadly leading the league in 3FG% effectiveness). In the Navy game played on January 14th, Dave went 0 for 1 in 17 minutes of court time.
Marquis’ ineffectiveness from in close where he was 1 for 9. The floaters and drives to the basket were coming up short. In the first Navy game of the year, he had his troubles, too, going 2 for 9 from short range.
Navy as now tied us at 6-3. We sit atop the league, knowing there’s little wiggle room. In fact, none, as Navy owns the tie-breaker. It could have been worse (a three-way tie), I guess, but Lafayette couldn’t keep pace dropping a game at home to Colgate last night. Tell me Navy isn’t excited about their game over in Easton on Saturday. They view it as a chance to push LC down further in the standings and claim first to themselves should Army upend us. The midshipmen are on a roll and are making a strong case that they’re the team to beat. How do they view the upcoming game in Easton and just how serious are they? Consider the report that has them here in the Valley opting not to return to Annapolis after last night’s game. 72 hours to do nothing but prep for the Leopards.
Were Lehigh and Navy to battle it out the rest of the way – and there’s no assurance of that when talking PL and, in particular, the recent play of Holy Cross – here a look at the remaining schedule of both teams.
LU / NAVY
2/13 Home to Army / @ Lafayette
2/17 @ Colgate / home to Holy Cross
2/21-20 @ Lafayette / @ Army (both games to be aired by CBSC)
2/24 home to Bucknell / home to American
2/27 home to Holy Cross / @ ColgateFebruary 12, 2010 at 3:58 am #1650
I appreciate all the comments and agree with all. After watching the AU vs BU game, I noticed the AU coach is playing his bench. While they did not win today, AU can be a dangerous team in the stretch. Their coach is preparing the TEAM, not certain players who may or may not have a good night. While the freshman have been super, they need help and it is up to Dr. Reed to get the whole team ready. It looks to be an interesting year.February 12, 2010 at 3:03 pm #1651
Agree with you norcalfan, AU (7-17 , 4-5) could spell trouble for others down the stretch. I hope they do, especially when they go up against Navy in Annapolis on the 24th. You may recall that Vlad and Lumpkins combined for 51 in their first meeting of the year – a game in which AU out-rebounded the Mids by 12, 35-23 and held the Navy squad to 4 field goals from beyond the arc. All of Lehigh is hoping history repeats itself a week from Wednesday.
As for getting the team ready for the playoffs, I, too, agree. I think you’ll see a bit – but not much – more time allotted to Ojo, Greiner and Adams (when healthy) down the stretch. Hard to sit, despite his shooting woes, the heart of the team, Hall, and the guys who pile up the points: CJ, GK and ZC. Buchberger, our best defender, is secure in his minutes, as well. Overall, look for the starting 5 to get between 160-170 mpg. I trust Reed’s judgment. He’s seen what the supporting cast can do – especially in the 15 games leading up to PL play – and he’s put them to the test in daily practice sessions. He’s decided it time the big boys carry us home. I’m reminded of a sign that the students waived behind the basket five years ago. It read, "In Taylor we Trust." Now, it’s Reed’s time.February 12, 2010 at 4:30 pm #1652
I look at Navy, and I just scratch my head. How did this team lose to Howard (6-19) and Maryland-Eastern Shore (7-17) but wallop us twice? We have to find to double-team Harris, period. There is no way we should be giving up 40 points to any one player.
The PL to me this year will be all about the matchups in the tournament, with no team – and I mean NO team – immune from the possibility of a first-round upset, depending on the matchup. For example, Army could be the No. 8 seed but in a matchup against Lafayette – if their shots aren’t falling – could make the Leopards cry in a first round game for sure.
The good thing is if we finish 1 or 2, we would have pretty favorable first round matchups against either Colgate or Army – two of the teams that might have a problem keeping up with us on the scoreboard. (Of course Army has also eliminated us in the first round two years running.) But Navy is just such a poor matchup for us – they have the offense to cause us all sorts of headaches and play better defense than us. I don’t feel good about getting the No. 2 (hopefully) seed in the tourney and keeping my fingers crossed that Colgate or Bucknell will upset them on their home court.
American is an improving team, but as I mentioned before I just think that they match up poorly against us. The Mad Romanian is just a lot less effective with Carrington in his face.February 12, 2010 at 8:46 pm #1653
Make that three years running that we went down to Army in the Quarterfinals………..
3/4/09 L 50-53
3/4/08 L 61-64 (OT)
2/28/07 L 46-47
I’m hoping we never see Navy again. They have our number, for what it’s worth, beating us 5 of the last 6 and 4 straight at Stabler. They and others who depend on the 3 scare me to death. There’s just no telling, night to night, what may happen. In Navy’s last three PL wins over LU, BU and CU, they took a total of 81 three’s and made 42 (.519 average). In their prior two PL losses to AU and HC, they took 37 three’s and made 8 (.216 average). As a team in PL play, Navy is shooting .429 from deep and .446 from in close. At that rate, why not shoot the 3! And, shoot the 3 they will. Fingers crossed it backfires on them this weekend. Yes, I’m pulling for the Leopards.February 13, 2010 at 6:57 am #1658
I hope Reed knows what he is doing. What worries me is some of the other coaches have more experience. Adams and Lumpkins have been in tough games, Adams did well in the Army game. Andoh is not seeing much time at BU, but he can be physical under the basket. Sorry I do not know much about the other guys on the team. It would be nice for the seniors if they won this year.
The whole team needs to buy in. Can’t wait to see who Reed plays next year. Looks like they may have another good team.
You must be logged in to reply to this topic.