November 21, 2013 at 11:29 pm #12322
Agree with everyone who’s calling for toughness and believe like most that it’ll come. No sense belaboring the point so well made by others.
I have faith in Reed and believe in the raw talent of the players recruited and those regulars from a year ago. Together, I sincerely think the mix will occur and the team we see today will look nothing like the one that takes the court 6 weeks from today up in Hamilton (NY) to open PL play. Playing the likes of Minnesota (KenPom 30) and Pittsburgh (KenPom 10) with the youth and experience level that dot our lineup was like embarking on the study of calculus before mastering arithmetic. While it generated interest and got the fans, including posters to this board, talking (never has this Board been so active), it was doomed to fail from the start. That is, if the measured only by wins and losses. Otherwise, it was one hell of a learning experience and one I trust our players – with an able assist from our coaches – will remember and benefit from. From here on out (Texas Southern, Howard/South Dekota State, on onward) we’ll have a chance to gain some confidence and put our lessons learned to work. Might even notch a few “W’s” along the way.
In case you were wondering, thru games played to date – and that shouldn’t chance much going forward – Lehigh has played the toughest OOC schedule of all the teams in the PL with a ranking of 33 (KenPom). Right behind us is Lafatette (51), Bucknell (71) and American (77). So, yeah a 1-4 record doesn’t sound good but I’ll take it and the lessons learned from it compared to perhaps boasting of a 4-0 record with wins over three 300+ teams and one 200+ team as Loyola might (certainly not saying they are).
As for DC, not a clue.
With regard to AD, I can only surmise the problem to be with his foot – more specific his heel – from the way he carries himself and, in particular, his gate. Not fair nor is it right to speculate, so I won’t other than to say his return will be a welcomed sight. A spirited competitor/ former starter (29 games last year with 6.4ppg and 3.7rpg ) who plays hard and has a nose for the ball is just what this team needs right about now.November 22, 2013 at 6:23 pm #12329
One more for you before I go for the day but now that we know that JRG is walk on, assuming we have one more spot for this class to join TJ and KR, do we have consensus that per rebounding issues we use that spot on a forward?
I think we only use 12 schollies Hoops, so I think we are out regardless of JRG’s status. Although, to your larger point, after witnessing the first 5 games this year I think it is a travesty that we are bringing in two more sub 6’2 guys this year. I am VERY excited about Kahron Ross and think he will be an impact player. I’m also high on Jenkins potential. I also like Simelton quite a bit. I have no problem with the guys and talent level that the coaches are bringing in, and I don’t want to be negative on them at all. But this team needs size and toughness in such an obvious way.
Clearly the coaches saw JC all last season and knew the way he liked to play (on the perimeter on offense, and swooping in for rebounds but not being very physical on either end). I’m sure they also knew that Kempton is very skilled but not a leaper or enforcer. How about a true back up 5 man? Preferably a guy with more size and toughness than we currently have, even if he is less skilled. I’m hoping that line-ups next year featuring JRG are able to bring added toughness and rebounding. And I’m sure that a year of experience and weight room exposure will help the freshman. But the backcourt seems so clogged next year that some of these guys won’t be playing, yet I have a feeling we will be pining for more size and rebounding into next year too. Oh well.November 22, 2013 at 10:37 pm #12331
Amen amen amen SBum!November 23, 2013 at 3:19 am #12332
Being a true contrarian, I have another take on this issue. Lehigh, to my knowledge, does not have a true “big man” coach. By that I mean someone who has been there and done that.
Reed and Wyche were both PG and Griffin was a combo guard. To the best of my knowledge Kroogs never played college basketball at Lehigh and seems to focus on guard play.
You can bring in all the big bodies you want but they need to be coached up. TK averaged 16 boards/g in HS but with his height he didn’t need technique. JC is 6-8, 225 with a rock solid build and freakishly long arms that lead his British team in rebounding. CB had over 1,000 rbs in high school.
Rebounding is about instinct. It is is about attitude/toughness. It is about technique and only lastly is it about size. CJ was one of our leading rebounders over the last 4 years and he is 6-3. MM is averaging 4 RBs per game and he is one of the smallest players on the court.
Aaron Gray was one of the softest 7 footers I ever saw in HS. Pitt redshirted him a year where he worked continuously in the weight room and then continually with a coach who worked on his technique and toughness. He has been playing in the NBA since 2007.
We should be spending an entire practice weekly with a lid on the basket, our big guys battling mano to mano for the ball on each shot. The ones who begin to toughen up, establish their position, box out…they ar the ones that get the minutes. Our entire front court has turned over in the last 2 years..the lack of rebounding production hasn’t. That is a sign of a lack of coaching IMHO.November 23, 2013 at 12:58 pm #12336
TMH, i couldn’t agree more about the rebounding. It’s cost us the Fordham and Houston games as we gave up a number of cheap baskets underneath following opponent misses. And you point about CJ and Mackey’s rebounding has always been a puzzle to me as well. CJ of course drove a lot so he always seemed to be near the basket offensively, but somehow he was always close to leading our rebounding almost every game. And now this year Mackey is a leading rebounder? By the way, team leaders to this point in rebounds per game? JC 6.6, CB (!) 4.3, MM 4.2, TK 2.8, CS 2.4……November 23, 2013 at 3:43 pm #12338
I totally agree TMH that the rebounding is primarily a coaching issue, but I don’t think you need to be a former player or former big guy to coach forwards and centers. The most renowned big man coach in hoops history, Pete Newell, I believe was only 6’2. Any college basketball coach in the country who teach how to box out in less than 5 minutes. My issue with the coaches is that it doesn’t appear they are making this a point of emphasis. We could have won the Fordham and Houston games with a better performance on the glass.
I 100% believe that JC and TK could be doing more on the boards than they are. I say start CB and JG and send a message to TK and JC that their minutes are going to suffer until they dedicate themselves more to the glass. Who doesn’t think TK would throw around his body a bit more if he knew he was headed to the bench if he didn’t? If you told JC – “If you miss a boxout on two straight possessions, you’re coming out of the game” – don’t you think he would find a body to box? The OOC schedule is to establish systems and a style of play. Now is the time to send the message that if you don’t play tough, you aren’t playing at all.
CJ was a great rebounder because he prioritized it, he knew the team needed it, he had good instincts and was pretty athletic. AP should absolutely be grabbing a couple rebounds a game. The fact that he is 3 boards in 128 minutes is mind boggling to me. I wouldn’t even have thought that was possible, but he somehow managed to do it. That is less than 1 rebound PER FORTY MINUTES. In 53 minutes against Houston and Pitt, he didn’t get a single rebound.November 24, 2013 at 5:19 am #12356
I fully understand your point and it is valid. However,if you really want to get your point across, it takes players going one on one against a big man that knows how to play the game right. Spend enough getting embarrassed in practice can do wonders.
Lehigh wrestling has had a nice little run of All-Americans over the last few years. Every one of them though has been 165 or over. Coincidentally, all of our coaches weigh 170 or over. We have actually done a poor job developing our lightweights. Cornell on the other hand has had tremendous success with lightweights but have 2 excellent ones on their staff.
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