March 8, 2016 at 4:37 am #25950
All this talk of PIG and tourney sites, travel plans, etc. makes me uncomfortable so I’m starting a discussion of the game itself.
I can’t give much of an HC scouting report, as I haven’t seen them this year – but did catch them on the radio and love the soap opera of CrossSports. I think we all agree that Champion is the guy at the top of the scouting report, followed closely by Charles and Alexander. However I think the biggest thing to watch is the 1-3-1 pressure.
I like having three competent ball handlers on the floor in Ross, Price, and Leufroy. I also like Kempton flashing middle to catch against pressure. One thing that Lehigh occasionally struggles with is inbounding against pressure. If Ross doesn’t catch quickly, they sometimes stand around watching him try to get open without anyone else flashing.
The first 5 minutes (as with any big game) will be super important. Hopefully a good start eases nerves and gets the crowd into it.March 8, 2016 at 1:10 pm #25951
I think the critical guys tomorrow are KL first, and JC second. I think the 1-3-1 may bottle up KR and AP, who figure to be the two primary ball handlers who should play higher than normal. When the ball gets down to the baseline, it should find KL and JC. And, when they catch, they are going to have to make jumpers, dribble drive on baseline and feed TK in the post.March 8, 2016 at 5:44 pm #25954
Guessing AP will sit on Campion, hopefully limiting him a bit. Key to me is which team hits better from the outside early. Do we start zone or man to man?
If one of our shooters is hot, 1-3-1 will not be a factor. Nervous but confident.March 8, 2016 at 6:20 pm #25955
Seems like the athletic department isn’t pushing ticket sales nearly as hard for the finals as the semis and quarters. Anyone have a beat on what’s up and how sales are going? I’m in California so can only hope from afar for a good crowd…March 8, 2016 at 6:35 pm #25956
I’ve been poring over our prior two matchups with HC, and other recent results. HC is a strange matchup. While I think I’d agree with putting AP on Champion, this one just doesn’t look like a “stop best player” formula. Champion was definitely a big difference between our first (not close) vs. second (close) games against HC, that’s definitely not the whole picture.
Looks to me like both Alexander and Charles can also be primary scoring threats. I see very distributed scoring, and very level efficiency numbers across their top few. Everybody can and will chuck up a 3-ball too. Interestingly, their 2 best 3pt-shooters, percentage-wise, are their 2 bigs – Alexander and Husek. While it was definitely an outlier, Husek carried the scoring load against LU in the first go-around.
The most noteworthy thing I see in their post-season charge is in opponents’ turnovers. They’ve forced a LOT of them. They don’t seem to be a great shooting team overall – even in 2 most-recent tourney wins.
My keys: take care of the ball/limit TOs, control defensive glass, avoid foul trouble. If we maintain our now-normal inside-out, balanced offensive, I like our chances.March 8, 2016 at 6:40 pm #25957
Agree Todd. I’m more concerned about limiting turnovers, getting good shots and finding a rhythm on offense than the defensive match-ups. Holding Army to 38 is pretty incredible.March 8, 2016 at 7:30 pm #25958
HC (13-19, 8-13) ranked 180th
LU (17-14, 15-5) ranked 163rd
LU wins by 10 (72-62)
This Season’s History
LU won on the road 87-66 on January 16th
Coach’s Comments: “I was really pleased,” said Lehigh head coach Brett Reed. “Our guys had more of an attack mentality where they didn’t want to let it up. You knew Holy Cross was going to make a little bit of a run. They tried to field Alexander in the post and Husek made some perimeter shots, but our defense held strong. We ended up making some slight adjustments and we forced them into one-and-done. We didn’t give up a ton of offensive rebounds. To hold a team to 38 percent for the night and only give up six offensive rebounds, it’s a positive sign for us when we struggled to rebound in the beginning of the year. Every time Austin got the ball, it was a pretty clean look and he was in great rhythm,” said Reed. “The ball was smooth off his finger tips. I don’t think he hit much rim tonight; everything was net. He was in the zone and was making shots. Credit to his teammates for finding him the open opportunities, for swinging the ball against the zone defense and obviously for Austin being ready with his footwork and confident enough to shoot confidently and make good shots.”
LU won at home 64-59 on February 15th
Coach’s Comments: “It’s not every day that you can play far less than your best and still come away with a win,” said Lehigh head coach Brett Reed. “Holy Cross played a good game. We were grinding for a long time and were just waiting for that ball to go into the basket. We never really quite hit that big surge with the offensive explosiveness, but we stayed the course, we didn’t panic and we were able to come away with a win. There’s something to be said for that.”
The Crusaders, this year’s 9th seed, had lost their last five regular season games before picking up three straight tournament wins over Seeds 8, 1, and 4 to advance to the Championship Game. It’s not often that a team seeded 9th wins their way into the Big Dance – in fact, it has never before happened over the admittedly short time span of the Patriot League. HC has, however, won it before but coming out of either the 1 or 2 slot. The same goes for Lehigh, winning it twice (03-04 and 09-10) as the top seed and once (11-12) as the #2 seed. Should HC prevail on Wednesday, they’ll most certainly enter March Madness as a “Play–in” participant whereas some think, as Joe Lunardi says, we’ll be a clean choice at #16 and face #1 North Carolina in Raleigh.
Holy Cross knocked-off Army (0-5 all-time vs. Holy Cross in PL Tournament play) in the Semi’s on Sunday by the unimaginable score of 60-38. It prompted AWP Head Coach, Zach Spiker to simply say, “Credit goes to Holy Cross, they were able to play with a great deal of energy and it was tough to get the right guys the right looks. It’s certainly not the outcome any of us wanted. “That bit about “right guys the right looks” smacks of the much talked about the highly touted HC 1-3-1 defense. Will it stifle us tomorrow? I’m betting it won’t. I’m especially liking 90’s take on the baseline “drive and dish” tactic so familiar to us and, more importantly, so well-executed any number of times this season by KL and JC. I’m thinking/hoping/praying – call it what you want – that we’ll be well prepared, thru what has proven itself to be a blend of coaching and scouting excellence down the stretch, to deal with whatever HC throws against us. Funny, no one is talking about the thought: “Will Holy Cross be ready for us?” After all we do have five double-digit scorers in our starting lineup, boast an overall FG% rate of .479 (league best) compared to HC’s .403 (league worst), hit the “3” at .435 compared to HC defense of the “3” at .381, lead in Rebounding Margin +3.8 to – 4.7, have seniors hungry to reach the Big Dance who just happen to be playing at their best, lay claim to having the PL Player of the Year, and have awaiting their arrival on Sunday a newfound and raucous crowd (1730 Navy, 2225 American, and ? tomorrow) ready to cheer us on. It’s a pretty big mountain HC must climb. In short, our best – even a bit less – should be good enough. Let’s hope I’m right.March 8, 2016 at 7:44 pm #25959
Not to worry SB, Cross board is wondering how to defend us. So far, their answer seems to be get TK in foul trouble.:)March 8, 2016 at 10:03 pm #25960
just watched the early minutes of the last HC game, that was really an ugly start for our guys, shouldn’t see that type of futility again given how well they have played recentlyMarch 8, 2016 at 10:17 pm #25961
Great minds, Van! I was thinking of re-watching our HC games tonight!March 9, 2016 at 2:06 am #25962
Just saw that over 3,200 tickets have been sold already.March 9, 2016 at 2:26 am #25965
Yes over 3000 tix have been sold. I wish there was going to be a little tailgate outside with the weather going to be so nice. Music. Food trucks. Grills. People just hanging out. I did hear ESPN Lehigh valley will be there. I heard possibly outside stabler. So that would be coolMarch 9, 2016 at 2:32 am #25967
You really need to join the South Side Boosters.March 9, 2016 at 2:33 am #25968
IMO, students make tailgates happen. If they show up, there will be tailgates. But I agree with the music, food truck stuff.
I’m pleased with what I’ve seen from LU this post-season, promoting games. Promos, giving stuff away, making it visible. Filled free seats are a BILLION times more valuable than empty seats, on every level.March 9, 2016 at 2:34 am #25969
I would be surprised if thete weren’t tailgates.
You must be logged in to reply to this topic.