January 26, 2012 at 5:26 pm #4571
Sorry, put this in wrong place before. Trying again.
Since board has been down, no chance to talk Lehigh hoops, so I am going to go back to the Bucknell loss for discussion.
That was a brutal loss. I had to concede, after watching that game, that Bucknell has a better club than Lehigh. And, with Bucknell now at 6-0, and Lehigh 2 losses back, already losing a home game to Bucknell, and a road game to Holy Cross, who is not off to a great start, that the regular season is probably over, as is the NCAA berth.
First, the game itself. HG getting into early foul trouble was a big problem. He needs to be on the floor, and in a game like that, has to have a little bit of smarts to realize he needs to be on the floor. He did look good in the second half. CM had a mediocre game, and couldn’t really get started. Bucknell defense was great on him. There was way too much focus on him going 1 on 1, and the other 4 players standing around watching. GK established no inside presence, and even though Muscala wasn’t great in the low post (actually for a POY, he is limited in the post moves department), Lehigh forgot to guard him outside 18 feet, and he has that range and knocked down big jump shots, and big 3′s. Overall, Lehigh’s guarding on the perimeter left a lot to be desired. MM tried to force some things, and ended up turning the ball over too much. JA, again, added life off the bench, and hit from 3, but overall the bench added little (AD, CS, SC never got going).
After watching that game (1700+ announced by the way, heavy Bucknell presence), I was left to ponder on the drive home that Bucknell is just a better team than Lehigh. Why? I think because they have a lot of variety, a lot of depth, get contributions from a lot of players, defend, and play like a team. They have Muscala, but he has about 1/2 of the talent of CJ. He is just a 6’11″ guy with nice touch from the outside. He is not a dominator in the post. It was the first time I had seen him live, and I did not leave the gym that impressed. He is a nice player, but in a legit conference, he would be another big body, nothing more. But, their other players, and role players are better than Lehigh’s supporting cast. Lehigh has the star factor (CM, HG, GK), but Bucknell has the depth. They are not fancy, but play very smart basketball, and are well coached and drilled. Cohen is a really good player. To me, he may be the most important player on the team. He really impressed me. He plays great defense on CJ, always seems to make the right play, plays heavy minutes, leads on the floor, and when open, makes 3 pointers. He was great against Lehigh. The PG is a solid player and hits from 3 when left open (Ayers). The two bigger forwards (Willen and Fitzpatrick) are solid banger type role players, who are solid. To me, their worst player is Bryson Johnson. He is a gunner, and not a great shooter, who’s shot selection leaves a lot to be desired. Also, I thought Ryan Hill was a nice player. Nothing fancy on that squad, but they play as a team, the right way. After that, the bench drops off a cliff.
Lehigh in contrast has the superstar, but against Bucknell, Cohen can neutralize him, then there is little else you can rely on. Unfortunately, I think Lehigh is playing for second place. And, if Bucknell hosts the PL final, that is almost an impossible position for Lehigh. I am hopeful, but realistically, I think Bucknell is better. I will be heading out to Bucknell to see the rematch, but I would be surprised if Bucknell does not win by double digits out there.January 26, 2012 at 11:03 pm #4585
I think you need to watch a lot more Bucknell games before making generalizations. A few comments:
1. Quote: ” Muscala wasn’t great in the low post (actually for a POY, he is limited in the post moves department), Lehigh forgot to guard him outside 18 feet, and he has that range and knocked down big jump shots, and big 3′s. . . . he has about 1/2 of the talent of CJ. He is just a 6’11″ guy with nice touch from the outside. He is not a dominator in the post. It was the first time I had seen him live, and I did not leave the gym that impressed. He is a nice player, but in a legit conference, he would be another big body, nothing more. ”
Muscala actually has some good post moves – and the great majority of his FG’s are from within a few feet of the basket – but LU did a good job doubling him and preventing him from making any moves. Last year American had All-PL center Lumpkins and opted to have him guard Muscala straight up. The result was that Muscala ended up with 33 points and 10 rebounds. If LU guarded him straight up, the result might easily be the same. AU doubled him last night and he still got 21 points (8-12 on FG’s), all on moves in the post – zero outside shots. Also 12 rebounds.
Not saying by any means that Muscala would be a star in the Big East, but he certainly would be a good player in a league like the A-10. Last year he faced Richmond and LaSalle on the road – one of whom had a past All A-10 center and one of whom had a preseason All A-10 center. In total, Muscala ended up with 38 points on 15-26 shooting while playing head-up against some very good players. He is ambidextrous btw – which helps him make a ton of baskets in the post.
Muscala this year already has 11 double-doubles and is on pace to become only the 6th player in PL history to average more than 9.2 rpg for a season. Also is on pace to easily be the second best shot-blocker in PL history (behind only Foyle).
2. Quote: “Cohen is a really good player. To me, he may be the most important player on the team. He really impressed me. He plays great defense on CJ, always seems to make the right play, plays heavy minutes, leads on the floor, and when open, makes 3 pointers.”
You’re correct that Cohen is a very important player. Not only does he play great defense on CJ, he plays great defense on everyone he guards – and those players range from PG’s to fours such as Vlad Moldoveanu. Excluding Foyle, Cohen might well be the best defender ever in the Patriot League. If nothing else, he will be the league’s first 3-time defender of the year. However, he often does not make the open three, although he did hit them at LU.
3. Quote: “The PG is a solid player and hits from 3 when left open (Ayers). ”
Ayers has hit 40-77 from beyond the arc this year, so he definitely can hit the three. He’s a very good all-around player – but he is not a PG. He played 8 minutes at the point in this game only because both Bison PG’s (Hill and Kaspar) got in foul trouble. Often he plays zero minutes there.
4. Quote: ” To me, their worst player is Bryson Johnson. He is a gunner, and not a great shooter, who’s shot selection leaves a lot to be desired. ”
This is why it’s a mistake to make judgements from one game. To begin with, there is a reason the Patriot League coaches voted Johnson to the All-PL team last year. Although you might be able to criticize certain parts of his game, to say he’s not a great shooter is absurd. Last year he ended up hitting 46% of his 217 3-point attempts – one of the top performances in PL history. Also one of the top performances in the nation. Recently he had been in a bad shooting slump – before his shooting broke open the game with American last night – but he is still at 39%, which is more than respectable considering that he is always targeted by the opposing defenses and often has to shoot from four feet behind the arc. His effective range (i.e. where he will make 35%+) extends out to about six feet beyond the arc.
Given his shooting ability, he actually rarely takes a bad shot. Yes, he missed all eight of his attempts at LU – but 7 of the 8 were good looks. In fact, the worst defense played on him all year was in that game. On a normal night he would hit 3 or 4 of the same shots if he were left that open. One thing about Johnson is that opponents never ever leave him to help on another player – which helps get open looks for some of the other players. That’s one reason why Willman leads the PL in shooting pct by a wide margin and why BU has 3 of the top 5 in shooting pct.
By the way, in his senior year of H.S., Johnson attempted almost 500 threes and hit nearly 49% of them.
5. Quote: “Also, I thought Ryan Hill was a nice player. Nothing fancy on that squad, but they play as a team, the right way. After that, the bench drops off a cliff.”
The bench definitely does not drop off a cliff until you’ve also mentioned Steve Kaspar. He’s likely one of the five best frosh in the PL this year and has been a major contributor for BU. As for other players, Brackney is hitting 60% of his threes as a shooter off the bench, and frosh Singleton had two strong games off the bench last month prior to being injured.
January 28, 2012 at 2:33 am #4595
- This reply was modified 8 years, 9 months ago by Bison137.
I will sum it up. I agree BU has a great team. The reason LU is losing is because they are not playing as a team. When Jordan is hot, Reed takes him out, Adams played really well, Reed puts Greiner back in, Maneri playing well, Reed goes with his golden boy, Gabe. Seniors may not be superstars, but they have played tough the past few games. Are they rewarded? Nope. How can you expect players who have played better than some of your starters to be motivated to give it their all, when there is a clear bias with Reed’s junior class. Reed reverts back to his comfort zone. Preseason they played as s team. Once PL began, he went back to what is comfortable. Oh yes, Paulsen out coaches Reed every time, the man knows how to get the best out of his players. When you have a superstart who is trying to break records instead of passing the ball, you lose, he wins, because he will play overseas. I had great hopes for this team; unless they play team ball, this is their last shot at the NCAA for many years to come. I may be wrong, but I do not see them making it to the NCAA next year, even with CJ. Just plain old selfish non team ball and a bias coach who is not listening to his assistants. As much as I want them to be competitive, it does not take a rocket scientist to see this is not team ball. Get it now Reed or you lose the season!
January 28, 2012 at 10:14 pm #4598
- This reply was modified 8 years, 9 months ago by norcalfan.
Wow, norcal, wow!
“When you have a superstart who is trying to break records instead of passing the ball, you lose, he wins…”
What game or games have you been watching, lately? In the BU game, CJ dished out 9 helpers. In the 6 PL games played to date, his assist total stands at 18 or 24% of all team assists. That’s 4th best in the PL. In my opinion and in the opinion of many I speak to at the games, CJ is a team-player and widelly respected as such. I have no problem with our star player/scorer taking 32.5% of our shots and playing 35+ minutes of every game. His talents cry out for it. He’s our “go-to” guy, just as Muscala (BU), Hinkle (AU), Brown (HC), Melville (CU), Avila (Navy), Ellis (Army), and Willen (LC) are for their teams. Each also dominates in terms of percent shots taken at number >25%. Seriously doubt there’s a selfish one among them. CJ just happens to be responsible for 33.2% (149 out of 449) of our points and 19.3% of our rebounds. He’s our star. Embrace him. I’ve watched every game the guy as played and have spoken to him on a number of occasions, let me assure you he is “team first.” Better yet, he knows that’s his ticket back to the NCAAs. Still doubt he’s a team player? Look at it in perhaps a selfish way. At 6’3″/183 lb, CJ knows his only hope at the next level – something we all think he wants – is as a point guard. Think PG….Think Team…Think CJ.January 29, 2012 at 12:27 am #4599
Quote: “I have no problem with our star player/scorer taking 32.5% of our shots and playing 35+ minutes of every game. His talents cry out for it. He’s our “go-to” guy, just as Muscala (BU), Hinkle (AU), Brown (HC), Melville (CU), Avila (Navy), Ellis (Army), and Willen (LC) are for their teams. Each also dominates in terms of percent shots taken at number >25%.”
I don’t think CJ’s pct of shots is exactly comparable to many of the others – nor would I expect it to be with his ability to create shots. The top few in the PL take a significantly higher pct of their team’s shots than do the rest. From Pomeroy, here is each team’s leader is pct of shots taken while they are on the floor:
Putting it in persepctive, CJ takes 18% more of LU’s shots than Muscala takes BU shots. He takes 25% more of LU’s shots than Willen takes of LC’s shots. Etc. As you can see from above, Ellis of Army takes an even higher percentage of their shots than does CJ – which is at least partly necessary due to Army having very few offensive weapons and virtually no post game. In CJ’s case, I have no problem with him taking a lot of LU’s shots as long as he can find the open man when the shot is not there.January 29, 2012 at 4:57 am #4600
Bison137 has the stats. I can only speak to what I see on the screen. When there is an open man, CJ, Gabe and Greiner are not passing the ball. See the quote from their captain, Hamilton who said just that, they are not passing the ball. You cannot expect a 100% of the other players on the team when they never know if and when you will pass the ball. I can see other players waiting and looking, CJ, Gabe and Greiner do not even give them a look. An announcer at I believe was the Colgate game commented on the fact that when Gabe gets the ball, it rarely comes back out. This is not just me talking, others see it and you better believe good coaches like Paulsen has Reed’s number. Like I said, no team, no PL championship, no NCAA. Reed needs to get these three to play team ball or he will lose the respect of the remaining players.
January 29, 2012 at 5:03 am #4602January 30, 2012 at 12:57 am #4615
- This reply was modified 8 years, 9 months ago by norcalfan.
This was so freeking long ago it seems I don’t even feel like getting into this nor does my memory serve and I don’t want to go back and look everything up. BUT, I’ll just sound the relax bell for all those who think team is not making ncaa tournament game because they lost to a good team at home. Folks, we didn’t play our best, and lost, it happens. Couple of things to think positive about:
1.) CJ and our big 3 in total all had rough nights. Neither CJ/HG/GK put in an A effort. If I remember, this felt like a lot of big games with CJ not getting consistent shots and going long stretches not doing anything on the offensive end. Credit Cohen, obviously, but CJ is a big boy now as a jr and should be taking it to him by now. Odds are if we play them 2 more times that our big 3 perform much better.
2.) Mackey – He didnt’ shoot well I don’t think, but I remember saying BU has no one, no one, no one that can keep MM out of the paint. Ayers, Hill, Kasper NO ONE can stop MM from penetrating.
3.) We out-rebounded them.
4.) They way out shot us from 3-ball if I remember correctly, with Cohen getting 3 or 4.
5.) I don’t give a rats arse how many shots CJ takes, % of X or Y or Z, he is best offensive player in history of the league, he should be taking more shots if you ask me. He is also too unselfish if you ask most of us who watch the LU games, NorCal man, I do not know what you’ve been watching lately, but I thought you were in a good mood with the JA resurgence!!! CJ is one of the most unselfish big time scorers you’ll see, who is happy to get assists and set guys up, he is what 4th or 5th in PL in dimes this year…only argument from me on CJ is lack of big game performances minus lafayette championship game his freshman year. Lack of getting consistent touches and getting his on regular basis, and a lot of that goes to Reed for not seeing this/picking up on trend/consistently running sets for him….He has struggled in last 4 games versus BU, St Johns, ISU, MSU, etc…..he will be fine, we will compete with BU, they’re deeper/better coached, but I think if we can snag 2 seed from AU, and stay away from HC who sucks but owns us, we’ll see BU in the finals and see what happens…I truly have a hard time believing we lose up there again….I am rooting for 0-2 reg season and then steal the 3rd at their place with the lights on…
LUHoops00January 30, 2012 at 1:56 am #4618
Lee Hai PhanParticipant
In my opinion, CJ takes about the right number of shots, Adams plays about the right number of minutes and Bucknell is a formidable opponent.
I’m really enjoying this season. Also, it seems to me that attendance is up lately. Pretty good crowd for both Navy and Army.January 30, 2012 at 5:03 am #4620
Yes I am happy to see all the seniors on the floor, not just Adams. As for minutes, yes I want them to have more minutes, I am not arguing about minutes, so why is that a discussion. If neither are performing, I have no problem with them on the bench. Again, if we play as a team, we can beat BU and anyone else in the league, if we don’t we lose, simple as that. I will not argue this point any longer. I am an LU fan, want them to win, but team first. If any player could take as many shots as CJ, they percentage would be higher. I do care about how many shots he takes when someone else is a better option. We need a team to take it all the way! While we are at it, why is Mackey not starting? He can’t win without him. Corey is doing a great job, but against a team like BU, not mature enough to handle the pressure.January 30, 2012 at 4:42 pm #4628
We know you love your Bucknell Bison, but you need to be a bit more objective. You have a nice little team, and I was very complimentary of them. I think they are the class of the PL this season. But, let’s not get carried away about how great they are. Mike Muscala dominates PL level competition because he is 6’11”, and he has a significant advantage over everybody who covers him. Even with that advantage, he was fairly useless in the low block vs. Lehigh. He should be able to post any player he faces and score. He did not show that ability vs. Knutson or Manieri who are 2-3″ smaller, and the double teamers who came at him who were even smaller. He was effective on the outside, and for that I gave him credit. But, he is not the second coming of Bill Walton. Unless you are a total stiff, and we have seen quite a few in the PL, at 6’11” with a little ability, you should be a dominant PL player. In a top conference (ACC, Big 10, Big 12, Big East, etc.), he never sees the court. In contrast, CJ McCollum, in my opinion, is a contributor in those leagues, not a star, but a solid player. Obviously, the guy is a great player in this league, but my comments were more to the point that I expected a 6’11” center who was POY to show more polish in the paint. He did not show effective use of a drop step move, a fade away jump shot, or any power moves to the basket. He tried some weaker hook shots with both hands and that is all he showed. He didn’t even demand the ball on the low block. He does have a good face up game for a player of his size. And, I give him credit for realizing he was not effective on the low block and moving away from the basket where he did score. But, for a POY, I expected much more. I had seen him play about 5-6 times earlier in his career on TV, but this was my first chance to get a feel for him courtside in person.
Bryson Johnson. I, and every Lehigh fan in the building, was thrilled when he shot the ball. Shots taken early in the shot clock, from 6 feet beyond the 3 point line, are not “good looks”. When you shoot 0-8, you are hurting your team, and he singlehandedly kept Lehigh in the game. Even the Bucknell fans sitting near me were groaning at his play. If you drill down his statistics, this season, he is NOT a great shooter. Throw out 2 early OOC home games vs. lightweights West Alabama and Morehead St. at home, where he shot an impressive 15/28 on FGs and 15/27 from 3, and he has been less than great. In PL play this season, he is averaging 8 points a game. He has shot 15/46 on FGs, or a clip of 32.6%. On 3s, he is slightly better at 12/36 or 33.3%. For the season, including the 2 games where he shot lights out, he is connecting at 36.6% from the field. I want him shooting the ball against my team all night. Not to mention, he is a one dimensional catch and shoot shooter, who you have to run off screens, etc. to get open. He has limited handle and can’t beat anyone off the dribble. You can tell that strictly by looking at how few two point attempts he has this season. And, don’t get me started about how great he was in high school. Every guy who plays in the PL was great in high school. The walk-ons were great in high school. And, he played in Nova Scotia. He probably played against softer high school competition that anyone who plays D-1 basketball in high school. He better have been good against that competition. Everybody else is out playing hockey. He is not even the best shooter on the team. Ayers is hitting at over 50% from 3, and Muscala at over 40%.
On your 3 “supersubs”, you wanted to speak about Kaspar, Brackney and Singleton. Are you kidding me? Talk to me, when they average over 3 points a game. Singleton 2.9, Brackney 2.9, and superfrosh Kaspar 2.5 ppg. Kaspar’s numbers are worse than Corey Schaefer, and I certainly wouldn’t call him an impact freshman. CS is 3.7 ppg in less minutes, and his shooting numbers are 38.3/39.1/90.6 to Kaspar’s 35.5/27.3/28.6.
I am critical of Lehigh’s shortcomings and the weaknesses in certain players. Take off the orange tinted glasses, please.January 30, 2012 at 4:48 pm #4630
Wow, I cant wait for the next game
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