November 13, 2013 at 2:57 am #12126
Five new faces (counting JC) in their opening two games of college experience. All get meaningful minutes. And they can all really play the game! I heard a neighbor comment, “imagine how they’ll do when they know what they’re doing.” Accolades to Mackey and Corey for great games tonight and in coordinating the talented newbies. I’m thrilled……November 13, 2013 at 5:13 am #12127
I caught most of second half on web: Yes, they are fun to watch — even after only two games for many of them! What a recruiting class, plus JC!November 13, 2013 at 12:20 pm #12128
Man no one could have written a better script last night, perfect game. Loved so much about that, for a young team to win at home like that, keep lead up and keep game really out of distance for most part, fantastic.
These 5 guys are special additions to team. AP with 36 points in first two games are ya kidding me. Said it before Fran McCaferty knows talent and fact AP was a week or two away from a confirmed booked official at Iowa was a good sign. Huge credit to Reed for closing AP, assist toTK to texting him daily after their LU officials…that wi make for quite a story years down the road as these two roomies grow together. TK, it’s easy to point to the obvious that he’s not a windex glass cleaner or a defensive monster or a leaper….but as they said on broadcast last night a guy with his size who has a legit feel for game out of post this early in career wow…upside for him in our league is huge, he will get stronger and quicker and better. 6’10 plus at 250 in another year with that touch down low will be beast mode.
JC confirmed what coaching staff knew, he can pop three ball. He was also active on boards with four offensive and four defensive boards. Also blocked and altered some. MS looked good, more smooth and some nice drives and passes, 6 and 3 in 15 minutes perfect. SW had some positive moments as well. We did see the jumbo package for a tiny bit with SW at 3, he’s the swing man lineup guy.
MM maestro man double double fantastic.
Great game big win, lots to be excited about.November 13, 2013 at 4:34 pm #12129
Great recaps above. Thanks to all who posted and those yet to be heard from.
Now that’s more like it!
Maybe, just maybe, it was a severe case of the nerves (yes, Minny’s D did play well, too) that set in and led to our dismal 7 for 30 shooting performance in the opening half of play this year. You know…….new players, Big 10 opponent, national exposure, and all the rest. But, after last night you have to come away feeling this team can shoot the rock. And, if open – as was the case in the vast majority of times last night – can bury the shot. See scoring chart below:
1st half 7 for 30 = 23.3%
2nd half 15 for 31 = 48.4%
1st half 15 for 27 = 55.5
2nd half 15 for 24 = 62.5%
Last three halves of play 45 for 82 = 54.9%
What’s more, if open, it doesn’t seem to matter where the shots come from. In fact, we connected (percent wise) on more 3’s than 2’s last night.
14 for 23 3’s = 60.9%
16 for 28 2’s = 57.1%
Ball movement keyed our accuracy. We were in no rush to hoist it up. Last night we recorded 20 assists on our 30 made FGs. We played under control, attempting just 51 shots while turning the ball over only 10 times (just 4 by our guards). While 10 might seem high, remember Rider did press on occasion and presented us with a nuisance defense. We, however, found players in their favorite spots, e.g., AP in the far left corner (kind of reminds me of SC last year…but that was the right corner) and JC on the high wings just beyond the 3 pt. rim. MM dished an incredible 10 times and didn’t appear concerned that his point total lagged until late in the game. PS…he had 0 turnovers. Solid leadership……pumped while on and off the court. When seated, MS and CS were more than adequate in the backcourt combining for 15 points (6 for 9 shooting) and dishing out 6 assists.
While all the talk is of our freshman class (and, of course, JC in his first year of eligibility), let’s not forget SC, CB, and JG. Stefan is apparently being eased into the lineup (8 min last night and 8 min vs. Minny) and will, no doubt, play a positive role down the road– even if its’ off the bench. CB and JG, while not starting, did bang and exhibit more fire under the boards last night than I expected to see. Although to no one’s surprise the pair picked up 5 PFs in a combined 14 minutes of play. For reference purposes, TK had 3 in 23 minutes. Hopefully, there’s a happy median between the three. As said before, TK could, and perhaps should, be a 4-year starter. He seems to have a solid understanding of his role on offense yet, as was the case, last night, too often hesitant to pull the trigger. Maybe it my wacky perception but that was the quietest 16 point performance I’ve ever seen. Tim came off, to me anyway, a bit sleepy and non-committal on “D” (3 boards – none on offense – in 23 minutes), as well. That will no doubt change. One thing for sure, he’s not a leaper. You can continue to look for JC take center circle tips. Now that’s a leaper!
The reported attendance of 1042 was about what most of us expected from an opening night vs. a lesser/perhaps even opponent. Last two opening nights were 924 vs. Fairfield and 853 vs. Quinnipiac. In speaking to someone in the know, I learned that our season ticket sales did not take a dip with the loss of CJ, HG,and GK. If the team continues this spirited play I would expect it to catch the interest of our student body which may be looking for the “next CJ.” Way too early to tell, but they may have found one in AP. The student section was alive last night from the opening tip and filled the west end of the arena’s lower stands. They even got the L-U….L-U Cheer going with some folks in the lower level. Hey, it’s a start.November 13, 2013 at 4:55 pm #12131
Great recaps, and more postgame comments than I can ever remember. Exciting time. You aren’t going to lose many games using 60% + from 3. Hopefully, they play a solid game up at Rose Hill on Friday. A-10 opponent, a soft one, but A-10, nonetheless.
I would love to see this team knock off one of the big boys. They would be huge for the young guys. Best bet looks to be Houston on Sunday. They are not playing great basketball, and I doubt they pack them in at Hofheinz Pavilion these days. That is a winnable spot for Lehigh.November 13, 2013 at 5:24 pm #12133
Great recaps and insights. My one tiny reservation is that O does not always show up,D can. Perimeter D in the 2nd got lazy. We are not going to shoot every night like we did vs Rider. That said,looking forward to Fordham ,who scared the hell out of Indiana last niteNovember 13, 2013 at 6:21 pm #12135
Actually, it was LIU-Brooklyn who scared the hell out of Indiana last night. Fordham lost by 15 at Syracuse. Down 25 at the half.November 13, 2013 at 7:07 pm #12136
Yeah, I know. One of those senior moments. Reading LIU article in News and typing on phone. My nrain put the 2 together. At times, it is sooo much fun being me. Fordham is a winnable game. Got to play D.November 13, 2013 at 8:56 pm #12141
Definitely a fun game. Good to see Chuku hit those 3’s after his tough opening night. I’d like to see Whitfield be a little more aggressive. I think there is a lot more to his game than he is showing right now and he has no reason to be bashful. Price can obviously shoot it and is very fun to watch. Simelton was impressive as well, and Kempton has 100% shown he can put the ball in the basket. He will need to continue to get stronger and smarter about position to be more impactful on D and the glass. Great game by Mackey.
Fordham will be a tough test. They brought in a top 150 freshman that had dozens of BCS offers, Jon Severe, who has scored 28 and 19 in his first two games. They should be a decent squad so a road win over them would be legit.November 13, 2013 at 9:01 pm #12142
As noted earlier, there is a lot to be excited and optimistic about with the 2013-2014 version of Lehigh basketball.
I do have two concerns though before the euphoria gets too great.
1.)I wish we could learn to attack the basket more. This is perhaps the most athletic team we’ve had at Lehigh in years and yet nearly half of our shot attempts are from beyond the 3 point line. As Lehigh90 pointed out..live by the 3, die by the 3.
Some interesting stats so far.
Mackey McKnight is shooting 70% from the 3 so far. It is highly unlikely that he will keep up that pace all year.
Austin Price is averaging 18 ppg so far this year. He has only made 3 shots inside the paint (attempted 5). It won’t take long before coaches figure that out.
Jesse Chuku was 0-8 from the 3 in game 1 (we lost). He was 4-4 in game 2 (we won).
Our opponents attempted 9 less treys and took 18 more foul shots. That’s a useful bi-product of penetration basketball.
I decided to focus on our rebounding technique this year with a near turnover in our front court (in terms of minutes). After 5 minutes of basketball, I gave up looking for a box out. JC has good #s due to his incredible length. Our next 2 leading rebounders are our PGs (MM and CS). We need to get much better at establishing position and using good technique if we ever want to compete at the next level. TK needs to work on his vertical and get softer hands (although he has some really polished post moves).
Trivia question…does anyone remember a freshman averaging more points as a freshman at Lehigh than he ever scored at the HS level?November 13, 2013 at 9:58 pm #12145
Interesting point on boxing out. Reality we may just be a score more to win team until newbies learn how to play D and rebound.November 13, 2013 at 10:15 pm #12146
TMH – good to spend some time with you last night. Let’s do it again on 12/1 (Sacred Heart). Hopefully other posters will join in.
While I agree with much of what you’re saying (establishing stronger positions under the rim, etc.), remember we pull down 35 boards vs. Minny (10 by JC) and did out-rebound Rider by one, 30-29. Granted, much of it was due to the bounce of the ball but isn’t that game of basketball? Also, you’re not going to post massive numbers on the offensive glass when you hit 62+% of your shots.
Yes, “you live by the three, you die by the three.” But last night I simply believe it was a case of taking what the defense was giving, i.e., the “3.” Of the 14 made 3-pointers, 10 had to be uncontested or nearly so. That’s upwards of 21-30 gift points. While I haven’t seen AP, MS, CR, JC, and SW drive/ penetrate that often, I’m guessing they can. Some, no doubt, will be productive. Like you, I can’t wait to see who and evaluate that part of their game. Surely Macky and Corey can make those moves to the rim and have proven to be productive contributors. Ah, the beauty of these early season games.
The fun continues on Friday.November 14, 2013 at 5:40 pm #12159
I am also interested in seeing how AP responds to coaches adapting to his play. He is never going to get as many wide open looks as he got at Rider. His first four or five threes where literally like shooting warm-up shots. I am by no means taking anything away from his performance which has been very good since the 2nd half of Minny game. Some unanswered questions are his ability to guard a physical attacking guard, some struggles in 2nd half of Rider game. Also, can he put it on the floor and attack once coaches adjust. One time AP attempted this against Rider his shot was blocked. I am very optimistic about these young kids and think they are loaded with talent. I cannot wait until adversity hits to see how the handle it. That to me will show more about this team than anything. What will they do down 5 with 5 minutes on the clock in a game they are suppose to win?
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