December 5, 2013 at 3:03 pm #12549
I was kind of multitasking with one eye on the game, but I was struck by how soft we were in the paint. St.F seemed to score very easily by dumping down into the low post iso. And this with much smaller guys. If St.F is going to be able to eat up our bigs in the post, what will happen against the likes of Bucknell?
It is doubly striking that JC fouled out AND that he was NOT a presence in the block – on O or D. I’m not so concerned about the O right now – the shots will fall eventually. But, JC has the potential to dominate in the paint – defensively – in a way we haven’t seen since Zahir Carrington. If he is going to use all 5 fouls then he ought to alter/block a few shots in the process and be an intimidation factor. But, St.F was NOT intimidated by our D at all ..
We were very fortunate that CoreyS had a great shooting game – especially from 3 – because otherwise we make the ride back to campus with a big “L” …December 5, 2013 at 3:39 pm #12551
And looking over NCAA stats, I’m lead to believe that it’s GOT to be an issue with fundamentals – boxing out, etc. Our number of total rebounds isn’t good, but our opponents rebounding numbers are appalling. Bucky serves as a good reference here. Similar overall team rebounding numbers, but they prevent opponents from getting a ton. Less missed shots maybe? I dunno. They’re actually very high in the rankings of opponents rebounding totals – #19 in D1 as of this morning.
Regarding rebounding stats: total rebounds, opponent total rebounds, and even rebounding differential are IMO flawed stats. Total rebounds and opponent totals are affected by the pace of play (number of possessions and shots) as well as philosophy. Bucknell is a good example on both. They play at a slower pace, so there are less shots in their games over the past few seasons than a typical Lehigh team over the past few years. Therefore, if they corral the same raw # of rebounds in a game as Lehigh does, the percentage of missed shots that Bucknell is getting (and keeping from their opponents) will be significantly larger than the percentage that Lehigh is getting. This is the reason the numbers I have been using to show Lehigh’s rebounding issues are total rebound % and off/def rebounding %. Right now Bucknell is 99th in the country, grabbing 52.3% of available rebounds. Lehigh is #321 and grabs 44.3% of available rebounds. Raw numbers are what they are, but Bucknell grabs more than half of available rebounds and Lehigh grabs signicantly less than half. The reason Bucknell is so high in opponent rebound raw #’s is because they play at a moderate pace and grab an outstanding 76.8% of available defensive rebounds. This is partly due to a conservative defensive philosophy in which they do not gamble and go for steals, and instead do their best to maintain good defensive position which in turn leads to being in good rebounding position once a shot goes up.December 5, 2013 at 3:43 pm #12552
Great to get a road win with such a young team and short bench, no matter who the opponent is.
Can’t help but sympathize with the coaches dealing with the inconsistency of these young players. Chuku’s back to back games are an all-time performance in inconsistency (26 and 15, to 0 and 1) and Whitfield also had a roller coaster two games (9 and 6 to 1 and 1). Great to see AP and MS step up, and Tim is clearly working to get more boards.
Goldsborough can rebound but in addition to his 5 boards, he also had 3 turnovers, basically cancelling out his contribution on the glass. Tough to stay on the court when you can’t be trusted to maintain possession.
To GoHawk’s point, this team is just really soft and not ready/willing to deal with the physicality of college basketball. Has anyone seen the numbers that Dave Dudzinski is putting up for Holy Cross? If our softness continues, he might go for 40 and 20 against our frontcourt (slight exaggeration).December 5, 2013 at 4:30 pm #12553
Glad you brought up the name of Dudzinski, SB. Allow me to note perhaps the obvious but it’s still something I’m trying to get my arms around. That is, there’s a wealth of truely new talent out their – yet unseen around the PL. We’re all so accustomed to watching the stars emerge out in Lewisburg and up in Worcester, but have lost sight (at least I have for some time now) of what Loyola and Boston U. are about to bring to the table. It’s truly special and it’ll will make for an entertaining 10 weeks come January. I speak of………
Dylon Cormier 25.1 ppg and 6.6 rpg
Jarred Jones 11.3 ppg and 5.1 rpg
Dom Morris 12.3 ppg and 7.6 rpg
Maurice Watson 14.9 ppg and 4.0 rpg
DJ Irving 11.8 ppg and 3.5 rpgDecember 5, 2013 at 5:21 pm #12554
If we could get some basic consistency this team would be dangerous. We have some nice consistency in the backcourt with MM and CS. You pretty much know what you are going to get from them every night, and it is generally good, often very good. TK, for a freshman, is scoring consistently. I would, obviously, like him to share the ball out of the post on occasion and consistently rebound, but it will come. Nice effort on glass last night. Chuku is the biggest enigma. Never know what you get, could be spectacular, could be non-existent. SW is similar, as is AP, but that is freshmen in general. All in all, very talented group, and hope they find that consistency moving into PL play.
I actually rewatched probably the best 10-12 minutes of Lehigh basketball ever late last night that I had taped on my DVR. If you ever want to see something fun and something great, watch the first 10-12 minutes of Lehigh/Xavier 2nd Round NCAA. Beautiful basketball for that span, then just turn it off. Man, Holden was a killer early in that game. I will still never get over Reed pulling CJ with 2 fouls. I love to rewatch the 50 or so minutes of Duke/Xavier. Fun times.December 5, 2013 at 5:32 pm #12555
Found an interesting article on http://www.altoonamirror.com about St. Francis. They are not really happy with their head coach. Apologize for not having a direct link but if you go to the Altoona Mirror website and then go to sports it is the first article.December 5, 2013 at 5:49 pm #12556
I am not a St. Francis historian by any means, but I think they peaked in the 50’s and pretty much have gone down hill since. I know that they had two big time players Maurice Stokes (in the 50’s) and Norm Van Lier (in the 60’s). Both were NBA guys, and Stokes was a special player, on way to a Hall of Fame career, before he was injured and never played again. 2nd pick in the NBA Draft and All-Star 3x in his only 3 years before his tragic injury. Well before my time, anyway. I guess basketball is their traditional sport, but program not returning to previous heights, and not exactly a plum job. Seems like a team that was relevant at one time, not anymore, like a lot of smaller Catholic programs who peaked in the 50’s/60’s.December 5, 2013 at 7:28 pm #12557
Thanks for the explanation, SBum. Your choice of rebounding stats makes perfect sense. The percentages kind of “self-adjust” for tempo and shooting %. I’ll catch up!!
Do you think the riskier defensive style is a good choice for us, since we seem to be better suited to a faster pace? Or would the benefit of better positioning be worth it? Interested in your (and anyone else’s) thoughts…December 5, 2013 at 8:25 pm #12558
Do you think the riskier defensive style is a good choice for us, since we seem to be better suited to a faster pace? Or would the benefit of better positioning be worth it? Interested in your (and anyone else’s) thoughts…
I think the system itself is less important than having solid fundamentals and excelling within that system. The downside to Bucknell’s system is that they basically never create turnovers, and the subsequent easy baskets that can come from those turnovers. It is certainly a practical philosophy for a league like the Patriot or Ivy where you likely won’t have the depth and athletes to beat power conference teams in an uptempo game. It has certainly helped Bucknell compete with major conference teams in recent years for the most part. Lehigh has pretty decent athleticism for a mid-major, so I have no problem with them extending their defense and occasionally gambling.
The bigger issue than philosophy is that this team seems willing to be pushed around inside and doesn’t like to box out and pursue rebounds. I will say though, that it seems like this is being emphasized and improving with both Jesse and Tim each having a huge rebounding game over the past two games. I liked Reed’s quote about TK: “He is doing a better job with rebounding by getting in position and pursuing the basketball with two hands.” Shows that this is clearly being emphasized.December 6, 2013 at 12:44 am #12559
One thing I would like to point out is that the officiating was horrible last night. I don’t believe in blaming officials for bad play, but damn. I honestly didn’t see five fouls committed between JC and SW COMBINED last night. When officiating is inconsistent, as it was last night, it neutralizes you as a player. It also gives advantage to 6’6 PF and Centers. Take the 3rd foul called on SW late in 1st half. He was boxing a guy out, and the official signaled a hold? I thought the officials kept SFU in the game, and forced Lehigh to play zone. JC & SW were totally taken out of game in my opinion. 57 to 50 final score? That’s just my take – and by the way, it was great to see AP playing great again!December 6, 2013 at 2:22 am #12561
Symptomatic of any team as young as the one Lehigh is currently putting on the floor, the only thing that is consistent among our 1st year players is their inconsistency. One never knows who is going to show up for any game. There are some games when a player can make you giddy with excitement then watch them fizzle the next. As time goes on, these peaks and valleys will will soften but in the meantime….strap yourself for a rough ride :-).December 6, 2013 at 5:01 pm #12565
I have seen ever game live or on web except games in South Dakota and one concern is the lack of emotion. MM seems to try and bring it out in the other players but just does not seem to be a fire. I realize it very well may be youth or just the kids personality. However, where are the fist pumps, chest bumps, bench excitement etc… I watched Jesse hammer dunk Sacred Heart and the reaction was non-existent. I am all for acting like you have done it before but when you watch great teams go on runs or comeback in games the emotion and fire is very evident.
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