March 5, 2016 at 1:51 pm #25900
AU (13-18, 10-9) ranked 303rd
LU (17-14, 14-5) ranked 165th
LU wins by 10 (67-57)
In Sunday’s Other Game…..
HC (14-19, 7-13) ranked 302nd
Army (20-12, 10-9) ranked 218th
Army wins by 7 (74-67)
AU, the #6 seed, put down the #3 seed, BU, on Thursday night by the score of 69-64. Let it be known, The Eagles had lost their previous two to The Terriers this year – much the same as they had lost their previous to us. They come into Stabler on Sunday riding a 5-game winning streak. Despite the season-long success we have enjoyed against American (see 2-game highlights below), we need to remember – as if it’s hard to forget – that it was AU that ended our tournament-run last year by a score of 68-62 in a game played at Stabler. So, too, must we recognize the success their 3rd year coach, Mike Brennan, has enjoyed. He’s 6-1 in Patriot League Tournament action which includes a 4-1 record on the road. In fact, the team has advanced to the Patriot League Tournament semifinals for the 14th time in its 15 seasons in the League.
LU vs. AU This Season
Lehigh won 65-50 at American on 1/9
AU, KL, and KR combined for 43 of our 65 points in a game in which we never trailed. Our 3’s didn’t fall (3 for 13) yet we enjoyed +16 pt. swing when it came to Points off Turnovers. We lead in fast-break points 12 to 0. Reed said later, “American plays a complicated style, it’s a complicated offense. Our guys had to adjust and be detailed on their positioning and they did a good job. Austin’s defense on Jesse Reed was terrific. He didn’t give him a lot of angles or opportunities.”
Lehigh won 72-19 at Stabler on 2/6
Two runs of 12-0 and 16-0 says it all as we steam-rolled AU 72-49. We lead 36 to 14 in Points in the Paint and 19 to 11 on Point of Turnovers. Reed had this to say, “I was really pleased with the way our guys went about establishing themselves. I’ve seen Kahron Ross really try to establish himself with poise and energy in the last two games, and I thought Tim Kempton tried to establish himself with some toughness tonight, which was nice to see.” That toughness and Tim’s infectious never say die attitude and on-court leadership has, in my humble opinion, been the hallmark of our team’s play over the last 8 games. It’s been infectious and it’s the reason we are where we are today, i.e., one step away from hosting the Championship Game on Wednesday.
Streaks Coming Into The Game
LU 10 W’s (Average Score: 74.2 to 63.5)
AU 5 W’s (Average Score: 67.8 to 64.8)
As many of us have observed in the past, American runs slow – very slow – offensive sets. If you’re prepared – which after years of seeing it – we should be, it shouldn’t be a problem. But, it can throw-off and frustrate any opponent by taking them out of their game.
Average Length of Offensive Possessions
LU 17.3 seconds – ranked 173rd
AU 21.1 seconds – ranked 351st or last in the nation
Another stat that may come into play on Sunday is LU’s ability to knock down the “3.” Pomeroy grades us out at 39.5% or 15th in the nation. That’s great, but realize AU is ranked 13th at defending the long range shot @30.4% It would seem a “no-brainer” that we go inside to Tim and others where AU’s defense ranks 328th @ 52.4%.
Finally, in terms of worries or stats that come to mind would be the importance of keeping our starters on the floor. LU ranks 13th from the bottom in terms of bench minutes and has one player, in my mind, that we need come crunch time. And, that’s TK. I think back to an AU game earlier in the year when Tim played just 22 minutes and collected nearly as many PFs (4) as Pts (6). You can’t control what the refs will do, but let’s hope they let the players decide the outcome of tomorrow’s game.
Message Boarders…….Let’s meet behind the courtside seats during pregame warmups.March 6, 2016 at 7:06 pm #25905
Here. We. Go.March 6, 2016 at 7:31 pm #25906
Wow. Great start!March 6, 2016 at 8:00 pm #25907
Would be tough to design a better half. TK hasn’t missed from the floor, AP has a hot hand, and we’re at 1.32 pts/possession. Awesome.March 6, 2016 at 9:23 pm #25908
11 straight, #1toDance. Great game, and extended bench minutes.March 6, 2016 at 10:41 pm #25909
That was easy. Wednesday may be tricky going against that 1-3-1.March 7, 2016 at 2:36 am #25910
Attendance 2,225 today. Good crowd. Hopefully more on Wednesday night. We have best team, home court and swept season series. Feeling good. Looking forward to Lehigh/Nova in Raleigh.March 7, 2016 at 4:05 am #25911
Lehigh90: One game at a time, huh?
But since Lehigh90 brought it up … and let’s be honest:
What was a realistic goal for this team at the beginning of this year (after we knew the injury/transfer issues)?
How about mid-year?
Who would have been happy with hosting the PL title game? (Count me in.)
Being in the final? (Count me in.)
A PL title?
What is the realistic limit for these guys, this year?
Maybe we wait until late WED to have this conversation.March 7, 2016 at 4:31 am #25913
Excellent performance by the Mountain Hawks today; I’m glad I was able to be at Stabler for it. The guys could have gotten themselves in some trouble after getting such a big early lead, but they never let American get within 14 points in the 2nd half.
I like Lehigh’s chances against Holy Cross, but we’ll see what happens. Hopefully they can end up in Brooklyn if they do win the Patriot League Tournament.March 7, 2016 at 4:52 am #25914
[quote quote=25910]Attendance 2,225 today. Good crowd. Hopefully more on Wednesday night. [/quote]
It’s been great seeing the students come out to the tournament games, and the way the athletic department has book pushing ticket sales. Does anyone know the breakdown of revenue for the league vs the host school in the tournament? Since the league is setting the ticket prices, I assume they are taking (or sharing amongst the members) at least a portion of the revenue.
I think HC will be tough. Eric Green, who is one of the best athletes and defenders in the league, is back after missing the first 3/4 of his senior year and seems to have energized them. Plus the switch to a 1-3-1. This is going to be a tough game.March 7, 2016 at 4:06 pm #25920
Before the tournament I said I wanted no part of Holy Cross, but I thought they would run out of gas in the semi’s. Now, here we are. If anything, Holy Cross has gotten better in the last two weeks and is “peaking at the right time”. Dr. Reed said Wednesday is going to be a “war” and I agree with him.
The good news is we’ve already seen Cross 2.0 at Stabler not that long ago, so they won’t be throwing surprises at us on Wednesday. We know the 1-3-1 will be how they do things, along with Sam Champion being their go-to hot hand from the outside.
Not to take the thunder away from LU65, but Champion scored 25 against Lehigh the last time at Stabler. He was more of 1/3 of their total points in the game, and nobody else hit double digit scoring. Can Lehigh limit Champion?March 7, 2016 at 4:48 pm #25923
As for our expectations for the year, I think everybody had high expectations. We had the best big guy in the league, and returning POY. We had, arguably, the best PG in the league in KR (and he made first team All PL), and we had a really solid wing in AP, who was very good last year. We were missing some pieces (BA, MS and the freshmen), but they looked like complementary pieces, role players. So, I think we went in expecting to finish pretty high in PL and contend for NCAA spot. That’s why we were so disappointed with our start, non-PL slate, and early PL action.
I think the critical players for us have been JC and KL. Those two have really stepped up, and given us really nice production, and 3 point shooting. JC very unsung senior season, and KL looks like a potential POY in the league. Those were the 2 unknowns, who have been knowns for us, and given us 5 strong starters. And, we are getting just enough from our bench.
Going forward, we should win Wed night. We may not, but we have almost everything on our side, and will be a big favorite. But, it’s a tricky game for sure. I think if we win, we avoid the PIG, but look to get a date with one of the behemoths of college basketball. If we draw Virginia, or UNC, I think those are 30 point losses. UVA hammered us early on, and we just don’t have the length and talent to match up there. I think we could hang for awhile with Nova or Xavier, if they are on the 1 line. Don’t foresee wins, but close for a half, and probably run out of gas (like Nova recently, in Allentown). I don’t see us going to Des Moines to face Kansas. I think Raleigh or Brooklyn for sure.March 7, 2016 at 5:41 pm #25925
Something to keep in mind about Lehigh’s brutal OOC schedule. As of today, Lehigh lost to 5 teams that are either in or projected in Lunardi’s bracketology (Virginia, Yale, Purdue, Syracuse, Stony Brook). In particular the Yale loss looked very bad to start the year, but has morphed into a “quality loss” as the season has worn on.
I get the feeling that the psychological blow of losing those early games, some of them in lopsided fashion, turned into some other head-scratching losses (SFPA, Canisius) and seeped into early PL play. But somewhere in PL play this team turned things around.
Incidentally, now Lunardi has Lehigh possibly playing UNC in Raleigh (hi, toddcudd!). To me, the dropoff between the 1 line and the 2 line seems very significant.March 7, 2016 at 5:49 pm #25926
Also, one other note. I have no idea who Lehigh would match up against in the tournament, whether as a high 16 vs. a 1 seed or in the PIG. But it’s kind of odd that, if they make it, they would likely face off against either:
* Nova, whom they played last year at the PPL center
* Kansas, whom Lehigh faced as a 16 seed in 2010
* UNC, the mirror image of the famous Duke matchup of 2012
* Virginia, whom they faced this season
If the top 4 are these four seeds, and Lehigh manages to win, their No. 1 seed opponent will not say “who?” if they see Lehigh as their competition.
Interestingly, on Lunardi’s current “2” line, he has Oregon, Xavier, Oklahoma, and Michigan State. Xavier (2012) and Michigan State (2014, I think) have history with Lehigh, but the others, no.March 7, 2016 at 6:03 pm #25927
Easy guys, still a big game on Wednesday to play…
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