March 8, 2012 at 11:45 am #5216
Amazingly we’re up to 81 in kenpom, 20 clear of bucknell but they are still 18 up on us in realtimerpi 85 vs 103…..March 8, 2012 at 1:35 pm #5218
Congratulations to Dr. Reed and the Hawks! They are flying in rare air. Here’s hoping CJ comes back for one more year of eye-popping poise, creativity and athleticism.
I think he could handle the 1 on an NBA roster – with a Rajon Rondo kind of flair; a lot of Kobe in his game too – but the 3 needs a little more dev time (hint, hint).
Seriously, CJ saved our goat big time with timely baskets with #4 virtually inside his jersey. We seemed very tight and uncharacteristic sloppiness from the supporting cast. Gabe too … picked a nice time to have his best game of the season.
It was a nerve-racking game because we could not find the knock-out punch – very little production from the 4 position. Still waiting for us to put together a complete game. Maybe we’ll do it on the big stage against ‘Cuse, or Ky or one of the huge programs.
I will posit that if CJ has a 20+ pts/5+ boards/5+ assists/3+ steals type game – he will be off to the NBA in the early 2nd round. Otherwise, he comes back ..March 8, 2012 at 2:42 pm #5219
Start to finish. Still ramped this AM. Watched again at Midnite. Funny game just as much fun 2nd time around. Team played great ,everyone contributed. Love CJ deflecting praise to the team and the seniors. Reed ran game very well. He has improved each year as a bench coach. Course helps to have CJ.March 8, 2012 at 3:16 pm #5224
Like the rest of you, I was so jacked last night I ended up watching the first half again on the replay. Even when you know how it’s going to turn out, I’m still struck as to how Bucknell worked so hard to stay in this game, and how there were so many timely baskets by Lehigh to stave off the Bison, especially with the 3. BJB’s early 3 was big. CJ’s steal and outlet to McCollum for a easy transition basket was big. Gabe’s surprise 3-pointer in the second half, huge.
There were two or three golden opportunities for the Bison to take the lead… on free throws. Most of the game, the Bison were great on FTs, which I’m sure is reflected in their %. But their best players – Muscala was one – clanked it three different times during the game when it could have given them the lead. I wonder: had they converted just one of those freebies, and even gotten a one point lead, might it have been the tipping point that changed the game?
What more can you say about Gabe’s toughness? He simply went out there and challenged Muscala early and his play was a huge factor in Lehigh’s early lead. The move where he just zipped by Muscala and went up with his left typefied the early going and really seemed to put Bucknell on the back foot.
Not much I’d have changed about the win. Maybe the moving pick on CJ, which I still think was a bogus call. But it set up that last CJ steal, so I can’t complain.March 8, 2012 at 3:29 pm #5227
What a win! And a great showing by the Patriot League. It was played at a fan-friendly fast pace, and Bucknell had the ball down by 1, shot clock turned off, with a chance to win the title – can’t ask for more with an NCAA bid on the line.
Now, let’s hope we get some respect from the selection committee. After being slotted in the PIG in 2004 and playing the #1 overall seed in 2010, it would be nice to match up against a soft #2/#3 seed.
Last night’s win bumped our RPI up to #96 (that must be a record) and Bucknell dropped to tie for #93. It would be nice to see College BBall move to a composite computer ranking, similar to the dreaded BCS, for tournament seeding/selection purposes. They could take 5 reputable rankings, throw out the high/low ranking, then use the average of the middle 3 for a more reliable objective rating.
Let’s just hope we’ve done enough to avoid a match up vs a team with multiple NBA lottery picks…March 8, 2012 at 4:04 pm #5228
Wow, what a game. I felt calm going into the game, and was calm throughout most of the game, but the end was tough to watch. It pretty much went the way I thought it would until the final minute. I was shocked that Bucknell let Lehigh play at that tempo. I was screaming when MM lost Johnson on the inbounds play late and hit the 3 to get to 1 point. He chased the ball, and lost his man, then ran into a lot of traffic, and it was too late. At that point, the calmness left me, and I thought Lehigh was going to throw it away. I couldn’t stand being there to watch Bucknell students storm the court. So, I actually left my seat, and had to start pacing a bit in the back of the Lehigh section. I figured if they threw in a late shot, I could run quicker to the exits and miss a Bucknell celebration. Only downside is it kept me off the court for the ending celebration. But, it was great to watch it. The shear joy of the Lehigh players on Bucknell’s court, and the devastated looks on the face of the Bucknell students. That was priceless. I couldn’t be still over that last 30 or so seconds. I actually thought Lehigh was done when Bucknell got the ball down 1. But, MM did a nice job of doubling Muscala in the post, which forced Ayers to take it to the basket. I didn’t really even see what happened it was so nuts, but I was told later that Gabe got a piece, and then Lehigh got the run out. I had little confidence in MM at the foul line earlier, but I knew CJ would not miss that last ones. It was a hell of a game, and great energy in the building. CJ was unbelievable, as was Gabe. That was probably the best game Lehigh could play. They really brought their A game, and looked really solid on the court and in the huddle.
Thoughts on the play by play. First and foremost, CJ is ridiculous. Every time Lehigh needed a big shot, he stepped up. For the first time in his career, he abused Cohen. Plus, he made some big blocks and steals and rebounds, and he ran the point efficiently. Just a spectacular show. Gabe was awesome early, particularly in the first half. He posted with ease, and showed a tremendous drop step on the low block. But, I thought he tired later in the game, and Lehigh went to him too much in the second half. By then Muscala’s length was becoming a factor. He did hit that big 3 in the second half, though. But, he carried them for a stretch. Other Lehigh thoughts were that MM played a strong game overall. But, he struggled on the defensive end with Kaspar, the back up PG. He had his way with MM, which was troublesome. HG was no factor. He missed 2 early 3’s, then was done for the night. So, he is not quite back yet. JH played well, I thought, nothing fancy, but solid. BB was very good. The 3’s were huge and his perimeter D was good. He looked a bit tentative with the ball in his hands, especially late. I think he could have taken his man off the dribble many times, but chose to give it up. With confidence and more PT, you will see that part of his game develop. JM added some quality minutes on Muscala, but to me he looked a bit panicked on that stage. Same could be said for CS. He was not ready for that stage. Turnover city. I was screaming for Read to get him out of the game. JA could have definitely been a goat for his antics at the worst time of the game. It looked like Lehigh could stretch the lead to 15-20 by the half, but his technical killed the momentum, and then Bucknell had a million free throws late in the half. To me the biggest stretch for Lehigh was when Bucknell tied it at 50. The building was really fired up for Bison, then Lehigh went on a nice, I think, 8-9 point run, and the air left the building and didn’t come back until the 3’s at the end. It was an incredibly mature Lehigh performance.
On the Bucknell side, to be fair, Muscala was huge. I have been critical of him. He did dominate last night, and was great. My thoughts on him go both ways. To compare his talent to CJ is crazy. CJ has a game, with which Muscala is unfamiliar. Muscala dominates due to shear size in the post. Against guys his size, I think a lot of his shots are Spalding burger city. But, he did own Gabe and JM, particularly late. However, a 6’9″ Gabe, ate him up at times, particularly early. So, even though he got 30, Gabe got 23, so that was not a bad trade for Lehigh. Bucknell’s problem was he had no help. Ayers came up small, as did Cohen, as did Johnson (until final minute), as did Willman (particularly in second half). When your second best player is your backup PG, that is trouble. Lehigh D was very solid on the perimeter.
I lost track, but I guess Bucknell was out of timeouts at the end since they had to foul to get it close, and that really hurt them. On that final set when they were down one, they looked unsure. Muscala had to get the ball. And, they way the night was going, I’m sure he would have been fouled. But, Ayers couldn’t feed the post, and they had no second option. That was the critical factor in the game.
Wow, I have twice been to Bucknell in my life, and have probably seen two of the best basketball games of my life there in the last month. The drive sucks, but satisfying on the way home. Final note, I hate the Sojka Psychos. To me, they are a lot of geeks, who need to get girlfriends. The guys in the underpants, really? But walking out of Sojka, a lot of older Bucknell alums congratulated me in my Lehigh sweatshirt. They all acknowledged that Lehigh played a hell of a game. That was nice.
I am hoping for Pittsburgh or Greensboro. I think those are the spots. Those trips are sowewhat manageable, and I plan on being there. I was there for Temple, Georgetown was before my time, and I was there for Kansas. I did miss the play-in game in ’04.March 8, 2012 at 6:24 pm #5233
Sorry for being so late in my response to last night’s thrilling victory. Lucky this is the written word and not audio. I still hoarse from yelling.
Not sure what I can add to what has already been said, but here are a few observations (in no particular order) that hit me as I drove home last evening and awoke thinking of the same this morning. Funny, it seemed like it took forever to reach Lewisburg, but the three hour return trip went by so fast. I can’t recall passing a single car or going thru what must have been a toll booth across the Delaware River. At least it didn’t snow this year!
Arrived to a near empty gym with the shot clock counting down from 79 minutes.
Wondered around and met some BU students applying paint to their bodies in the men’s room. I asked if I couldn’t have a hand at it, as well. They said sure. As I reached for the brush and the can of blue paint, one recognized the brown Lehigh sweater I was wearing and thought it unwise and quickly turned aside that offer. A lot of good natured fun was to be had as I walked the halls and spoke to the BU faithful, ushers and concessioners. No signs of cockiness. They seemed to respect us and nothing but praise for our #3, CJ. Apparent, too, during player introductions as CJ received a warm welcome.
Said a brief hello to Matt Kerr and Coach Reed as the two took up seats 10 rows up off the floor to conduct the pre-game radio interview. Each looked cool, calm and collected. What else would you expect from the pros they each are?
I had wanted nothing more than to repel any BU advance during the first 4 minutes of playing time. Told all around me that would listen. It was sure to come. Wasn’t it? But, it didn’t! We led 8-3 at the first media timeout and maintained the lead and pressure for the next 4 minutes and the next….. As it would turn out, the defensive intensity never waned. I kept thinking back to what CJ had said over and over during this our latest winning streak, play “D” and the offense would take care of itself. It did. We simply took the play to Bucknell and did it in their building in front of 4000 dressed in orange and blue. The more noise they made, the more we seemed to relish it. The chants of “Defense” came up from our small contingent of fans every time BU touched the ball in those first 4 minutes of play. Sure, the BU cheering section would overpower us but I got the feeling our guys on the court could hear us. I know Coach Reed could and he would later (mid-second half) turn around to face the LU family members and friends with his fists pumped and waiving above his head as if to say, “More – more keep it up.” We did. It was surreal. We were in our element – on the road in a hostile environment and we loved it. Maybe all those road games, including the one up at Michigan State in front of 14,000 screaming fans dressed in green, were beginning to pay dividends. We simply traded in green for orange last night.
Gabe was in another world those first 20 minutes of play – standing toe to toe with Muscala…. punch, counter-punch throughout. A thing of beauty. Steve and Mary, his parents, couldn’t stop smiling while snapping picture after picture. Before the game, Steve said to me that he was worried. But, asked about Gabe. He said, “not at all.” That seemed a match as Gabe’s demeanor during pre-game warm-ups when he said to me in a very business-like tone, “One more!” It was to be just another day at the office for our big guy.
Resolve – we had it. No one had it more than CJ. This was to be his game. He showed it in the huddle (more animated than usual) and on the court. He and Coach Reed were on the same page and you had the feeling that all would be OK in the end. It nearly wasn’t but thanks to another part of CJ’s game – his quick hands – he was able to swipe the ball from Muscala just when he made his move to the basket for the go-ahead score with 6+ minutes remaining. Turns out he had three of the team’s 10 steals on the night. The team was determined not to give up the lead throughout the game. It would get down to one but never cross over in BU’s favor. I read that Hooptime said BU had 9 chances to take the lead and never could. How’s that for “resolve,” determination and gut-check?
82 points – against BU’s #1 scoring defense in the Patriot League @ 57.6 ppg. Not too shabby. We hit 50% of our shots against a Bucknell standard FG Defense of .364 (also best in league).
Officiating – solid. Few complaints to speak of. And, that’s from both sides. Good job, PL. Thought maybe Gabe would have been whistled on Ayers last second drive under the basket but upon closer look this morning, he kept his body off the shooter and had ball all the way. Once again, CJ positioned himself nicely for what might have been a rebound opportunity or, in this case, the deflection and break-away. The kid is always there.
BJ – can’t wait for next year. What leaping ability (2 blocks last night) and what a “pure” shot he has. Can’t think of a better 6th man who can give you minutes and a boost at a number of positions.
“Oh no” moment – had to be Mackey’s two missed free throws with 27 seconds to go with us up by one. BU was left with no timeouts with Ayers racing the ball up-court. The ball goes to Muscala and back to Ayers with less than 10 seconds remaining in the game. Huh? Why not MM to the basket? It’s something the big guy will wonder about for months to come. Instead Ayers gets the return pass and is left with no other option than to drive the baseline. Gabe gets the block, CJ the deflection and game over. What an ending. As is was last year. And, all signs point to another memorable year in 2012-13 when BU returns 10 of its star players.
Rush the court. I swear I don’t know what compelled me to do it but I did. Perhaps it was involuntary. I was caught up in the moment and followed the crowd. I simply wanted everyone – especially for the seniors – to know how proud I was of their efforts and the chance they’ll have to play on the big stage next week.
Cutting down the net. Sure, everyone will remember CJ and Coach Reed climbing the ladder and taking home a loop or two of twine. But, not me. What will stick in my mind is the sight of Tyrone Staggers making the climb up to the top of the ladder and snipping off a small 3″ piece of cord. So, too, will be the sight of Jena Etnoyer (Asst. Athletic Trainer) doing the same – high heels and all. And, everyone else that followed. You see, it’s a team sport and everyone associated with Coach Reed knows it – from walk-ons who bust it in practice 7 days a week – to the star of the team. We all celebrate as one. I’m glad I got a chance to witness it.March 8, 2012 at 6:43 pm #5234
Thanks ’65. A very moving post. No matter what else happens this season, the scene on the floor at the end of the game will stay with me always
It is sad that students dont seem to care. They really dont know what they are missing by not showing up. Some of my best memories of Lehigh are sitting on the floor at Grace hall for wrestling, a sport I knew nothing about then but the feeling in the Hall was and is indescribable. How often have we all heard “You had to be there”. These kids are missing out on some of the best of College life
March 8, 2012 at 8:06 pm #5240
- This reply was modified 8 years, 7 months ago by RichH.
On the student apathy, I was thinking of writing a letter to the editor in the Brown and White, letting them know that the winningest team in Lehigh history and arguably the greatest player in Lehigh history are doing amazing things and they deserve to play in an arena that is full. When you see Bucknell last night, it is just mindboggling that no students come to Stabler. Has anybody ever sent a letter to the Brown and White, does the Brown and White still exist, do students read it? Or, maybe take an ad out in the Brown and White. Also, might write a letter into the Lehigh Alumni magazine asking alums to support the team in greater numbers, although you can’t blame them if they are not in the immediate area.March 8, 2012 at 8:29 pm #5242
90…for one, I would saw the Brown and White really would not do much good. From my experience, not too many people read it, and I would think even fewer now with smartphones, etc. I know 65 has had contact with the athletic department a few times giving his input. Not so sure it ever really amounted to much. I will have to say it was a little shocking to see we got 2,200 vs an awful Colgate team just because the game was free. The previous Saturday, we had just under 1,500 vs Holy Cross. Students always get in free, so that is another issue, but maybe Lehigh has to lower tickets prices for other fans?
In regards to the students, the location is just brutal. Not making excuses, but it is a fact. How much easier would it be to get students to come if they could go to the dining hall for lunch/dinner, then take a 5 minute walk to an arena.? It starts as a freshman, because they don’t have cars and are reliant on a bus. Then when students have cars as upperclassmen, they have no experience going to games that would make them want to start going. There are also no student leaders as far as I can tell. While I was there, there was a group of us who were the ‘LEHIGH’ guys that went to every home game and some away (I’ll always be proud we got the 6th man award at the banquet). We took time to recruit friends to go, arrange rides, tailgates, etc. We had most of the track/cross country kids involved. Sadly, it seems most kids have to be prodded to attend and if no one is making that effort, well you see the result.
65…I know you have many thoughts on this..March 8, 2012 at 8:51 pm #5244
I know, we have beat this issue around to death. See, when I was there, everybody read the Brown and White everyday, as there was no internet. As for attendance figures, they are so pumped up, I think the real figure is about half of announced. I went to some games as a freshman then all as upperclassman. For upperclass males, it seems like a no brainer. It is not as if they are studying. And, games are over by 9. The dynamics of the campus have changed so much since I graduated. So, I don’t know how it works now. But, back then if you had 35 fraternities with 50 guys in each that is 1,750 right there. All of those guys lived in the houses, and if they didn’t have a car, there were 30 guys that did, so rides were never an issue. Those guys, if they weren’t at the game, were just sitting around watching Cheers reruns or drinking. So, you go to the game at 7, skip your TV watching, and drink later. But, that lifestyle I guess is gone. I know the Hill is not what is once was and the fraternity numbers have dwindled and the Greek population has gone from probably 80% of the males to probably 25%. Plus, the big social nights were always Thursdays and the games are on Wednesdays. What do these students do? I can’t believe they are studying. As RichH mentioned, they are missing one of the best things about being a college student, going to games, supporting your school.
I’m not sure I buy the location argument that much. When I was there, Lehigh played football both on campus and off campus. I don’t remember the attendance being much different.
Maybe some of the younger guys on here can explain what male students at Lehigh do with their time these days. The women aren’t that beautiful.March 8, 2012 at 9:09 pm #5246
It is sad when even the cheerleaders don’t make the game. The American quarterfinal in our home gym was an embarrassing case-in-point. AU brought a pep band, cheerleaders and a dance squad. Over on our end were three heavy gals with homemade signs and a guy with a trumpet. CBS was using highly creative camera angles to make it seem the gym was full ..
You can’t tell me this doesn’t hurt recruiting. In fact I know of one local 6’8” prospect who will be choosing between the Hawks and the Bison. The atmosphere at the Sojka is one of the elements cited as to why he is leaning towards Lewisburg. Seriously, this has got to change or we are going to loose our edge. Perhaps they should thinking about moving some games over to Grace Hall ..March 8, 2012 at 11:00 pm #5250
re: Grace Hall – comment taken from earlier post under the topic of “Fan Base”
Allow me to quote and at other times paraphrase Rich Hass, our Ticket Manager when he reports……………
“Grace is not a viable option for basketball games. It is a great practice facility, however, one which our teams do use periodically for convenience and the 6 baskets it offers.”
Lower level seating is not possilbe when a full court is employed.
All seating would be in the endzones.
Also believe a bit short of the required 94 feet.
Little room on the sidelines for scorer’s table and press.
Spectators upstairs would have their view cut as action went to far end of the court.
Sorry.March 8, 2012 at 11:00 pm #5251
Important topic, I’ve weighed in on numerous timesn but let’s please wait until offseason to discuss, too depressing to talk about when today should be only positive vibes and thoughts. But I’m ready to beat this drum loudly, it pisses me off.March 9, 2012 at 1:03 am #5253
Bison137, I respect the hell out of your bball knowledge and passion for BU hoops, but man I got to call you out on one tiny tiny tiny thing. I saw you posted on here already today post the game last night, but not a congratulations or anything about the game last night in our game thread.
Then, in reading the BU board earlier, some unbelievably classy and kind words for LU by the BU fans on there at the end of the game thread page 5. Really classy stuff, big time sportsmanship type stuff….but the only post-game comment from the biggest BU fan on there in your game thread, from the guy that comes on here year round to talk about BU and comment on LU games, only talked about LU and our poor attendance last night and how there would be 2000 bison fans at stabler(to which I’m not denying either for the record). Point is, I guarantee you if you guys won you’d have seen people on here congratulate you, so I find that you haven’t mentioned the game at all on either site pretty disappointing. BU has a great team, had a great year, fought their arses off last night, you should be proud of them and if you come on here and plan on keep coming back, you should have said congratulations and kept your head up high.
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