August 7, 2012 at 11:49 am #6385
I like CS, but 90 raises an interesting question which is this: does he win backup pg duties? You can slide CJ over when MM rests ad play with CJ and one or both of BJB and DC in the backcourt. Those minutes when MM is resting, and they got less n less as last year wore on, will be interesting to ee the combos in backcourt. Now obviously if MM is out early with fouls and you need prolonged minutes, you use CS and keep CJ in scoring role. I like CS, think he is going t be good this year, but man guard play minutes are going to be a dog fight.August 7, 2012 at 7:27 pm #6393
I agree with the eventual tightening of a mainly 7 man rotation of CJ, HG, GK, BJB, MM, JC and DC. Probably mix in minutes for a couple additional bigs (CB and JG), and a few minutes for shooters (AD and SC), and limited backup minutes for CS at the point.
This team’s strength is going to be athleticism. That is why they can beat a team like a Bucknell, which has good players, but not the athletes that Lehigh has right now. For that reason, I give Lehigh a slight edge over the Bison this season. But, you will need to play disciplined basketball to beat Bucknell.
I don’t see the necessary athleticism in the CS, SC and CB class. Those guys are all limited. CS can run the show in limited action, but his handle is not tremendous and neither is his shooting. He also is lacking in foot speed, which makes him a liability on the perimeter. I do like that he shoots a high percentage from the line, which is key for a PG. SC can stroke it, for sure, but he is a one trick pony at this point of his career. He needs to develop some ability to create off the dribble and get his own shot. Currently, he relies exclusively on stuff that has to be run for him (screens and picks). CB, hopefully, can be a meat and potatoes guy on the low block. But, again, you have to hope he can rebound and play D, as I see no offensive low post moves (drop step, fade away J, hook, face up game). I only see him scoring off the offensive glass. And, with AD out of the next class, I don’t know what he is at this point. Is he a shooter? Is he offense off the bench? Can he slash? Lot of unknowns. Outside of his Wagner winner and the freshman outburst at Penn St, he is a bit of an enigma. We know what he is not, a lockdown defender.
To get minutes under this coach, you need to show a willingness to defend, particularly on the perimeter, and AD, CS, and SC are far below average on the defensive end. That, to me, is the crucial factor why their minutes will be limited. I am hopeful that DC and JC have the quickness and willingness to defend. I think JG is going to be more of an eraser at the glass. Long arms, shot blocking, wing span.
Finally, I think the coaching staff needs to look at the long term goal here … NCAA bid. That road is going through Bucknell, no doubt about it. With the Bison, you have a given in Muscala that needs to be limited. Gabe is really your only answer on him. He will eat CB alive inside and out, as he gives up way too much size and experience. Maybe a guy like JG can limit him on the low block, but with his inexperience and thin body, mismatch. With GK, you hopefully offset him by what Gabe can do on the offensive end. Then, outside of Muscala, you need to matchup in the other positions. CJ can match Ayers, no worries there. Bison are soft at the point, no real worries there for MM. Johnson is a one dimensional player from 3, so you have a stopper for him in BJB on the perimeter. But, the key to stopping the Bison is Willman. He is big and skilled, and deadly in the midrange jump shooting game. You need a player to stop or limit him. When I look at the Lehigh bench, I don’t see that player as CB (too small and slow to guard away from the hoop). AD, too small. HG too slight on the block. I think that is where you need Chuku. A big body who can match the size of Willman, and can hopefully stay with him in the midrange game. It’s all about the matchups. Bucknell played Lehigh super tough, because they had an answer for CJ in Cohen. Lehigh needs an answer for Willman this season in the 2, probably 3 matchups. Muscala is probably going to get his, and CJ will as well, but you need to limit that second scorer, which projects to be Willman. I am hopeful Dominic Hoffman is not quite ready as a freshman, or else Lehigh is going to need more size upfront.
We all want Lehigh to have another dream season, but let’s not kid ourselves, there is no way Lehigh (no matter their record) is getting an at-large out of the PL. So, you need to take care of business with Bucknell, first and foremost, as I don’t see any other significant challengers in the league. Gate, Army and Navy will be awful, Pards not much better, maybe equal or worse, which leaves only HC and American, who on paper do not look great.August 8, 2012 at 5:33 pm #6397
This seems to be one of the few threads that has gained traction so if no one minds I would like to continue.
First of all I would be very,very happy with any of the mentioned contenders as our fifth starter however:
1.)I don’t need nor particularly want a big offensive presence here especially away from the basket. I envision a role player in the mold of Rodman,Ben Wallace, Kurt Rambis. The 2012-2013 version of Lehigh basketball will not be short on shooters. The remaining players on the team shot 35% from the 3 with CJ being one of the lowest and he is now considered one of the best outside shooters in the country. I want my PF to 1.) rebound the ball 2.) be a stout defensive presence and 3.)get the garbage baskets.
2.)With that in mind, in few games I watched CB played, I watched his technique around the basket. I have 4 criteria in distinguishing a good rebounder.
a.)Instinct. Certain players are blessed with the ability to understand where the ball will likely land and get there. CJ has that ability and I’ve seen it in CB too. One doesn’t average about 17 rpg at 6-6 in HS without it.
b.)Technique.It is one thing to understand where the ball will come down. It is quite another to establish that position and fend your opponents off in short boxing out using your entire body.
c.) Attitude. A rebounder needs to want the basketball, feel that it is his. I thought Carrington got to that point during his senior year and that is what put us over the top in the PL.
d.)Size.I list this last for a reason. I think relatively, it is the least important. Some of the most prolific rebounders in basketball history were not the tallest. Our leading rebounder last year was a 6-3 guard and to me that’s a problem if we want to compete with the bigger boys.
JC is still a bit of an enigma to me. He is considered by several as an offensive threat based on hi-light film and perhaps he is but his #s don’t support that completely. He averaed about 13 ppg in HS, 6.6 on the British team and shot 6-14 from the FT. If he fills the role I outlined earlier, which I absolutely think he can then the fit is perfect.
I simpy ask, don’t relegate CB just yet. I know he played mostly mop-up last year but he is a year older and more mature now. I strongly believe that his minutes were reduced because there were 3 seniors at his position. His scoring average was about the same per minute as everyone else on the team not named CJ or Gabe. He led the team in both rpm and blocks/m. He had as many offensive rebounds as JA in substantially less minutes. Only time will tell but I feel very comfortable about whover mans that position next year an there will be depth.August 8, 2012 at 6:13 pm #6398
Love it TMH. I think you are spot on about Conroy Baltimore. I remember when Kenneth Faried was in the draft a couple years back and an NBA scout said that rebounding skill and #’s were the easiest projection for a scout because it comes down largely to desire and instinct and isn’t very much effected by the level of competition. I still think we might have something in Conroy and have certainly not given up on him.
As for Chuku, I agree there too. His athleticism gives a ton of reason for optimism and I certainly think he has all the physical skills necessary to be an all PL level player by the end of his career. And I was absolutely excited abuot seeing him throw down all those contested dunks at the Euro’s. But I agree that his shooting %’s really don’t jive with some other evidence (basically all the 3’s he seemed to be shooting at KUA) and that behind the head release he has really makes me doubt the ” perimeter shooter” label. If he rebounds, plays good D, and can knock down a 15 footer (which I think he can), and use his athleticism to get some dunks and lay ups – he could be EXACTLY what we need (other than someone besides Gabe over 6’10 – but that is another story for another year apparently).
I’m happy to say that I am extremely excited about both these young guys this year and hope that together they can form a combo that negates the losses of Maneri/Adams and gives us confidence in whoever is playing the 4 at any point this year.August 8, 2012 at 8:11 pm #6399
I agree with everything posted on here about CB. He has potential to be a solid rebounder and defender and that is what we need next season. Rebounding is a unique skill and hopefully he will be able to do it next season. Desire and instinct are the keys. I would like to see the defense have to show him some respect on the floor. If his offensive ability is limited (we will see), then his man will be the one running at CJ to trap and double him. So, you would like CB to have the ability to make the other team pay by leaving him open. Hopefully, he has the necessary hands to make the catches he will need to finish near the rim. But, at 6’6″, he is probably going to be the smallest 4 in the PL, and will be giving up height and weight every night. That is going to be tough for him. I want to see him succeed, but I just think JC’s upside projects higher than CB. We should know for sure after the first 10 or so OOC games, next season. JC certainly looks good in the uniform, but you have to be able to play.August 8, 2012 at 8:25 pm #6400
One thing I forgot to mention on Chuku and that is his high school stats. I think he averaged 13.4 for the season at KUA, which does not look that impressive. However, if you look deeper into that league, it is not a high scoring league, and is very deep in talent. For example, Nerlens Noel (Kentucky signee, #2 in country) averaged 12.6 ppg, 7.2 rpg and 3.9 blocks in that league. Kaleb Tarczewski (Arizona signee, another top player in country) averaged similar numbers for St. Mark’s who won the championship. So, it is hard to put a lot of stock in the high school stats as far as projecting. A lot of games in that league are played in the 40’s and 50’s. Some make it much higher, but doesn’t seem like a run and gun type of basketball there.August 9, 2012 at 7:41 am #6402
Wow a lot of good things were mentioned here, most I agree with. I want to chime in about AD. From what I read, the guy is focused on his grades, top performer on the team in the academic department. In my experience, an academic guy like him often has trouble balancing the two. If he is hungry enough, he will figure out how to do both. I don’t count him out yet. Watching the previous classes, when there are several good players, the sophomore slump and the junior years can be challenging. Maybe AD will not make it this year, the senior year can bring a sense of pride. In my humble opinion. Let’s get to the NCAA again and take down the best!! What a year, the most memorable in LU history. The seniors stepped it up, let’s do it again upcoming seniors. You have had three years to get better. Rooting for all of you guys.August 9, 2012 at 7:47 am #6403
BTW things have been quiet from my friend LU65. Where are you? I look forward to our banter this year. I am still here:).August 11, 2012 at 12:29 am #6417
NIce post boys, been busy with work past couple days so late to some recent messages. TMH, good rebounding post, and totally true on your 4 points/criteria for good rebounding. I believe CB can do that, I’m hoping he can, and I don’t think anyone is giving up on CB man, we’re all rooting for him and you’ve stated the case for him very clearly.
I think what me and maybe 90 are only pointing out is that he has to show it and the opportunity is clearly ripe for the taking this year, cause I know no one missed this newsflash, but we’re small as heck! CB is undersized, but we all know size isn’t everything, CJ is our best rebounder at 6’3 so we all understand that. The upside projection for CB is difficult though, I think we can agree at that, as well. I’m praying we got another mini-Rodman on our hands. If he could ever be a 25 minute a game guy and grab 8 RPGs and 5 points and play lock down D, I’m in heaven and will have man crush galore. Also, I’ve read how he didn’t play cause of last years senior class had bigs in it, but I simply can’t let you get away with that without only replying that it is not like he had all stars ahead of him, he had good role players…not stars, not even 4 year starters….role players.
As for JC, listen, until we see the player on campus and in uniform for the brown n white, it is all hype and projections. But you can’t teach height and he has the body to be a prototypical PL 4 man, and although it is only highlight videos, you can project that the offense will come with JC. BUT, having said all that, we don’t need scoring from him, or JG, or CB. This year, from those 3 guys, we need rebounding and defense. We have enough guys who can score the basketball, we need them to rebound and defend. I think, with the height and strength of JC, that he can fill that role this year, and anything we get on the offensive end is gravy. Listen, any time JC, CB, or JG are on the court this year, the reality is that at all times their either the 4th or 5th option on offense….now maybe if JC is what I think he can be, that moves up as year progresses but when CJ, GK, and MM are on the court the ball is going through them and HG is going to have A BIG SENIOR YEAR…you can hold me to it…I know HG is studding up this year big time…
LUHoops00August 11, 2012 at 5:46 am #6423
Nice comments. JC has the body, but can he adjust to the college game. A lot of these guys are great players in high school, but the rigors of college, being away from home, and adjusting to the college game are factors. Let’s not forget, the PL on any given night. I am pulling for CB. I think I will make him my guy this year:). The game will go through the top three as you say, but role players make a difference. Stars can’t win alone:). Let’s go LU. Let see if we can get back to the NCAA.August 12, 2012 at 3:44 pm #6429
Great observations and wonderful reporting, guys. Thanks to you all – LUHoops 00, TMH, Lehigh90, StablerBum, and norcal. It’s been a great read all summer long. Lovin ‘ the Board more than ever. What we may miss quantity we certainly make up in quality.
Norcal , let me assure you that I look forward to our on-going banter and battle. As for the summer, it’s been one filled with travel. Trips to Jamaica (daughter’s destination wedding), Chapel Hill (other daughter’s home town), Cape Cod (get away with wife and friends), Washington D.C. (mandatory visits ya know with brother-in-law/sister-in-law), and Colorado. Throw in weekly golf outings and, yes, retired life is good. Now, on to 7 months of Lehigh sports excitement with season tickets in hand – first up Monmouth on September 1st! Can November 9th (expected Baylor date) be far off?
I have to agree with nearly everything that’s been said about JC, JG and the expected strength and athleticism of our bigs this year. What has seemingly got little play, however, is the return of Holden Greiner. I say return in that I’m sure he doesn’t want to be remembered as a guy that went 1 for 6 over 24 minutes of play in his last three games (BU, Duke, X). Certainly, the pain was there not starting the team’s last 9 games and going only 11 for 29 in those brief appearances. After all, he had shot .447 in his role as a starter, sitting out only one game on 2/11/11, and will remember by most for his play at Michigan State (24 pts. In 38 minutes). A first team PL player in his last year in his last season at Lehigh. Count on it. In fact, why not a team captaincy appointment, too? After all, Coach Reed has been quoted as saying, “He will help you become the best player you can be.” Sounds like an endorsement to me.
In the backcourt, I’ll be anxious to see if DC gives BJB, AD, and SC a run for their money/playing time. As 1st Team All-Ohio (D-II) Player of the Year noted by Reed as a strong defender, it wouldn’t surprise me. As pointed out by many, it’ll come down to who can play D. The pressure will be on AD and SC to show what they can do. And, the jury is still out.
Except for following the exploits of CJ this summer (3 skills academy appearance) and knowing the commitment he has to the game and his practice regiment, I know little else when it comes to our players’ summer activities. Yes, GK and CS did play summer YMCA ball out in DesMoines, but what else? Anyone know?August 12, 2012 at 6:27 pm #6432
Nice 65, good report, sounds like a lovely summer, I’m jealous!
I agree, HG is going to have a great senior year.
Per your last question, HG did two summer sessions at LU, so he has been in bethlehem studying and working out. Then for the 2nd summer session, by my count, everyone on the team with the exception of GK(internship) and JC(Euro U20) were on campus taking classes and working out together and with coaches(per new rules).
This should help DC and JG out tremendously, as they are able to work out with college teammates and coaches well before prior frosh classes have.August 13, 2012 at 6:29 am #6434
You are living the life. How awesome! I need to read up on these new guys. The year before Andoh and Adams came on board was the first year I starting following LU and BU. Now I must follow some of the new recruits from CA on the other PL teams. If I recall, Lafayette picked up a guy from CA. Army has a guy from CA, his brother played for Mitty. Scrappy guy. LU cannot overlook him if he takes the floor. I can’t recall his name at the moment.
LUHoopsOO, I have no doubt, LU will be a success this year. I noticed the new rules allow the freshman to start practice early. What an advantage that is. I can imagine the new guys want to repeat at the NCAA, BU and yes, HG wants his shot:). Summer school for two quarters, sounds like he is getting academics in order so he can focus on basketball. I wish him the best in his senior year.
Let’s go LU!August 13, 2012 at 6:39 am #6435
Oh yeah, no doubt GK and CJ will be captains. What about Mackey in the mix? They had two captains last year. Will they return to the trio and even a double double of captains? Who has the inside scoop on this? Captains are typically scorers right?August 13, 2012 at 11:35 am #6436
Captains are selected by their peers. Reed announced Jordan and CJ were their pics on Nov. 1st last year. With earlier practice sessions this year, I’m thinking word will come down much earlier this year. Gabe, Holden and CJ makes sense to me.
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