Sunday’s Word: Hole

Having blamed her, perhaps unfairly, for the death of Kurt Cobain, I never really was able to really enjoy the music of Courtney Love's band "Hole". 

(A fresh listen to "Doll Parts" later, I'm further discovering that I'm still not really enjoying her music today, either, though I'm sure the female angst in her songs really wasn't intended for me, anyway.)

As a Lehigh fan this weekend, it also wasn't very enjoyable to see the Mountain Hawks dig themselves into a seven-turnover "hole" either.

But a funny thing happened about this weekend's game.  Sure, Lehigh dug themselves in a giant "hole", there's no denying that.  But just like they have every other week, they dug themselves out of it - which, in the end, was the most important thing.

The ability to dig yourself out of a hole is not something most teams can do.
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Lehigh 17, Georgetown 14, Final

The old saying goes that there's no such thing as a bad win.  "A win's a win", they say.  And it's true.  Lehigh goes to 7-0 on the year after defeating Georgetown 17-14 at Multi-Sport Field in Washington, DC.

But Lehigh's offense did their best to test that saying this Saturday.

The Mountain Hawks - astoundingly - overcame seven turnovers, including four interceptions from senior QB Michael Colvin, and then hung on to win on after the Hoyas final 37 yard field goal attempt was partially blocked by senior DE Tom Bianchi in the closing seconds.

Like so many of Lehigh's wins this season, it wasn't for the faint of heart.  Of the Mountain Hawks' seven wins this year, five have been determined in the last three minutes of regulation.  And including this Saturday's game, three have been determined in the last ten seconds of the game.
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Shallow Frontcout = More Zone?

By now everyone paying attention to the Lehigh basketball team is aware that Jesse Chuku is going to be sitting out his freshman season, leaving the good Dr. with 4 scholarship members in the frontcourt. With a full season ahead of Lehigh and 4 options down low in the paint, keeping all of the bigs healthy and out of foul trouble is critial to survive against big frontcourt teams such as American and Bucknell in the PL, as well as against most every BCS conference team Lehigh will face this season.

In Reed’s first 5 years at Lehigh, the defense of choice has been hard nosed man to man defense, and it has worked well as Lehigh has been a good defensive team under Reed.  However, given the aforementioned depth issues , it has me wondering whether we’re going to see a lot more 2-3 zone defense in ’12-’13. We saw it sporadically last year, very sporadically, but it did come out a few times. I think in order to compete down low on the blocks in big games that we’re going to see more zone this year, it seems almost common sense, right? The obvious downside is that it takes away some of the outstanding on the ball pressure that our guards can generate on defense in the half court game, but it seems imperative.

In fact, if you look closely, very closely(luckily for you I look very very closely) at the video posted below from the 1st day of practice, what do you notice between 3:17 and 3:30 mark on the video…..Lehigh practicing zone defense, could this be a sign of the times, it just might be.

http://www.lehighsports.com/sports/mbball/lehigh_opens_much-anticipated_preseason_practice.aspx

We now know we’re going to be using an almost exclusive 3 guard line-up, and the 4 bigs we have are all fast and athletic, so I know Lehigh will continue to push the pace on offense and fast break as much as possible off both misses and makes. However, in addition to more zone defense this year, given the great backcourt depth mentioned in the season preview article could we see an old school Arkansas 40 minutes of hell type full court press? I’d love to see Lehigh bring the full court press, something akin to Shaka Smart’s “HAVOC” VCU defense and then potentially drop back into a zone. I think that would play to Lehigh’s strengths and be quite effective.

What do you think?

LHN

Lehigh/Georgetoen Open Thread

Today, it is my son's birthday, so I won't be offering my usual live commentary of the game.  But that doesn't mean the conversation on the game has to be silenced - I'd encourage you to comment on this open thread, or post on the wall of the Lehigh Football Nation Facebook page, or tweet with the hashtag #LFNBeatHoyas.

Go Lehigh!  Beat the Hoyas!

P.S.  Look for my recap later in any event!

Frontcourt Takes Hit on Eve of Midnight Madness

With the shocking news that freshman hybrid forward Jesse Chuku will not be playing this year, per the article posted on  www.lehighsports.com, the Lehigh frontcourt takes a significant hit prior to the season even starting. After graduating three frontcourt members from last year’s Championship team, in Hamilton/Adams/Maneri, Lehigh brought in the aforementioned Chuku and his classmate Justin Goldsborough to help out the frontcourt. Jesse and Justin, alongside with sophomore Conroy Baltimore, were set to be the frontcourt depth behind senior starters Gabe Knutson and Holden Greiner. Many fans of the program had high expectations for Jesse to make an impact in the frontcourt from day one, and with Jesse now sitting out his freshman year, the frontcourt depth is down to just two scholarship players. Lehigh, more then ever, needs Baltimore and Goldsborough to fufill their large potential that we outlined a few weeks ago in our season preview of the frontcourt:

On Baltimore – “The NY native is a 6’6 forward with a long wingspan who posted strong rebounding statistics in limited minutes last year, recording 49 rebounds (25 offensive) in 142 minutes. Lehigh does not need Conroy to contribute much on the offensive end, because this team should put up points in droves, but in order for Lehigh to be as successful as they were last year they will need Conroy to develop into a rebounding machine and defensive stopper to help alleviate pressure from Gabe and Holden.”

When announcing Lehigh signed Goldsborough the good Dr. described Justin as having “excellent length and size” and who “is a defensive presence immediately upon entering our program with his shot blocking and rebounding ability”.

Lehigh will need both Baltimore and Goldsborough to contribute significantly from day 1 this year to help out Gabe and Holden on the defensive end of the floor with their defense and rebounding skills.

LHN

 

Meet Newcomer Devon Carter

Lehigh Hoops Nation, as part of the continuing effort to get everyone prepared and ready for the ’12-’13 edition of Lehigh Basketball, was fortunate enough to chat with freshman guard Devon Carter in an attempt to help introduce him to Mountain Hawk fans.

What is your earliest basketball memory?

Playing basketball at Gunning Park Recreation Center on the West Side of Cleveland, Ohio. I was seven years old and I was playing with the older guys and holding my own. I knew then that the game of basketball was something I wanted to pursue.

Where do the athletic genes come from?

I get my physical frame and the way I play the game from my father. He is the main reason I am the player I am today. The way I think and my positive attitude is from my mother. I use both aspects of who I am to help me produce on the court.

Was it always a dream of yours to play college basketball?

I originally started playing baseball, and was in my opinion, a prodigy. But when my father put a basketball in my hand for the first time, I fell in love with the game and left baseball alone to focus on basketball.

Why did you decide to come to Lehigh and was there one specific moment or event where everything clicked and made you realize that LU was where you were going to go to college?

I chose Lehigh because it fit the three things I looked for in a college. It was a great academic school, it gave me a good basketball opportunity and it was an excellent personality fit. It all clicked when I talked to C.J. McCollum on my official visit and he genuinely told me how good the school was and I felt like I could relate to his opinion because he is from around the same place that I am (about 40 minutes away).

What NBA player best describes your style of play?

The Indiana Pacer Ron Artest because he played like a bulldog and that’s what Coach sees my role being on the team this year.

What part of your game have you been working on the most since your John Hay season ended last spring?

My defense and my hustle activity has been my main focus because that is the way I get my minutes this year.

Talk a bit about your AAU team, a well-known team named after a certain first time NBA Champion in LeBron James (King James Shooting Stars), what was your experience like suiting up for such a great program? Any LBJ encounters or stories?

Being a part of King James was special. It put me in an elite group that I am proud to be a part of. We went all across the country and I must admit, we did look the best and obtained a lot of LeBron gear.

You got to campus well before the majority of your classmates, as you enrolled in summer school to take a class and workout with LU players and coaches, what was that experience like?

The summer experience was unique. It started out extremely tough because the college life was new to me, but once I got used to it, I felt as if I had an edge on my classmates and an extra couple of months of “college” basketball was also another positive.

How has it been meeting your fellow freshman basketball teammates, in Jesse and Justin? All teammates?  

It doesn’t get any better than my teammates. I have already gained a relationship with each one of them and we have been doing great. I have yet to have a problem with any of them. They are supportive and I feel like the little brother of the team.

What goals do you have for yourself in your first season?

My main goal this season is getting and staying on the court. Whatever I have to do to make this happen, I will do. This includes staying eligible in the classroom, and being that “bulldog” coach wants me to be.

Tell us about DC off the court?

Off the court, I try to have as much fun as possible. I hate being bored so I do whatever I can to stay active and alive!

 

Special thanks to Devon for taking the time, appreciate it DC!

LHN

Game Breakdown, Lehigh at Georgetown, 10/13/2012


We break down the Georgetown game - and we give our fearless prediction, below the flip.

It must be said that Hoya head coach Kevin Kelly, who is in his sixth year coaching Georgetown, has to get credit for presiding over one of the most incredible turnarounds in FCS history.

Sure, there have been coaches that have gone from D-III to partial scholarships - you can look to legendary coaches like Albany head man Bob Ford and Wagner athletic director/head coach Walt Hameline.

Coach Kelly, who built upon the legacy of former head coach Bob Benson, didn't start out at zero scholarships when he came here.  But it was no secret that Georgetown has plenty of challenges that weren't shared by, say, Lafayette, who underwent  a multi-million dollar athletics renovation of football facilities that Hoya fans could only dream of.  Many thought their institutional challenges were something that simply couldn't be overcome.

In a world when many were thinking that football could not succeed at Georgetown, their 8-3 record last year proved the doubters wrong.


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Game Preview, Lehigh at Georgetown, 10/13/2012

Winning doesn't change everything.  But it changes a lot.

That's something you don't have to say too loudly to any Georgetown Hoya fan over the last few years.

While nobody will be confusing Georgetown for Maryland, Navy, Duke or even Delaware anytime soon, the Hoyas, finally have made headway in carving their niche in Washington, DC.

Ten years ago, or even five years ago, people might have laughed if you told them to "watch out for Georgetown".  That speaks more to their tough overall history in the Patriot League than anything else.

But this year, building off two years of winning records and near-misses for the Patriot League championship, there is no more laughter.  They've simply won too many games to not be wary of the Hoyas.
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Players of the Week and Press Roundup, Columbia at Lehigh, 10/6/2012

(Photo Credit: Kevin Mingora/Morning Call)

It may have been pacing break, but the Columbia/Lehigh game wasn't lacking photo and video evidence that it occurred.

I don't know if it was the overcast weather, the colder, more fall-like  temperatures, the pink or what, but the shots of the game from Kevin Mingora of the Morning Call look absolutely stunning, as do the shots from the Brown & White photographers that were at the game.

I'd encourage you to go over there and check out the Morning Call's eleven-page gallery, which is filled with great shots. The shot above, too, comes from that collection.  And there is a album of pictures from the Brown & White as well as a video recap of the game as well from Alec Murphy.

They make my whopping two pictures on the Facebook Page seem pretty dim in comparison.  Then again, I didn't get to field level this game!

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