Know Your 2013 Opponents: Princeton

Last season, as he does for the Sports Network every year, Craig Haley gave his predictions for the Ivy League.

Haley, who used to work for Princeton, made a bold prediction: that the Tigers would climb out of the Ivy League cellar after a 1-9 season, saying, for good measure, that  "it seems time for the Tigers program to win more often. At least that's what everybody thinks."

Like some people, I chuckled to myself.  Princeton?  Out of the cellar?  Really?  (Jake Novak, of the Roar Lions blog, noted about his prediction: "Actually, NO ONE thinks that. Princeton is picked last in every other poll.")

As it turns out, Haley's prediction came out looking pretty good, making me very glad that I didn't put my own reservations about Princeton's chances in writing.  (Or put Haley's face with the caption, "What's he smoking?" underneath it, like Roar Lions did.)

The Tigers confounded their last-place expectations and instead finished with an extremely satisfying 5-5 record, showing, for the first time, glimmers of hope that the Prince Town Tigers will finally be back in competition for the Ivy League title in 2013.
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League Unveils Free Streaming Sports For All: The Patriot League Network

It was hard to know what to think when the following announcement came up on the Patriot League Twitter account:

Out of the blue, there it was.  What could it be?  More (gasp) expansion news?  The pro-bono hiring of Jon Gruden as Frank Tavani's assistant defenisive coach at Lafayette?  Free sno-cones at football's Patriot League Media Day, scheduled for this Wednesday?

It wasn't any of these three possibilities, but it was something even better.

Now, any Patriot League fans with a decently-fast laptop, tablet or phone will now be able to stream a large number of games over the internet.

For free.
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40 Days Until CCSU – No. 92, Jimmy Mitchell

(Photo Credit: Riverside-Brookfield Landmark)

Preseason training camp is just around the corner for Lehigh, and it's a mere 40 days until the Mountain Hawks' season opener vs. Central Connecticut State.

When we started out, sophomore LB Matt Laub, using last year's numbers, was at No. 92 in the countdown.  Since then, he was reassigned No. 40, and No. 92 was reassigned to an incoming freshman.  (You can see Matthew Laub's position in the countdown here.)

So at no. 40, we will honor instead incoming freshman DL Jimmy Mitchell as our highlighted Lehigh football athlete today.

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1 on 1 With Holden Greiner

Lehigh Hoops Nation recently had the pleasure of sitting down with a very busy Holden Greiner to catch up on what he has been up to since the conclusion of his playing days at Lehigh in March. As you’ll see from this interview, Holden has been very busy and recently had a long time dream of his come true with his signing a contract to play professional basketball in Europe.

LHN: Thanks for taking the time to sit down for a chat Holden! I know your fans will enjoy hearing about how you are doing.

HG: It’s not a problem at all, we both know Lehigh basketball has the best fans in the world so I’m glad to have a little chat.

LHN: We’ll get to all of the basketball news in a few minutes, but I want to start off by saying congratulations on your recent graduation from Lehigh. Has it started to sink in yet that you’re officially an alum of Lehigh, and tell us what it was like to walk across the stage to receive your diploma?

HG: Yeah that was a dream in itself, you know basketball has to end someday no matter how good you are, but that doesn’t sound as bad knowing I have a great education.

LHN: Those that know you realize that as soon as the Lehigh season ended your basketball focus was solely aimed at signing a professional contract in Europe. Step one of that process was your signing with a sports agency, so tell us what the agency search process was like and how you ended up signing with Pro Partner Sports Management “PPSM”? Any former teammates or contacts recommend PPSM to you?

HG: Nobody really recommended PPSM to me, Nick (my agent) got in touch with me at an early time and had knowledge of my game beyond just the fact that I made first team all-conference. I knew I could trust this group of guys and they had my best interests in mind. That was most important in my eyes.

LHN: After signing with PPSM, how much conversation and interaction did you have with them in terms of working together to find a team to start your pro career with? Are you involved in the process or do you just let the agency work to find you a country and team to play for?

HG: Yes it’s more of a group effort, they find out what type of things I’m looking for in a country and then they can send my game tapes to those leagues that would match the things that are important to me.

LHN: Congratulations on recently signing with Landstede Zwolle in the Netherlands, shed some light on how you ended up agreeing to play with them in the Netherlands?

HG: They are a great organization, and it’s actually a huge opportunity for me and I’m really excited about it. They are involved in the community and also have great fans, something I’m used to thanks to Lehigh.

LHN: How much do you know about Netherlands as a country? The city you’ll be living in? The league you’ll be playing in? The Landstede Zwolle team you’ll be playing for?

HG: The country speaks English and the league is a great league to move up and succeed career wise. Zwolle is a really nice town and the team usually finished towards the top of the division, so like I said it’s a great spot for me.

LHN: How much have you spoken to guys like Michael Ojo, Marquis Hall, Joe Knight, or even an Errick McCollum about what life is like playing professional basketball overseas?

HG: I have talked to all those guys and more than a few times, and I’m obviously a little nervous but excited as well about life overseas.

LHN: You’ve elected to stay on campus and continue to workout at Lehigh, what part of your game have you been working on the most since your Lehigh season ended? What kind of training regimen have you been on?

HG: Yeah I have been trying to play actual basketball as much as possible and during workouts I have focused on refining my guard skills as Zwolle plans on me playing on the wing.

LHN: Holden, one final question from me, and it is something I always wanted to ask you about. As you look back on your Lehigh career, let’s spend a few minutes talking about one of the most popular words among the Lehigh Basketball Program and one you use quite frequently, that being the word “Family”. It is a word that is used a lot by both players and coaches within the program, a word that when recruits sign the dotted line to join the program they always mention about how they had a different feeling when visiting the Lehigh program, a feeling of “Family” and togetherness. There is obviously something that is quite real and tangible here, and I know how tight knit of a group you all are, but in your own words can you maybe try to tell everyone what “Family” means to you and how you think the culture of the program allows the team to grow so close to one another?

HG: Yeah family is a huge component of Lehigh basketball and in my opinion the main reason many guys decide to play here. It’s an unique feeling but its compete respect and trust. You know that every guy in that locker room would do anything for you and you would do anything for them. Every sprint, every win, every loss, every day is easier because of the guys in this program.

LHN: You’ve been a great sport Holden, and I hope you’ve had as much fun as I did, so the floor is yours my friend to voice any last messages that you want to send to all your fans among Lehigh Hoops Nation.

HG: Thanks for being the best fans a simple Lehigh forward could ask for, I loved playing for Lehigh and I will miss it and much of that is thanks to the fans! I hope I can make Lehigh proud in the Netherlands!

Holden, I can’t thank you enough for the way in which you represented yourself and the university over these past four years, both in the classroom, community, and on the court. Please know that all Lehigh alumni and basketball fans will be watching and rooting for you at the next level, so keep on representing Traverse City and Lehigh University to the same standards that you have been doing, and best of luck in all of your future endeavors.

Sincerely,   LHN

Patriot League In "Division 4"?

The talk around collegiate athletics is "Division 4", after "Big 5" commissioners Mike Silve, John Swofford and Bob Bowlsby floated the idea of a new subdivision over the past few weeks.

Normally the talk of the big conferences breaking off from the rest of FBS would elicit so much yawning from the likes of Patriot League schools.

Unless, of course, you're on the table for Division 4 membership.

No, this isn't a typo, or a crazy theory.  Sportswriters are contemplating what Division 4 might look like, and the Patriot League is being contemplated as a possible league to be a part of that subdivision.
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