December 28, 2016 at 2:57 pm #30145
LU @ Army
Expect release on Thursday
Expect release on Thursday
KenPom Rankings and Prediction
Lehigh (6-5, yet 5-5 in D-1,) Ranked 95th
Army West Point (6-6, yet 5-6 in D-1) Ranked 223rd
Lehigh wins by 5 (82-77)
Don’t overlook the Black Knights of Army. They have………………
(a) put together four-straight wins at home for the first time since the 2012-13 season
(b) an edge in manpower with 18 on the roster, 9 who have averaged double-digit minutes/game and 10 who have played in 10 or more games. All that is well and good, as long as we can keep your starters and occasional subs healthy, productive, and out of foul trouble.
(c) been impressive in winning by 8 over Air Force and giving Arkansas State all they could handle before losing by 3.,
(d) won 4 of their last 6 D-1 outings while LU is 3 and 3 over the same period of time against D-1 foes.
(e) a home record of 5-1 in D-1 play this year while LU enters the game 2 and 5 in road contests, and
(f) excels, at least when compared to Lehigh, in both forcing turnovers on “D” and limiting the same on “O.” Simply stated, they earn the battle of “Extra Possession” where Lehigh suffers and ranks dead last in the PL according to KenPom. We give the ball away on 21.3% of our offensive possessions and take it away when playing defense only 16.3% of the time. FYI, Holy Cross sets the “gold standard” in this regard, with rates of 17.5% on offense and 25.1% of defense. Not surprising, based on their slow pace of play.
(g) the ability to score in bunches as shown in their game against Air Force. AWP reported “The Falcons led 9-7 just five minutes into the game but that would be the only time the visitors would hold the advantage. Army answered with 11-straight to pull in front, 18-9, at the 11:48 mark of the opening period. Over the next seven-and-a-half minutes, the Black Knights used another 18-4 run to increase their edge to the largest of the game at 36-13.”
(h) a tempo of play like none other in the PL. We’re fast; Army is faster and deserves the lofty KenPom ranking of 44.
Then again, LU has………
(a) TK and AP who combined to tally 39 points and pull down 22 boards the last time these two teams meet at Christl Area on February 27 of this year. And, as for Tim being ready to play, consider the fact that he’s coming off an 8 point / 4 turnover effort against Cabrini – a game in which he took just 4 of the team’s 31 two-point FGAs. I’m thinking, “Feed the Bear” and see how far Tim takes us. With rebounding help from MH and PA, we should be alright. Tim ought to take advantage of his height and go after a team that is ranked dead last in the PL and 337th nationally in its ability to block shots (4.8% of attempts). And, Army doesn’t do much better on the flip side where 13.4% of their shots are blocked.
(b) The “3.” If we fail to pile-up the points on the inside, there’s always the “3” with what appears to be no shortage of willing shooters. KL, PA, and JC lead the team in effectiveness, canning a combined 49.1% of their long distance attempts. Actually, Lehigh tails only Creighton, Washington, Air Force, Houston and UCLA in their ability to knock down the “3.” Pretty impressive, I’d say.
Random Thoughts Awaiting The Tip
LU will be the only PL team to play their first two league games on the road. Ugh! After taking on the Black Knights of Army on Friday night, we head to Beantown to face the Terriers of BU on Monday. Happy New Year’s Weekend, Guys! Oh well, we get our last two games at home – as does Bucknell and Holy Cross. In fact, after visiting Worcester on 2/12, we stay in the Valley to finish the year with 3 of the final 4 at Stabler. Nice!
Then and now…………
The teams below are listed in PL Preseason Coaches’ Poll order. The numbers that follow reflect KenPom’s present-day predicted order of finish in the League, his national ranking, and lastly to put it all into perspective, their non-conference Strength of Schedule.
Lehigh / 1st at 95th / 80th
BU / 3rd at 183rd 177th
Bucknell / 2nd at 125th / 129th
HC / 4th at 189th / 122nd
AU / 9th at 316th / 269th
Loyola / 6th at 249th / 158th
Navy / 7th at 276tg / 254th
LC / 9th at330th / 242nd
AWP / 5th at 223rd / 256th
Here’s a closer look at how Lehigh and Bucknell fared against common opponents this year.
Princeton………….LU won by 11 (76-67), Bucknell lost by 2 (70-72)
LaSalle……………LU lost by 8 (81-89), Bucknell lost 10 by 10 (73-83)
Robert Morris………LU won by 6 (64-58), Bucknell won by 13 (75-62)
Mt. St. Mary’s……..LU won by 19 (90—71), Buckenll won by 16 (81-65)
Must See Games:
Wed., Jan. 11th…LU at Bucknell
Wed., Feb. 8th…Bucknell at LU
See ya at Christl Arena on FridayDecember 30, 2016 at 11:34 am #30163
my wish for tonight is to see a lot less turnovers, take care of the ball and I see good things for this teamDecember 31, 2016 at 12:48 am #30164
guess campus insiders started their new year party early, broaodcast is hosed upDecember 31, 2016 at 1:58 am #30165
My takeaway Army has great FT defense. :-)December 31, 2016 at 2:12 am #30167
My takeaway Army has great FT defense. :-)
and apparently great 3 pt defense alsoDecember 31, 2016 at 2:13 am #30168
by the way, is it a rule that Alston must get a charge every game?December 31, 2016 at 2:16 am #30169
True :). Nice road W. We showed a lot of rust on O.December 31, 2016 at 2:38 am #30170
Great to have a down game offensively and still get a road W. Very impressed by perimeter D in the second half. Cohen brings great defensive intensity and instincts.
Sorry not to see Lieb dressed. Thought this might be the night.December 31, 2016 at 3:08 am #30171
Lieb is still a few weeks away I believe. Could be wrong tho. Any word on wolf yet
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