Lehigh Mountain Hawks
Patriot League (22-10, 10-4)
Big Wins: 11/18 Quinnipiac (79-71), 12/30 at Delaware State (73-66), 3/12 Lafayette (74-59)
Bad Losses: 12/3 at Columbia (70-75), 1/27 at Bucknell (76-81), 2/10 Navy (78-85)
Last NCAA Appearance: 2004, Opening Round loss to Florida A&M
Coach: Brett Reed (First NCAA appearance)
Why They Can Surprise:
Lehigh will not take a ton of three-pointers, but the ones they do take are quality shots. Most shots Coach Brett Reed’s team does take are smart shots. The Mountain Hawks do a great job sharing the ball and working the opposing defense for a good look. The beneficiary of the quality passing is often leading scorer C.J. McCollum. The 6-3 freshman has been a very pleasant surprise and has proven to be a prolific scorer both inside and outside the arc. McCollum is even a more talented defender and rebounder than one would expect from a freshman and his contributions have really bolstered Lehigh’s team.
Marquis Hall is the experienced perimeter player. The 6-0 point guard has done less scoring this season due to the emergence of Hall, but he is still a dynamic scorer who can knock down the long ball or attack the basket. But it is Hall’s ability to handle the ball and keep the turnovers down that make him such a key piece to this team. The other long range threat, and backcourt starter, is Dave Buchberger. He does not take too many shots, but when he does they usually go in. Buchberger will not garner many headlines, but he is a great glue guy who helps out the Mountain Hawks however he can.
Why They Can Disappoint:
It is not fair to call the frontcourt a disappointment. Zahir Carrington and Gabe Knutson have been anything but. Carrington is an experienced senior who is a fine interior scorer and a solid rebounder. His free-throw shooting leaves something to be desired, but he will score in double figures more often than not and play solid defense. Knutson is the bigger surprise. The 6-9 freshman is almost as productive as Carrington across the board. His lack of experience is a concern, but Knutson has proven to be a quality player. The problem is the lack of depth in the frontcourt and the lack of a major shot blocker. Carrington will block some shots here and there, but this is a team that has to rely on guards or inexperienced forwards like Holden Greiner to play quality minutes in the frontcourt.
Who To Watch:
Michael Ojo and Rob Keefer are a couple wings who can give the starters on the perimeter a much needed break. Ojo has come on strong at the end of the season, including a 22 point outing at Colgate in mid-February. He is a good shooter and can provide a quick jolt to the offense. Yet, even if his shot is not falling, Ojo can do damage by attacking the basket.
Marquis Hall, Senior, Guard, 11.0 ppg, 5.7 apg
C.J. McCollum, Freshman, Guard, 18.9 ppg, 2.4 apg, 4.9 rpg
Dave Buchberger, Senior, Guard, 6.2 ppg, 1.7 apg
Zahir Carrington, Senior, Forward, 10.8 ppg, 6.7 rpg, 1.3 bpg
Gabe Knutson, Freshman, Forward, 9.6 ppg, 5.6 rpg
Holden Greiner, Freshman, Forward, 3.2 ppg, 1.9 rpg
Rob Keefer, Junior, Guard, 3.6 ppg
Michael Ojo, Junior, Guard, 7.0 ppg, 1.1 apg
By the Numbers:
Scoring Offense: 75.2 (52nd in nation, 1st in conference)
Scoring Defense: 70.4 (226, 4)
Field-Goal Percentage: 45.5 (74, 2)
Field-Goal Defense: 42.4 (139, 2)
Three-Point Field Goals Per Game: 6.6 (111, 3)
Three-Point Field-Goal Percentage: 40.2 (8, 1)
Free-Throw Percentage: 71.5 (89, 3)
Rebound Margin: 1.4 (143, 3)
Assists Per Game: 15.0 (44, 2)
Turnovers Per Game: 13.0 (103, 2)
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