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Lehigh Mountain Hawks 2013-14 Preview

November 7, 2013 Conference Notes No Comments

Lehigh Mountain Hawks (21-10 overall, 10-4 league)

 

 

 

Projected starting five:

Sr. G Mackey McKnight
Sr. G Anthony D’Orazio
Jr. G Corey Schaefer
So. F Jesse Chuku
So. F Justin Goldsborough

Important departures:

The Mountain Hawks lose three big starters from last season’s team: G C.J. McCollum (23.9 ppg, 5.0 rpg, 2.9 apg in 12 games), F Gabe Knutson (13.9 ppg, 4.3 rpg, 1.1 apg) and F Holden Greiner (13.2 ppg, 6.7 rpg, 1.9 apg, 1.3 spg). Also gone is G B.J. Bailey (8.3 ppg, 3.3 rpg, 1.4 apg), who started 14 of the 18 games he played.

Returning:

43.7 percent of scoring and 43.5 percent of rebounding

Additions:

Fr. F-C Tim Kempton
Fr. F Georgios Pilitsis
Fr. G Austin Price
Fr. G Cole Renninger
Fr. G Miles Simelton
Fr. F Shane Whitfield

Schedule Highlights:

The Mountain Hawks’ non-league slate has five home games, including visits from MAAC contender Rider and Northeast contender LIU. They open at Minnesota, later play at improving Fordham, then play in the Legends Classic at Houston and Pittsburgh and close out 2013 at Northeast contender Bryant. They begin and end league play with three of five at home.

Projected finish and outlook:

It’s easy to forget that Lehigh loses much more than just McCollum, who they also lost for much of last season due to injury. Knutson and Greiner were huge contributors as well, and Bailey was hardly a bit player. The cupboard isn’t bare, but much of the talent is younger and less proven. The good thing is that they have most of their experience on the perimeter, starting with McKnight, the team leader. He became more assertive later in the season, while D’Orazio, Schaefer and junior Stefan Cvrklaj give him several options on the wing. There is good young talent up front, starting with Chuku, who had to sit out last season and should make an instant impact. Goldsbrough may be the other incumbent up front, but don’t be surprised if he is supplanted by Kempton, the son of the former NBA big man. Lehigh is probably not going to replicate their showing at the offensive end last season, where they still led the league in scoring and field goal percentage while turning the ball over less than any team except Bucknell. If they can repeat the last statistic and play the same good defense they played last season, they should have a fighting chance.

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