This Is Why We Can't Write Nice Things (About Lehigh)

Don McPeak

Lehigh had the world ahead of them after toppling fellow Patriot League contender Bucknell on the road. So they solidified their position by returning home and... getting obliterated by Lafayette.

I just don't know what to do anymore.

First South Alabama head coach Ronnie Arrow retires after he leads my lineup of off-season interviewees.

Then I do a second interview with Stetson's head coach Casey Alexander to promote them, only to see them go out and get pounded by Florida Gulf Coast.

Then I write a practically glowing piece about how well Lehigh did in handling their most formidable in-conference opponent, Bucknell, on the road - without the great C.J. McCollum on the floor, at that.

So what do they do? Of course they play Lafayette on their home court and lose, badly, to the tune of a 78-57 final score.

Video courtesy LehighSports

You heard Coach Reed: "At times, I thought we lost our minds out there."

No team can afford a Jekyll and Hyde performance on a given night against any opponent - but it is especially true of a team who continues to miss their on and off-court leader and has to return home after an emotional road win to face an opponent who is dangerous when you let them shoot into a rhythm.

As the video puts it so eloquently, in the first half Lehigh attempted 32 shots and only made eight of them, while in the second half Lafayette took 30 shots and only missed nine of them. Lafayette essentially rolled with a six man rotation the entire game and still had no issue scoring, especially as they pulled away in the second half, finishing with 25 assists on 33 made baskets.

The offense fell apart across the board. Holden Greiner and Gabe Knutson both shot very poorly. B.J. Bailey, the Bucknell Hero, had a perfectly good 12 point and 4 rebound game, but his level of production should be second or third on the squad, not almost leading.

The real question, of course, is what this means. Was this an ugly pimple on Lehigh's teenage, McCollum-less face, or the beginning of a full-on breakout? We should find out quickly as the Mountain Hawks head on the road to take on a severely offensively challenged Navy squad that, much like the Lafayette game in preview, looks like a game they should easily win.

Either way, Lehigh, you're pushing it. Don't expect me to praise you again anytime soon.

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