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  • Let's talk about Lehigh...It's a potential trap game. Be careful, USC.

    yes, we play the "monsters of middle texas" (well, college station is actually more southeast texas but that doesnt sound as cool, does it?) on sunday night in what should be a showdown.

    but we do have LEHIGH first. and we cannot overlook these guys. typical eastern PA team: small but tough, well coached, can shoot the 3. they are a veteran bunch that is coming off of a 20-12 season and picked to finish 2nd to bucknell in the patriot by most. bucknell is that 26-win team from a year ago that took wvu to the wire in the first round and really should have beaten maryland earlier this year in college park. the bison return nearly everyone and are the overwhelming favorites in the patriot but lehigh is supposed to challenge, despite lehigh having lost a 2-time POY in big forward tim kempton to graduation (bucks summer league to spain and now in israel).

    the mountain hawks are 3-1 on the young season with their only loss being at the hands of a decent monmouth team (who was competitive with seton hall and lost by 20 against uva). lehigh has scored their most points so far this season since 1991-92 (85.5 but two OT games) and they have 2 of the DREADED SO CAL NATIVES in superb all-around junior guard kyle purefoy (dena kid....st. francis....la salle and settled at prolific prep) and sophomore jordan cohen (tarzana...campbell hall). we all know those kids tend to show out when they come home. and if the galen is near empty, we'll hear their respective contingents...and so will our players.

    lehigh is lead by their guards. senior kahron ross is a superb, pass-first, solid defending point guard (watched highlights, read the rest). of note, he did set a career-high with 14 assists at arizona state a few years ago. next is the aforementioned, do-everything 6'3" purefoy, who is also the team's leading rebounder at 7 rpg (purefoy hit a layup at the buzzer to send lehigh's game against siena into overtime, a game in which lehigh eventually won, 91-90). in fact, 5 of lehigh's top 6 scorers are guards....lead by junior lance tejada at nearly 16 ppg. tejada transferred from east carolina and is now eligible after sitting out last year. incidentally, he scored 24 in his debut but has been up/down on the young season (24 points...3 points...26 points...10 points).

    where is lehigh going to beat you? well, first things first, they will play harder than usc, especially early.

    secondly, they are an OUTSTANDING 3-point shooting team. while they average, as a team, around 30% on nearly 30 attempts per game, 4 guys shoot 44% or HIGHER. the tarzana-kid cohen *only* averages around 3-4 attempts per game from beyond-the-arc but he is hitting them at a 54% clip. i expect him to shoot much more in front of friends and family.

    and finally, they'll beat you with their guards. the lehigh little guys are smart, quick and tough. also, they are very good at making the extra pass, have a low assist-to-turnover ratio and they steal the basketball.




    sorry, i got on a run with lehigh as i am off today and don't want to do house prep for wife's family's arrival for TG. but the more i read about the mountain hawks...the more nervous of this game i have become. usc has to be ready to go and cannot fall into a emotional rut after beating vandy in nashville, flying home and then likely having an eye on A&M.

    this game will be a grind. it's a wednesday night in los angeles on thanksgiving eve. we all know what this means. in short, the kids are going to have dig deep and do this on their own.

    we must use our size and athleticism against the mountain hawks (AND DEFEND THE GD THREE) or this one could go down to the wire.

    fight on!
    BEAT LEHIGH!

  • #2
    Great write up. Sounds similar to the Monmouth team from a few years ago. Have to account for the shooters and make it a priority to use our athleticism to make it difficult for them on offense. No open looks, everything has to be contested. Fight on!

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    • #3
      Great post. If SC wants to be a F4 team, business needs to be taken care of tomorrow night from the opening tip.

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      • #4
        Originally posted by USCJohnMac View Post
        Great post. If SC wants to be a F4 team, business needs to be taken care of tomorrow night from the opening tip.
        agree entirely. let's see if they draw more from the north dakota state game rather than from the euphoria of the vandy road win. big-time coaching measuring stick tomorrow night....

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        • #5
          Would be nice to have Melton back to face up against their guards.

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          • rocksteadyusc
            rocksteadyusc commented
            Editing a comment
            huge. they had no answer for him. he scored 4 of his 8 points with under two minutes left, including calmly knocking down a big three. most importantly, however, he ripped their pg with about 15 seconds left and a 1-point lead. that play won the game.

            this game was his coming out party last year, as i've said before. the country noticed his swiss-army abilities. melton ended up with 8 points, 6 boards, 2 assists, 3 steals and 1 block in 23 minutes. No turnovers, no fouls committed. and he came off the bench in what was his first road game ever.

        • #6
          For those wondering, Lehigh was pretty darn legit last season in the Patriot League, finishing 2nd to Bucknell with a 12-6 record. Bucknell also knocked Lehigh off in the Patriot League Tournament Championship Game. Prior to that loss, Lehigh had won 8 out of 9 games, including beating Bucknell (which played West Virginia tight in the NCAA Tourney). Lehigh also won @ Mississippi State and Xavier a run for its money last season.

          As RockSteady mentioned, Lehigh is led by the returning backcourt of Ross and Leufroy, along with Eastern Carolina transfer Lance Tejada, who had big games against Marist and Siena. However, Lehigh's top two scorers from last season, big man Tim Kempton and swingman Austin Price, both graduated.

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          • rocksteadyusc
            rocksteadyusc commented
            Editing a comment
            thoughts on the game? prediction?

        • #7
          I don't gamble on college basketball games but you posters here are making it sound like Lehigh is a tremendous bet. They are 23 point underdogs!

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          • #8
            Originally posted by Marty46r View Post
            I don't gamble on college basketball games but you posters here are making it sound like Lehigh is a tremendous bet. They are 23 point underdogs!
            hahaha. trust me, i hope that i am being my typical, paranoid/cynical usc basketball self. this is a ndsu 2.0 team, imo, and again, lots of factors that are not very motivating for usc (lesser opponent, post-big road win, the travel, night before thanksgiving, ranked team coming in after, facing a few so cal natives...etc. etc.). like i said, hopefully i am being myself.

            i looked at covers before posting to gain a sense of what vegas felt and nothing was posted at that time. i am surprised by that 23. incidentally, seeing 21.5 - 22 now.

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            • #9
              Originally posted by Marty46r View Post
              I don't gamble on college basketball games but you posters here are making it sound like Lehigh is a tremendous bet. They are 23 point underdogs!
              Marty, don’t spoil our fun!


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              • #10
                Originally posted by Marty46r View Post
                I don't gamble on college basketball games but you posters here are making it sound like Lehigh is a tremendous bet. They are 23 point underdogs!
                I did on Saturday and had SC -3.5...thank you Jmac for getting us to OT!

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                • #11
                  Originally posted by G4sc View Post

                  I did on Saturday and had SC -3.5...thank you Jmac for getting us to OT!

                  Got them at -24 vs CSUF to start the season. Thank god I dodged the NDSU game haha. Fight on!

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                  • #12
                    delightfully wrong...though it looked
                    as if the premonition would come to fruition at the half.

                    in the end...usc dug deep...hammered them on the glass and in all things efficiency. and held the so cal natives to 2-for-14 combined from the field.


                    respect to the kids and the staff. great game.

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