#138 Lehigh Men's Basketball 2015-2016 Preview

Lehigh Mountain Hawks

2015-2016 Overall Rank: #138
Conference Rank: #2 Patriot

Lehigh Team Page#138 Lehigh Men's Basketball 2015-2016 PreviewBuy Lehigh Basketball Tickets

Lehigh got off to a slow start during the 2014-2015 campaign. They started off the year 0-4 and began Patriot League play at 1-4. However, among all those losses were some quality wins, most notably against DePaul and a triple overtime thriller at Arizona State. The talent became more consistent later in the season and that is what the Mountain Hawks will build off of heading into the 2015-2016 season. A tough finish, which included a season finale loss to Colgate that cost Lehigh a shot at a second place finish and an opening round loss to American in the conference tournament, leaves a few questions about whether or not this group is ready to put it all together for an entire season.

2014-15 Record: 16-14, 10-8
2014-15 Postseason: none
Coach: Brett Reed
Coach Record: 145-104 at Lehigh, 145-104 overall

Who’s Out:
This Lehigh team is certainly more experienced than they were a year ago. The top six scorers are back and only two players, Corey Schaefer and Miles Simelton, are gone from the regular rotation. Schaefer saw his production drop last season, but he still started 29 games, averaging 4.7 points, 3.1 rebounds and 1.4 assists. Schaefer did what his team needed him to do and the 6-1 guard could do a lot of things. Simelton opted to transfer after his sophomore season. He was an important guard off of the bench, although his numbers are replaceable. The other notable departure is that of Stefan Cyrkalj. When Lehigh needed to go nine deep, it was Cvrkalj who Coach Brett Reed would call upon.

Who’s In:
Three newcomers will look to fill the minutes left behind by the departures. And this group has the talent to do more than that. Kyle Leufroy may be the most important freshmen this year since he can add depth on the perimeter. The 6-3 combo guard can make plays off of the dribble and knock down some shots. It is his strength on defense that will earn him minutes right now though. Like Leufroy, Matt Holba is another great pickup for the program. The 6-7 forward has the versatility to play either forward position for Lehigh and that will be a great asset moving forward. He is a tough, blue-collar player, who will battle in the paint, but he can shoot too. Center Caleb Sedore rounds out the group of freshmen. At this point, the 6-11, 215 pound center is raw, and his best days are still ahead of him.

Who to Watch:
This team is built around reigning Patriot League Player of the Year Tim Kempton and reigning Patriot League Freshman of the Year Kahron Ross. Kempton, a 6-10 junior, led his team with 15.3 points and 8.7 rebounds a year ago. Kempton is a tough match-up in the paint for most opposing big men and is an amazingly consistent scorer. He never failed to reach double figures last season after a December 18th loss to Quinnipiac. He also totaled 14 double-doubles. Any time he does not get a double-double this season will be a bit of a disappointment. Ross stepped into a starting role from day one and did not disappoint. The point guard ended up averaging 10.4 points and 5.8 assists on the year. Perhaps most impressive is that he only committed 2.3 turnovers per game as a freshman. He will only be better with that year of experience under his belt.

Final Projection:
Kempton and Ross make this team dangerous, but the supporting cast can get them a Patriot League title. Austin Price is a good shooter from the wing and Brandon Alston is a big guard who showed plenty of promise as a freshman. Justin Goldsborough has been a great complimentary frontcourt piece to Kempton. Last year Goldsborough averaged 7.5 points, 5.8 rebounds and 1.3 blocks. Jesse Chuku will again provide most of the depth in the paint. Suddenly this is a very experienced team. Finding that consistency should not be a problem as long as Ross and Alston continue to develop during their sophomore seasons.

Projected Postseason Tournament: CBI/CIT

Projected Starting Five:
Kahron Ross, Sophomore, Guard, 10.4 points per game
Austin Price, Junior, Guard, 11.4 points per game
Brandon Alston, Sophomore, Guard, 4.9 points per game
Justin Goldsborough, Senior, Forward, 7.5 points per game
Tim Kempton, Junior, Center, 15.3 points per game

By the Numbers:
Scoring Offense: 68.1 (156th in nation, 4th in conference)
Scoring Defense: 66.7 (166, 5)
Field-Goal Percentage: 44.1 (124, 5)
Field-Goal Defense: 40.1 (51, 1)
Three-Point Field Goals Per Game: 5.5 (260, 8)
Three-Point Field-Goal Percentage: 34.5 (164, 6)
Free-Throw Percentage: 72.5 (62, 2)
Rebound Margin: 1.5 (131, 2)
Assists Per Game: 14.3 (58, 3)
Turnovers Per Game: 13.1 (232, 9)


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