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Inside the Patriot – Jan. 12

12 January, 2007

by

Game of the Week
Bucknell at Holy Cross – Friday, January 12, 7 pm
No surprise here; this rematch of the last two Patriot League Tournament finals is possibly the game of the year. With apologies to Lehigh, whichever team comes out of the Hart Center with a win will be 3-0 with an inside track to the league title. Bucknell will be attacking inside with Chris McNaughton and Donald Brown, while the Crusaders will look to rain long shots with Keith Simmons, Torey Thomas and Pat Doherty. The game should come down to which defense can stop the other team from imposing its will. Watch for McNaughton’s early success on offense; if he struggles, the Bison will be forced to run more plays for their inconsistent outside shooters.

Line of the Week

1.10.07 vs. Navy TOT-FG 3-PT REBOUNDS
FG-FGA FG-FGA FT-FTA OF DE TOT TP A TO BLK S MIN
Neptune, Kyle………… 5-8 4-6 3-4 1 4 5 17 4 3 1 0 32
Impressing

Leopard shooters wake up. Lafayette’s offense was obscene Wednesday night at Colgate, going 63.9 percent from the floor and 8-of-15 from the three-point arc. The Leopards weren’t bad in losing to Holy Cross last weekend either, shooting 56.8 percent from the floor and 8-of-18 from the arc. If this is more than a hot streak, Lafayette may surprise many people this year.
Holy Cross shows offensive diversity. You know what you’re getting with Simmons and Thomas, but the Crusaders have also been able to get points from Tim Clifford, Alex Vander Baan and Adam May, not to mention Doherty’s early return from injury. It’s tough to clamp down on a team with so many options.
Lehigh forwards step up in Jason Mgebroff’s absence. John Gourlay scored 10 points and Phil Anderson had the game-winning rebound and shot against American, and then Anderson scored 10 and Bryan White 9 at Navy.
Donald Brown. 15 points and 9 rebounds against Navy, then 14 points and 8 rebounds against American. Brown is proving an incredibly tough match-up for Patriot League frontcourts and is currently Simmons’s best competition for league Player of the Year.
Distressing

American continues to struggle closing games on the road. Losing at Lehigh and Bucknell is no high crime, but the Eagles had chances to win both of those and wilted late in the game. They need to play with greater physical and mental toughness away from home.
Chris Walker disappears. After some strong non-conference performances, the Army freshman forward is averaging 3.0 points, 3.5 rebounds, and 4.0 fouls per game in Patriot League play.
Colgate’s offensive inconsistency. The Raiders’ 23-point first half against Lafayette was one for the ages: 8-for-28 from the floor, 1-for-13 from the arc, and 6-for-12 on free throws. Between global warming and El Nino, it’s startling that one team could be so cold. Then they turn around and score 42 points in the second half of that game.
Navy hits a wall. HThe Midshipmen’s 9-3 record to start the season seems like ages ago. With Lafayette and Holy Cross on the docket this week, Navy’s underclassman-heavy squad is perilously close to being out of the Patriot League race already.

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