American head coach Mike Brennan spoke with the media after American’s 65-50 home loss to Lehigh that dropped the Eagles to 2-13, 0-4 in the Patriot League.
"They were picked first in the league. They've got the reigning player of the year, they've got a bunch of guys that have played a lot of minutes. I think they're just harder (to guard) at every spot, they're a really good team. They execute, they keep it simple, and they make you pay for any mistakes.
"It's going to be the same thing after every game basically. Have we improved? Have we shown improvement after two days of practice, and can we learn from — each team is going to show us something different. Can we learn from each game?"
On Lehigh's guards
"Leufroy's out there, he's with Kempton and Price and Ross so it's not as heavy for him — the heavy lifting. He's sort of the recipient of their solid-ness and their experience. So we can only develop that by playing.
"Paris' minutes are coming with James and Delante, and it's a lot for Paris. I was happy with some of the things Paris did tonight. I thought that was something to build on. That's the best big in the league that he faced tonight; he was able to score a little bit on him which is a good sign."
What about Paris' overall game today?
"He's worked on it. He's spending time doing it. He's going to have opportunities in certain games more so than others. Bucknell played like a matchup so he doesn't get as many touches and he's not doing the same thing here — it's man-to-man, sort of one-on-one situations. He's able to convert at a pretty good rate so we've just got to keep him coming along and build on that."
On Delante's overall game (12 points, 7 assists, 5 rebounds) and did he like what Delante did?
"I like Delante's play every day. He's one of these guys who picks up stuff quickly. Other guys usually it takes a year. For him, you teach him something or show him something, he shows progress rapidly and it shows up in how many different things he does out there."
The best +/- lineup in first half was James, Delante, Jesse, Marko & Paris. Marko didn't play in the second half. Is he all right?
"Yeah he's ok. It might have been our best lineup, but again, you're just, you're still down nine and you're trying to get these other guys that you think in the long run that you need to help you — I sort of know what Marko can do, I know what Charlie can do. We need these other guys to be ready the second time around in league play. We know what we're going to get from Marko. We need to give these other guys experience. As much as you're trying to win, you're trying to balance winning the game and giving these guys experience. That's a question that happens minute by minute in every game."
On Marko and Charlie not attempting a shot, not being aggressive on offense. Would you like to see them more aggressive or are they playing their role?
"They're playing their role, they're playing their role. They're — I don't want to say the fifth option. But if they're your first option, it's going to be difficult to win. If you're relying on them to shoot and score and make plays, it's going to be difficult. We need these other guys to do that and they are doing it. They're (Marko and Charlie) continuing to play their role, and whether they play five minutes or 35 minutes, I know Charlie and Marko are going to be ready. This season's a little different. We just got to get these young guys this experience because they need to be able to help us too."
On Jalen's struggles shooting (missed last 13 3-pointers, hasn't made one since Dec. 4 vs. Youngstown State).
"Paris is a guy that you're throwing the ball to over and over and over so normally the center's throwing passes to open people. We had Pee Wee instead of a freshman penetrating and kicking to guys that are wide open (last year). So again Jalen, I don't know what he's shooting (but) it's not open looks in rhythm and all that kind of stuff. You need other guys to be able to create so then Jalen will be the recipient. I know when we get to that point that Jalen will knock down shots. Right now they're forced at the end of the shot clock, it's different type of shots."