Stephen Miller covers Lehigh basketball for The Morning Call newspaper in Allentown, Pa. Leading up to Wednesday’s American-Lehigh game, Stephen was nice enough to answer a handful of questions about the Mountain Hawks (10-5, 3-1 Patriot League).
Lehigh has four players who have made at least 20 3s at a clip of 45% or better. Crazy. Besides having really good shooters, what has made Lehigh such a deadly 3-point shooting team?
Stephen: The Mountain Hawks are willing to to share the basketball to find the best 3-pointer, not the first 3-pointer. When you combine unselfishness with good shooters, it leads to a high percentage from the arc.
What defensive approaches have been most effective, if at all, at slowing down Lehigh's attack this season?
Stephen: Only the three high-major programs Lehigh faced (Miami, Kansas State and West Virginia) have held it under 72 points. Anyone that wants to slow the Mountain Hawks must make defending the 3-point arc the focal point of its defense.
Lehigh doesn't block shots and doesn't rebound particularly well on either end. How would you describe the Lehigh frontcourt and who is the player to watch?
Stephen: Lehigh typically plays with four guards/wings and one big. Junior forward Pat Andre (6.1 rpg) is key to their rebounding efforts. When he hits the backboards, the Mountain Hawks tend to play well.
Defensively, Lehigh has struggled to stop teams including Colgate going for 91 Saturday. What can American expose on that end? What's the biggest weakness?
Stephen: Lehigh’s points per game is high, but it has defended well overall. The Mountain Hawks have held foes to 41.6 percent shooting from the field and 33.8 percent from 3-point range.
The Mountain Hawks don’t have an elite rim protector, so attacking the basket with dribble penetration can be effective.
Any other player who's a bit under the radar to watch out for Wednesday?
Stephen: Sophomore wing Caleb Bennet (5.5 ppg) has become a bigger part of their rotation with classmate Marques Wilson not playing because of an academic problem from the fall semester. He can provide an energy boost off the bench.