Lehigh Basketball takes part in preseason Media Day
BETHLEHEM, Pa. - With the season set to start next week, the Lehigh basketball teams held their annual Media Day on Friday as both head coaches along with a pair of student-athletes from each side met with various media outlets to look ahead to the upcoming season. Men’s coach Brett Reed was joined by junior Gabe Knutson and senior Jordan Hamilton while Sue Troyan was joined by seniors Emily Gratch and Alexa Williams for the women.
“I’ve really gotten a sense from our student-athletes how excited they are to start the season and play against outside competition,” said Reed. “We’ve been working very hard, week after week and even from our conditioning to our skill instruction and our weight training, for the opportunity to face somebody else. I know they’re confident in their ability. We have been working hard; I hope that ultimately we will see the dividends of all our hard work and sacrifice thus far.”
Lehigh has a busy first week of the 2011-12 season, traveling to St. John’s for an ESPN2 showdown Wednesday night (7 p.m.) before heading to Iowa State for a 2 p.m. ET tipoff on Saturday, Nov. 12. Predicted second in the Patriot League preseason poll, the Mountain Hawks return 76.9 percent of their scoring and 78.4 percent of their rebounding from a year ago led by junior C.J. McCollum, who is the nation’s leading returning scorer (21.8 points per game as a sophomore).
A young squad, Lehigh features three freshmen and four sophomores after graduating Patriot League Player and Defensive Player of the Year Erica Prosser and Second Team All-League honoree Courtney Dentler. Predicted second in the Patriot League, the Mountain Hawks do return experience, which coupled with talented freshmen, leads to high hopes for the upcoming year.
“I think we’ve got to rely heavily on the experience of Alexa and Emily’s play,” said Troyan. “I think one of the things that the team probably lacks, especially at the guard spot, is game experience. It starts with Alexa and Emily and using their experience. Relying heavily on their experience is going to be important for us to be successful.”
The Mountain Hawks kick off their season at La Salle next Friday at 3 p.m. before facing fellow Atlantic 10 foe Saint Joseph’s on Sunday at 2 p.m. Lehigh heads to Sacred Heart on Wednesday, Nov. 16 before returning to the Lehigh Valley to host Saint Peter’s in its home opener on Saturday, Nov. 19.
Check back to Lehighsports.com for continued updates as both men’s and women’s teams draw closer to their respective season openers.