Found March 17, 2012 on Fox Sports Carolinas:
GREENSBORO, N.C. -- This is brand new territory for Lehigh's basketball program. And from the looks of it, everyone associated with the Mountain Hawks are embracing every minute of it. And who can blame them? Lehigh is coming off a shocking upset of Duke, just the sixth 15 seed to beat a 2 seed in the NCAA Tournament, and may have the personnel and disposition to keep playing past Sunday's matchup with Xavier in the third round at the Greensboro Coliseum. But first, the Mountain Hawks must be grounded in reality from the unreal high beating Duke surely gave the players and their throng of brown-clad fans. "I think that after any emotional game there's always the propensity to potentially fall off a little bit, because we have expended so much mental energy," Lehigh coach Dr. Brett Reed said Saturday. "However, immediately after the game, I wanted to make sure that our players had a chance to enjoy the moment, enjoy the experience. "It was really something special that Lehigh was about to do (Friday night)." It was. Duke won the national championship two years ago and came into the NCAA Tournament with one of the top resumes in the nation. The Blue Devils, though, had been trending backwards in recent weeks and were missing their third leading scorer. But that shouldn't take anything away from what the Mountain Hawks accomplished, and it has nothing to do with what Lehigh can achieve Sunday. But to shock the college hoops universe again, it needs star guard C.J. McCollum to rise up again as he did versus the Blue Devils. McCollum scored 30 points, handed out six assists and even grabbed six rebounds. While he was just 9-for-24 from the field, many of his misses were excellent looks and often came after breaking down a Duke defender. There was a mounting psychological edge that came with each attempt, and the gradual affect had Duke reeling defensively by night's end. Xavier might be a bit quicker on the perimeter, but McCollum is a special player. Forget that he plays in the underrated Patriot League. The 6-foot-3 junior can flat out play and will give fits to whatever teams the Hawks face. "C.J.'s a great player and a lot of people don't see it, but he's our hardest worker, too," Lehigh center Gabe Knutson said. "And that means a lot for the team, because when your best player's your hardest worker, everybody else looks at that and follows." McCollum is also one of a few leaders on this team. But as its best player and a rare junior who has already passed the 2,000-point mark in his career, his work ethic tells the rest of the team he cares about winning. Twenty-four shots are only a bad thing when many of the attempts don't come through the offense or are selfish in nature. That wasn't the case with McCollum. See his six assists as evidence. And that's part of what makes this team so fascinating. One member of the media asked some of the players if they think they have a Butler-esque quality, alluding to the mid-major program that reached the last two NCAA title game. Lehigh's composition certainly is similar. But McCollum said he thinks they more fit the mold of Davidson, which in 2008 nearly reached the Final Four, falling short versus Kansas in the Midwest Region final. He noted that both are small, academic schools that play in lower-tier conferences. What he didn't mention is an even more intriguing comparison: Himself to Stephen Curry, the star of those Davidson teams and now a fine a NBA player. There are similarities in their games and stories. McCollum was asked if he's Lehigh's version of Curry. Knutson quickly responded, "Yes," before McCollum gave his thoughtful response. "We're two different people (and) he's a terrific player," he said. "I don't I don't know how good I am compared to him. I know he's in the NBA. He's a star. I think he's a great player and he's going to have a great career." McCollum avoided lumping himself in with Curry, but it's not a silly comparison. And neither is thinking Lehigh can extend this fantasy just a little bit longer.
THE BACKYARD
BEST OF MAXIM
AROUND THE WEB
RELATED ARTICLES

Canton’s CJ McCollum Discusses MAC Scholarship Snubs

Canton GlenOak’s CJ McCollum is the face of all things March Madness following Lehigh’s upset of Duke earlier this weekend. Now garnering national attention, McCollum — he of the top-five in NCAA Division I scoring — has turned the tables in a recent discussion about the local Ohio schools that chose a different path when it came to handing out scholarship offers. Per Yahoo...

No. 15 seed Lehigh shocks No. 2 Duke

C.J. McCollum scored 30 points and Lehigh upset Duke 75-70 on Friday night in the second round of the NCAA tournament. Lehigh became the sixth No. 15 seed to beat a No. 2 and the first since Norfolk State pulled off the trick earlier in the day. Duke dropped its first tournament game for only the second time in the past 16 years, and this one occurred just 55 miles from its campus...

Duke upset by Lehigh, drops out in 2nd round

GREENSBORO, N.C. (AP) -- C.J. McCollum scored 30 points and Lehigh upset Duke 75-70 on Friday night in the second round of the NCAA tournament. Lehigh became the sixth No. 15 seed to beat a No. 2 and the first since Norfolk State pulled off the trick earlier in the day. Duke dropped its first tournament game for only the second time in the past 16 years, and this one occurred just...

Inside the boxscore: Lehigh 75, Duke 70

1. For three years CJ McCollum has done everything for the Mountain Hawks. In all three seasons he's taken over 30% of their shots when he's on the floor, and this year the 6'3 junior he led the team in scoring, rebounding and steals. Against Duke he was able to consistently take advantage of weak perimeter defense. He drove, he was aggressive, and he caused havoc....

Lehigh embracing every minute of NCAA dance

GREENSBORO, N.C. This is brand new territory for Lehigh's basketball program. And from the looks of it, everyone associated with the Mountain Hawks is embracing every minute of it. And who can blame them? Lehigh is coming off a shocking upset of Duke, just the sixth No. 15 seed to beat a No. 2 seed in the NCAA tournament, and may have the personnel and disposition to keep...

A Patriot Continues to Dance

A Patriot Continues to Dance The Patriot League sent their best to this dance this year and Duke happened to be the beneficiary of its move to do so. The small school from Bethlehem, Pennsylvania saw their Lehigh Mountain Hawks become just the sixth team to take down a No. 2 seed, the second in mere hours, as they were lead by the Patriot League player of the year and the leading...

Lehigh-Duke Report Card

GREENSBORO, N.C. --- Lehigh pulled off one of the more remarkable upsets in NCAA Tournament history Friday night by beating Duke 75-70 at the Greensboro Coliseum. Seeded 15th in the South Region, the Mountain Hawks rode a 30-point night from guard C.J. McCollum and capitalized on a poor effort by the second-seeded Blue Devils in notching the schools first ever NCAA Tournament victory...

Lehigh stuns second-seeded Duke 75-70 to advance

Superstitious? The Duke Blue Devils might be after Friday night. Duke had never lost an NCAA tournament game at the Greensboro Coliseum, winning all 12 previous contests - the best record of any team at a site in tournament history. Who would have thought their 13th appearance would be so unlucky? The 15th-seeded Lehigh Mountain Hawks pulled off a monumental upset by stunning...

Lehigh-Xavier Preview

The Lehigh Mountain Hawks insist their work here isn't done. They're not ready to pack up and go home to Bethlehem, Pa., after pulling off one of the biggest upsets in NCAA tournament history by stunning national power and second-seeded Duke 75-70 in its own backyard Friday night. The Mountain Hawks want to stick around a little longer. After his team's monumental...

Lehigh insists it's not done after upsetting Duke

Lehigh insists it's not ready to pack up and go home after pulling off one of the biggest upsets in NCAA tournament history by stunning national power Duke 75-70 on Friday night. The Mountain Hawks want more. After his team's monumental victory, Lehigh coach Brett Reed asked his players if they were satisfied. The collective answer was no. Senior forward Jordan Hamilton...

Saturday's Prospect Viewing Guide

Just like Friday's guide this will also focus on the lesser known and lower graded prospects that will be in play for us in the late 1st and early 2nd rd of the draft.  But before we look forward let's take a look at some of the prospects in yesterday's feature.  There were a lot of solid efforts but a few whose play stood out.Winners:CJ McCollum; PG/SG Lehigh - Canton...
Today's Best Stuff
For Bloggers

Join the Yardbarker Network for more promotion, traffic, and money.

Company Info
Help
What is Yardbarker?

Yardbarker is the largest network of sports blogs and pro athlete blogs on the web. This site is the hub of the Yardbarker Network, where our editors and algorithms curate the best sports content from our network and beyond.