The Lehigh Mountain Hawks are struggling at the start of the season. The Purdue Boilermakers are off to an encouraging start to their season. Can Lehigh learn from what it has experienced to this point in the season and make Purdue sweat?
The Mountain Hawks have struggled this season, and there’s really no room for an alternate interpretation. Lehigh has lost every game by at least nine points en route to an 0-5 start. The Mountain Hawks have to be very worried not just because of the steady stream of losses, but because they have lost different kinds of games. They dropped a 57-47 game in which they defended well, but then they lost a 98-89 game in which they defended poorly. They lost a 79-67 game and an 80-54 game. It has been hard for this team to generate any kind of momentum, because just when it seems to do well on defense, as it did when it held Syracuse to 57 points, it then regresses and allows 98 points to Canisius, a team that isn’t in the same league as Syracuse. When Lehigh scores 89 points as it did against Canisius, it is easy to think that the Mountain Hawks have figured out how to improve on offense. Then the team scores 67 against Yale and 61 in a loss to Columbia, and it’s hard to see how this team will be able to get itself organized enough to win a decent amount of ballgames this season.
Purdue is 5-0, but the more specific reason this team has momentum is that after winning some relatively easy games against smaller schools such as North Carolina A&T, Vermont, and Incarnate Word, this team has been able to beat opponents that have a legitimate chance at making the NCAA tournament. Purdue was able to beat Old Dominion, considered a real threat in Conference USA, and the Boilermakers followed that up with a very decisive win over Florida, one of the better programs in college basketball and a team which needs to be taken seriously in the SEC. This team is on the right track.
This is the fifth road game for Lehigh this season. The Mountain Hawks are 0-4 in their previous road games, having lost most recently at Virginia on Wednesday. Purdue is playing its fourth home game of the season. The Boilermakers are 3-0 to this point.
Neither team has any injuries at this time.
What’s The Pick?
Purdue should be able to dictate the way this game is played and cover the NCAA basketball odds. For one thing, the Boilermakers were really sharp against Florida from three-point range. Purdue has not generally been able to shoot at a high enough level to bury other opponents on offense. The Boilermakers generally have won over the years with their defense, but now they are much more in position to win both with defense and offense. Last season’s Purdue team had to grind out victories, but this team might be able to shoot its way to victory. That could happen here. Take Purdue with your NCAA basketball picks.
NCAA Basketball Pick: Purdue