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2021-22 Lafayette men's basketball preview

Lafayette Leopards

2020-21 record: 9-6 overall, 9-5 in Patriot League

Head coach: Fran O’Hanlon

Tenure at Lafayette: 27th season

Career coaching record: 351-413

Home court: Kirby Sports Center

Starters: G Tyrone Perry, G Jon Brantley, F Neil Quinn, F Leo O’Boyle, F Kyle Jenkins

Bench: G Eric Sondberg, G Isaiah Thompson, F Tomas Verbinskis, F Sean Good

Overview: Lafayette had an average season this past year with a 9-6 record. It’s evident that the Leopards weren’t able to experience a consistent schedule as several of their games were either postponed or cancelled due to the pandemic. Despite these difficulties, they were able to finish third in the Patriot League behind Navy and Colgate. 

Lafayette has a disciplined team given its execution of the fundamentals. In fact, the Leopards ranked fourth in the country in free throw percentage. A lot of the scoring came from now-graduated guards Justin Jaworski and E.J. Stephens, who averaged 21.5 and 16.4 points per game, respectively. This means that Lafayette desperately needs one of its guards, like current senior Tyrone Perry, to fill the void that Jaworski and Stephens left behind. Nonetheless, the Leopards are also effective in the paint with current sophomore forward Neal Quinn who averaged 10.6 points per game and 5.5 rebounds last year. The 2021-22 team needs one of its guards to rise to the occasion by being creative and feeding the big men inside. Lafayette has a rather long depth chart, which means that head coach Fran O'Hanlan could roll out several different lineups from them during Patriot League and non-conference play.  

Team ceiling: For the past few years, Colgate and Bucknell have been front runners in the Patriot League. However, if O’Hanlon finds a way to mitigate the loss of Jaworski and Stephens, the Leopards might end up on top and earn a bid to the NCAA tournament.

Team floor: The negative effects of high roster turnover prevail and the lack of team chemistry cause Lafayette to be disorganized on the court. This team would finish near the bottom of the table and wouldn’t experience any Cinderella story in the postseason tournament.

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