Army Game-Day: Lafayette Leopards (3-10) come to Christl Arena

Head coach Zach Spiker will look to lead the Army West Point Black Knights to a big home win over the Lafayette Leopards in Patriot League action on Wednesday night. (Source: CBS Sports)
Head coach Zach Spiker will look to lead the Army West Point Black Knights to a big home win over the Lafayette Leopards in Patriot League action on Wednesday night. (Source: CBS Sports)

College Court Report has your official tip-off preview for tonight’s Patriot League match-up between the Lafayette Leopards and the Army West Point Black Knights.

We will break down the match-up into several different facets, including 4 Factors in Tonight’s Game, keys to victory for each team, and more!

Check out Maverick’s official Lafayette @ Army preview below! Be sure to leave your thoughts on his breakdown and your prediction for the game in the comments section below! 

Entering tonight’s game, the Black Knights of Army are led by a trio of skilled players: F Tanner Plomb, G Kyle Wilson, and C Kevin Ferguson.  Senior forward Tanner Plomb is currently averaging 21.9 ppg,  5.8 rpg, and 1.3 spg and has accounted for 25.6% of Army’s total points this season. Plomb has scored double-digit points in each of the Black Knights’ games this season and has a streak of 24 games with double-digit points scored going back to last season.

Plomb last scored single digit points on January 29, 2015 (6 vs Boston U). He was this week’s recipient CCR Mid-Major Player of the Week (Tanner Plomb’s Award Article).

Senior guard Kyle Wilson has been Army’s outside threat this season, leading them with 57 made three-pointers (team has made 151 this season). Wilson is currently averaging 18.3 ppg and 2.6 rpg on the year, while shooting  43.1% from the floor, 40.1% from three point range, and 79.5% from the free throw line. Wilson is a skilled (6-4  207) guard who knows how to play stellar defense and offense by avoiding foul trouble to win his match-up on his opponent; he has a career average of 1.6 personal fouls/game since his freshman year during the 2012-2013 season.

The last member of Army’s trio is senior center Kevin Ferguson      (6-10, 200), who is coming off a double-double performance            (15 pts 14 boards) in their loss to Bucknell. That double-double against Bucknell was his fourth of the season, and first since December 20th against the Marist Red Foxes. The Berkeley Heights, N.J. native is averaging 12.1 ppg,  8.9 rpg,  1.4 apg, and 1.6 bpg, while shooting  60.9% from the floor so far this season under Head Coach Spiker.  Look for Kevin Ferguson to have another double-double performance against Lafayette tonight.

Senior Forward Tanner Plomb will look to keep his streak of 24 games with double-digit points scored tonight vs Lafayette. Photo courtesy of Army Athletics.
Senior Forward Tanner Plomb will look to keep his streak of 24 games with double-digit points scored tonight vs Lafayette. (Photo courtesy of Army Athletics.)

As for the Lafayette Leopards, they are coming an 81-78 loss to Loyola (MD) on Saturday night. The Leopards were led in that game by Nick Lindner, who recorded 26 points, and Matt Klinewski, who recorded 14 points and 7 rebounds. The Leopards also had a double-double performance from role player Paulius Zalys, (10 pts 11 boards).

Lafayette will be without Bryce Scott tonight who suffered an injury in the first half of their last game, so look for guard Monty Boykins to fill his role in the starting lineup.

Coming off a 24 point loss in their 78-81 loss to Loyola (MD), Nick Lindner will look to continue his shooting tonight vs Army. (Source: Lehigh Valley Live)
Coming off a 24-point performance in their 81-78 loss to Loyola (MD), Nick Lindner will look to continue his shooting tonight vs Army. (Source: Lehigh Valley Live)

4 Factors for Tonight’s Game

  1. High Scoring Offenses: Lafayette- 74.5ppg    Army- 85.6ppg

2. Experience: Army is returning all 5 starters from last season; Lafayette only runs 2 starters from last season

3. Getting Assists:  Lafayette- 178 assists but 176 turnovers so far this season. Army- 264 assists but only 196 turnovers this season.

4. Leopards’ Defense: The last time these two schools met Army was held only to a 37.1 FG% ; Army will need to find a way to make over 45% tonight to win, in my opinion.



Coaches’ Corner

  • Army is 4-) against Head Coach O’Hanlon under Head Coach Spiker
  • Coach O’Hanlon and Coach Spiker are tied in Patriot League coaching history with a 47.7 win% all-time (ranks 14th all-time)
  • Army last won (87-84) on March 1, 2014 at Christl Arena

Expected Starting Lineups:

Army                                                       Lafayette

G Dylan Cox                               G Monty Boykins

G Kyle Wilson                           G Bryce Scott

F Larry Toomey                        G Nick Lindner

F Tanner Plomb                        F Matt Klinewski

C Kevin Ferguson                    F Nathaniel Musters


Keys to Victory — Lafayette

  1. Have a balanced rebound effort tonight 
  • Note: The Leopards only average 9.5 offensive rebounds/game, as compared to their 23.8 defensive rebounds/game. If Lafayette wants to win tonight they will other players outside of Matt Klinewski (28 off. rebounds), Paulius Zalys (20 off. rebounds) to crash the glass. Klinewski and Zalys are the only players to have double-digit offensive rebound totals this season for Lafayette. Lafayette has only had 3 occurrences where a player finished with double-digit rebounds in a game.

2. Avoid foul trouble, but offensively get to the free throw line

  •  Note: The expected starting 5 lineup for Lafayette have a combined 53.7% of the Lafayette’s team fouls committed (144 out of 268) this season; the starting 5 also has committed 5 out of the team’s 6 foul outs.
  • Note: Lafayette is averaging 75.1 FT% as a team this season compared to Army’s 68.9 FT% as a team. Lafayette has made 199 free throws, Army has made 193 free throws.

3. Find a way to out shoot Army from 3 point range 

  • Note:  Lafayette enters as a team averaging 34.9  3pt%

–  Army has a team average of 38.6  3pt%

  • Note: Lafayette has only made 101 3 pointers this season; Army’s Tanner Plomb has attempted 118  three pointers alone this year, and has made 39.8%.

– Lafayette averages 7.7  made three pointers/game, Army averages 10.7 made three pointers/game, which results in a +9 point advantage for Army.

If Lafayette wants to out shoot Army from three point range, it will start with senior guard Bryce Scott. Scott leads all Lafayette players with 34 made three pointers this season. (Source: Lehigh Valley Live)
If Lafayette wants to out shoot Army from three point range, it will start with senior guard Bryce Scott. Scott leads all Lafayette players with 34 made three pointers this season. (Source: Lehigh Valley Live)

Keys to Victory — Army

  1. Have double-digit points from their role players off the bench
  • Note: The Black Knights have scored a combined 48 bench points in their last three games; they are (2-1) when they have double-digit bench points.

2. Finish the game shooting better than 50% from the field 

  • Note: Army is (4-0) this season when they accomplish this, including wins over Lehigh,
  • Note: Black Knights as a team entering tonight’s game vs Lafayette are shooting 46.4 FG%

3. Run your up-tempo offense 


Maverick’s Score Prediction: Army 87 – Lafayette 74


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