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The Scouting Report: Columbia Lions

Columbia has a player from Berlin, Germany

Anthony Gruppuso-USA TODAY Sports

Record: 6-3
Head Coach: Kyle Smith
Kenpom: 112

Columbia entered the 2014-2015 season with the most hype they have had in recent memory.  Returning all five starters from a 21-13 season, the Lions were expected to compete atop of the Ivy League with Harvard and Yale.  But, before the season started, their leading scorer Alex Rosenberg (16.0 PPG) suffered a foot injury which will cause him to miss the entire season.

With the loss of Rosenberg, junior Maodo Lo has stepped up big time in Columbia's 6-3 start.  The Lions only lost to Kentucky by 10, and even led 25-23 at halftime.  Their other two loses came by a combined three points, so the promise is still there for this season.

Head Coach Kyle Smith has the Lions playing at an extremely slow pace, contributing to them being one of the top teams in the country in points allowed and one of the worst teams in PPG.  Columba averages 60.1 PPG while allowing 53.7 PPG.  Due to the fact that they are a jump shooting team, they do not get to the free throw line often, ranking 329th in free throw attempts per game with 16.3.

Key Players

#12 Maodo Lo, Junior, Guard (6-3, 190): From Berlin, Germany, Lo spent the summer working out with the German National Team which has led to his stellar start to the season, averaging 17.6 PPG, 5.1 RPG, and 2.7 SPG.  He is also shooting 38% from three and has knocked down a three-pointer in every game this season.  With Rosenberg gone for the season, the success of Columbia relies heavily on Lo's shoulders, and he has more than produced, scoring double figures in every game this season but one, including a 29 point performance against Hofstra.

#2 Isaac Cohen, Junior, Guard (6-4, 220): One of two players to play more than 30 minutes a game along with Maodo Lo.  Cohen is versatile all-around player but a reluctant scorer as he is averaging 3.6 PPG, 6.7 RPG, and 4.4 APG.  Despite his reluctant shooting, he shoots at a very high percentage at 58.3%.  Despite his size, he has reached double digit rebounds twice this season and has recorded at least five assists five different times this season.

#0 Kyle Castlin, Freshman, Guard (6-4, 180): The only freshman to see significant minutes, Castlin is second on the team in points averaging 8.8 per game while also pulling down 4.1 RPG.  While he does not shoot the three often, he has been successful this season as he is 6-14 on the year.  Castlin has been in double figures four times this season, including a 19 point performance against Fairleigh Dickinson in which he went 13-14 from the free throw line.

#23 Cory Osetkowski, Senior, Center (6-11, 270): The leading rebounder on the team with 7.7 per game while also scoring 7.8 PPG and dishing out 2.8 APG.  He has an unusual skill set for a big man as he is a very good passer and can step out and hit the three.  He is only 2-17 this season from deep, but he is not afraid to shoot one or two a game.  Osetkowski's best game of the year came in a 62-39 victory over Bucknell in which he had 12 points, 12 rebounds, and 6 assists.

#5 Steve Frankoski, Senior, Guard (6-2, 190): The sixth man for the Lions, he is averaging 7.0 PPG while shooting 31.9% from three.  Frankoski has the ability to break open a game, and will be looked to for scoring off the bench.  He is coming off his best game of the season against Hofstra, in which he had 14 points, including going 4-7 from deep.

Columbia is coached by Kyle Smith who is in his fifth season with the team where he is 69-60.  In his first two seasons, he became the first coach in Columbia history to record at least 30 wins since the early 1950s.  Before Columbia, he was an assistant at Saint Mary's, Air Force, and San Diego.  From 2001-2010, as an assistant at Saint Mary's, Smith was a part of the most successful seasons in Saint Mary's history, including three NCAA Tournament appearances.