Tyler Whitney-Sidney leads Lehigh men’s basketball with confidence and determination


EASTON, Pa. — Tyler Whitney-Sidney, the junior guard and co-captain of the Lehigh men’s basketball team, has had quite a year. At one point, he was taken out of the starting lineup for two games. He had a five-game stretch in February where he only made one 3-pointer. 

But the first-team all-Patriot League selection is back in the starting lineup, and he was a big contributor in Lehigh’s 76-61 quarterfinal win over Lafayette. He finished the game with 19 points, eight rebounds and one steal. 

 “He’s been an emotional leader,” Lehigh coach Brett Reed said. “(Whitney-Sidney) is somebody who brings a lot of energy and he continues to grow his game.”

Reed also said that being a part of the lineup in each of his first three years is indicative of his talent. He has 1,000 points in his career, which he achieved against Colgate on March 2. 

Lehigh junior guards Tyler Whitney-Sidney and Keith Higgins celebrate with the Mountain Hawks fans after their Patriot League quarterfinal win against Lafayette on Thursday, March 7, 2024, at the Kirby Sports Center in Easton. Lehigh won 76-61 to advance to the semifinal round. (Archer Benedict/B&W Staff)

Whitney-Sidney said his 3-point shooting is where he’s struggled the most. 

“For me, it was keeping my head up,” Whitney-Sidney said. “Knowing that over the summer I was shooting 50-60 percent in all live drills we were doing. … For me, it was just getting into the gym and telling myself I am a really good shooter.”

On Feb. 21, Whitney-Sidney’s 3-point percentage was 28.7%. Now, he’s up to 31.8% after going 2 for 2 from beyond the arc. 

Junior guard Keith Higgins said he knows Whitney-Sidney well. The two are not only teammates, but also roommates. Higgins said Whitney-Sidney’s mentality is what makes him as good of a player as he is.

“His desire to win, his drive and his athletic ability is off the charts,” Higgins said. “He can hang and finish shots that no one should be able to.”

It was perhaps a combination of all of those things that led to Lehigh beating Lafayette for the third time this season and advancing to the Patriot League semifinals to face Boston University. 

“It was just defending really hard, rebounding and not turning the ball over,” Whitney-Sidney said. 

Even though Lehigh had more turnovers – 16 to Lafayette’s 13 – the Mountain Hawks were able to out-rebound the Leopards 39-29 despite having to deal with the third-team All-Patriot League center Justin Vander Baan. 

According to Whitney-Sidney, the game plan was the same one they had in their last two matchups against the Leopards.

“It was just to come out and play really, really hard,” Whitney-Sidney said. “They’re a team that moves the basketball very well, they cut very well, they play a similar brand to us.”  

For their next challenge, Lehigh will have to travel to Boston to take on the Terriers. They have not won at Boston since the 2018-2019 season. 

However, Reed expects Whitney-Sidney and the rest of the team to keep up the same level of play. 

“I expect for him and for the rest of our guys to come with that type of all-in mentality, to make the plays that are required to be made to continue to advance in playoff basketball,” Reed said.

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