Not sure what kind of crowd will be on-hand for the doubleheader tonight. Fordham-Pitt at 6pm, Lehigh-Robert Morris to follow. But there is that Monday night game at Heinz Field. Granted the Steelers should kill the Chiefs, but it’s the Steelers playing football so you know where most of the local interest lies.
It’s hard not to look past the Fordham Rams. They have been a perennial cellar dweller in the A-10. They dropped their season opener to the Texas State
Armadillos Bobcats. By 10. Their best player, by far, is senior forward Chris Gaston. He has averaged a double-double for them over his entire career, along with well over 30 minutes a game. They have no real bench as four players averaged more than 30 minutes in the opening game.
Tom Pecora, who was hired from Hofstra a few years ago, is a Jay Wright disciple. He was on staff at Hofstra under Wright and took over the
Dutchmen Pride when Wright went to Villanova. Pecora, by all accounts, is a solid coach (and a nice guy) and he has improved the Rams since taking over the program. Still, they should not be a huge challenge.
All the focus is on the expected second night, when it is presumed Lehigh advances past Robert Morris to play Pitt. Lehigh got smoked by Baylor 99-77, despite the highly decorated pre-season All-American guard C.J. McCollum going for 36 points.
What else was missing from that game were two of Lehigh’s starters. Senior center-forward, Gabe Knutson (pre-season all-Patriot League) and junior guard B.J. Bailey (transferred from Boston U). Both suffered injuries in practice before the start of the season. The Lehigh coach has hedged on when they would return, so that will be something to watch for tonight.