I appreciate your comments. You must still be remembering the LaSalle of the Big 5 days. Recently, they have been a notch above Fordham in the A-10 failing to make the A-10 tournament 2 of the last 3 years when they take 12 out of 14. I’m not sure of guarantees but why would George Mason who averages about 6,000/ game want to travel to Bethlehem to play in front of 1,500.
Last season LaSalle was 21-13 (10-8 in the A-10) and finished 64th in the KenPom rankings. Compared to our visitors last season:
UMES – 331 out of 345
Arcadia – Division 3
St. Francis (PA) – 307
Quinnipiac – 138 (I really like this series btw)
As a local college basketball fan, I would be SIGNIFICANTLY more motivated to spend a few hours and dollars to see a local top 100 college basketball team that I have heard of (LaSalle) compared to UMES or Arcadia. There is no comparison. Doormat or not (which LaSalle clearly isn’t), any A-10 team visiting a PL arena is a good home game in my opinion.
And the reasons Mason will go to Lewisburg or Bethlehem are because 1) they have to play away games, 2) these are parts of a series, so playing a good PL team (Lehigh or Bucknell) also will give them solid OOC home game later in the series, 3) playing good mid-majors will give them a an RPI boost and chance at an at-large bid assuming they take care of business.
I agree that there are other issues effecting attendance – but I believe it would be remiss to not take our very poor home OOC games as part of the equation of poor attendance. Especially amongst local basketball fans. Students, I think, are another matter that depends less on the quality of the opposition.
Btw, I love that this dialouge is going. And they more people who are interested and invested the better. I remember last season, the LU website said tehy would begin selling basketball season tickets on X date, and then they never went on sale online that I know of. I don’t think you could buy season tickets on the website. Hopefully last season wakes up everyone – athletic department, students, locals, media, etc – and Lehigh basketball stops that downward trend in attendance and turns it around.