Fordham – Game 8 (Sat., Dec. 4, 2010)

Forum Forum Lehigh Sports Lehigh Men’s Basketball Fordham – Game 8 (Sat., Dec. 4, 2010)

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    Game Notes … /41722.PDF

    When you’re not watching CJ, please pay attention to #33 on the Ram side. He’s Chris Gaston, a 6’7" sophomore forward averaging 15.5ppg and 12.5 rpg. As a freshman, he averaged 18.0 ppg and 11.2 rpg while registering 50 blocks, 26 steals and 43 assists. Quite an all-around player! Gabe, John, and Justin will certainly have their hands full limiting this guy ‘s production. Harvard found a way to do it a few days ago, holding him to just 14 points and 10 rebounds. The Crimson also decided to take their offensive chances from downtown, canning 15 of 27 three-point attempts while making just 13 baskets from in close. A blueprint for Lehigh? Let’s see.



    They were down double digs in 2nd half the other night, see if they can do it again. Down 10 at the under 12 media timeout….cj struggling shooting the ball and thus team is struggling…



    There was a time last year in their rookie seasons that Fordham’s Chris Gaston and Lehigh’s CJ McCollum were waging quite a battle for the lead in the national freshman scoring race. CJ went on to win the dual, but the A-10 Rookie of the Year, Gaston, went home the victor last night at Stabler as he and his buddies turned aside our Mountain Hawks 74-67. Gaston recorded his fifth double-double for the year, scored 18 and pulled down 20 rebounds. He didn’t do it alone, however, he had help from the man charged with guarding CJ most of the night, Brenton Butler who finished with 25 and played every minute of the game. Lehigh should have known it wasn’t going to be easy going up against a team whose starting lineup included four players who average double-digit points per game and a team that was anxious to break their hideous 21-game road losing streak.

    On a night with few highlights, you have to begin by acknowledging the play of David Safstrom. The 7’1" senior center started his first collegiate game, pulled downs 4 boards, committed just two personal fouls, set a personal-best for minutes played (19), redirected a number of shots, even scored a basket and, best of all, looked comfortable in the post. While he may never get another start – then again, we could have found the missing piece down low – it was good to see him perform on the big stage away from the practice court and to witness the response he got from his fellow teammates – especially the glad-handing/back-slapping administered by fellow front line players John Adams and Justin Maneri. That may have been the highlight of the night, however. Lehigh would jump out to an early 11-0 lead and, except for Gabe Knutson and Michael Ojo who tallied 36 of our 67 points, the team took the rest of the night off. At least that’s the way it looked to me and to probably many of the 1000+ on hand at Stabler. CJ couldn’t buy a basket and was at one time just 2 for 13 before finishing a dreadful 5 for 16. His troubles from long range continue, hitting just one of four and lowering his season-long 3FG average to .309. Yet somehow he recorded another double-double with 12 points and 10 rebounds. D’Orazio hit just one of four in 8 minutes and couldn’t seem to get into the flow of the game – perhaps not uncommon (but now a potential area of concern) among freshman players who starred at the high school level and now scramble to get minutes in the college game. Despite Adams and Greiner making two baskets each, they, too, looked uncomfortable – especially on their long-range attempts (combined 0-4). Coach Reed (paraphrase) would later say that we got "good looks" but just couldn’t covert. Let’s hope that’s so and chalk it up to being "just one of those nights" and "you can’t win the all" after coming out on top in each of the last nine home games.

    P.S. Give me Gabe in any free throw contest you run. Dropping 14 of 15 attempts last night, he raised his average to .80435 and leaped ahead of CJ whose season-long average dipped to .80357 after hitting just one of four last night.



    It was an off night for LU. Saftstrom did a great job and his team supported him. Coach Reed is still trying to formulate his line up. While I do not know the first thing about coaching, I suggest that Reed allow Maneri, Hamilton, Adams and Greiner to play a full game, allowing them time to get in the flow of the game. The past two games, Maneri, Adams and Greiner have been cut to 2-3 minutes a game. That is hardly time to get in the flow of the game. Yes they looked uncomfortable after missing shots, probably fearing they would be yanked from the game. I will go on to say that the four above should have played more last year. These are only my opinions. Those with coaching experience may disagree. Wishing the team the best, I am confident that when they began to play for themselves, they will do fine.

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