Lehigh hadn’t gotten its hopes up about getting guard C.J. McCollum back for the Patriot League tournament and, unfortunately for the Mountain Hawks, so far things are working out as planned.
McCollum will not be in the lineup Saturday for Lehigh when it takes on Lafayette in the semifinal round of the Patriot League tournament. He has been out since he injured his foot Jan. 5 in a game against Virginia Commonwealth. Initially, doctors predicted a recovery period of eight to 10 weeks, which opened up the possibility of him being available for the conference tournament.
According to the Associated Press, the team is being cautious with McCollum, who is expected to be selected in the 2013 NBA Draft. Prior to his injury, he had been averaging 23.9 points and 5.0 rebounds per game.
Without him in the lineup, Lehigh’s focus will again be in the frontcourt with forwards Gabe Knutson and Holden Greiner. Those two will provide most of the scoring, while the Lehigh defense needs to get out on Lafayette’s three-point shooters. The Leopards do not play at a quick pace, but there are one of the more efficient teams in the country and shoot a solid percentage from the field.
Lehigh-Lafayette tips off at 2 p.m. ET on the CBS Sports Network.