Home » Columns » Currently Reading:

Fordham’s impressive start is drawing attention

December 9, 2015 Columns No Comments

BRONX, N.Y. – Fordham’s 86-54 defeat of Central Connecticut on Saturday raised the Rams’ record to 6-1. Observers are starting to take notice. Let’s say Fordham gained a fair amount of attention just three days earlier. A thorough dismantling of St. John’s will do that.

The Red Storm were defeated handily, 73-57 before a packed house at the historic Rose Hill Gym. It was the type of game Fordham faithful will save their ticket stubs from, in loving memory.

Granted, this is not your vintage St. John’s team. Chris Mullin is the first-year coach not in need of introduction. What Mullin needs is time. His roster is dotted with players short on experience and going through the proverbial “learning curve.” Even Fordham coach Jeff Neubauer admitted, “St. John’s is young and we have some experienced players in place.”


Fordham forward Ryan Rhoomes and head coach Jeff Neubauer (Ray Floriani photo)

How decisive was this victory? St. John’s committed 19 turnovers; in a 66-possession game that translated to 29 percent. That is almost one turnover every three possessions, a number transcending unacceptable. Fordham won the battle of the boards 34-25, translating into a 24-8 lead in second-chance points. St. John’s had no answer for Ryan Rhoomes. The 6-8 Fordham Senior had game highs of 26 points and 12 rebounds and was a force on the low blocks.

Federico Mussini, St. John’s leading scorer at 17 points per game, suffered through a five-point, five-turnover outing. Mussini’s misfortunes were not about freshman jitters or tight rims. Credit the Fordham defense.

On Atlantic 10 Media Day, Neubauer promised a Rose Hill revival would begin on the defensive end. He spoke with a passion on how he wanted to defend the opposition. Very often the glow of 0-0 media day can wear off. To date Neubauer has kept his word. The Rams show pressure after made free throws and field goals. Their half court defense is predicated on sound on-ball pressure with weakside defenders aware and capable of adjusting should the primary defender get beat. Energy. The key word as this Fordham team comes out and shows that quality unlike any Fordham group since the Nineties.

A victory over St. John’s and the 6-1 start are both satisfying. Neubauer admitted after the St. John’s game, the focus is on “getting better every day in practice. We are not concerned with points or individual statistics. As a team we want to be better than we were two weeks ago, improving everyday.”

While the first-year Fordham mentor speaks of one game at a time and improvement each day, there has to be a thought about what is down the road. Just after 2016 rings in the Atlantic 10 portion of the schedule gets in gear. That will be the test for the Rams. How well will they handle the opposition in a conference they have struggled in for two decades?

Presently there is the impressive start. And a beginning that goes a lot deeper in significance than that 6-1 opening.

Comment on this Article:

Subscribe to Hoopville

Enter your email address to subscribe to Hoopville


Hoopville Archives

College Basketball Tonight

We hope you enjoyed COLLEGE BASKETBALL TONIGHT during the 2016 NCAA Tournament. COLLEGE BASKETBALL TONIGHT is a comprehensive look at the NCAA Tournament hosted by veteran college basketball broadcaster Ted Sarandis, along with co-hosts Mike Jarvis and Terry O'Connor, both former Division I coaches. It also included many great guests, including Hoopville's own Phil Kasiecki.

The show aired on AM 710 WOR in New York City on Sunday evenings starting with Selection Sunday and running through the NCAA Tournament.

Here are links to the shows:

March 13, 2016 - First hour | Second hour

March 20, 2016 - First hour | Second hour

March 27, 2016 - First hour | Second hour

April 3, 2016 - First hour | Second hour

Everybody Needs a Head Coach

Former college basketball coach Mike Jarvis has a new book out, Everybody Needs a Head Coach.

"As you read this book, I hope that Coach Jarvis' experiences inspire you to find your purpose in life."
-Patrick Ewing, NBA Hall of Fame center

"Mike Jarvis' is one of my special friends. I am so pleased that he has taken the time to write this fabulous book."
-Mike Krzyzewski, Five-time NCAA championship head coach, Duke Blue Devils

"In reading this book, I can see that Mike hasn't lost his edge or his purpose. Readers should take a look at what he has to say."
-Jim Calhoun, Three-time NCAA champion, UConn Men's basketball

Review on Hoopville coming soon!

Hoopville Podcasts

Talking Hoops With Ted Sarandis – January 20, 2017

January 20, 2017 by

In our latest podcast, we touch on a number of issues affecting conferences like Conference USA, as well as a big loss for Creighton, less mystery in Arizona, and more on the ACC as we look forward to the weekend.

Talking Hoops With Ted Sarandis – January 12, 2017

January 12, 2017 by

In our latest podcast, we talk about a short stint in the top spot of the polls, some developments in the Mountain West Conference, and more of the ACC before closing with the Big East and Atlantic 10.

Talking Hoops With Ted Sarandis – December 24, 2016

December 24, 2016 by

In our latest podcast, we talk about the great games Kentucky has been a part of lately. We go on to other ACC matters involving arch rivals, as well as some quick hits and a conference race that should be as good as expected.

Talking Hoops With Ted Sarandis – December 16, 2016

December 16, 2016 by

In our latest podcast, we talk about a coaching legend reaching a milestone, the defending champs looking very good and continuing their winning ways close to home, and some off-court news during a light week of game action.

Talking Hoops With Ted Sarandis – November 29, 2016

November 29, 2016 by

Early season tournaments are the focus in this episode, with a look at how strong a few Big East teams are out of the gate and how strong the ACC could be. Plus one SEC team had a big week outside the scope of tournaments.

Phil Kasiecki on Twitter

Recruiting Coverage

2016 Boston Back to School Showcase notes

September 12, 2016 by

We look back at the 2016 Boston Back to School Showcase, where a couple of Boston City League teams were among the most impressive on the day.

2016 Hoopville Spring Finale championship recap

June 28, 2016 by

We look back at the championship games of the 2016 Hoopville Spring Finale, which had a big local flavor as one might have expected.

2016 Hoopville Spring Finale preview

June 24, 2016 by

We look ahead to the 2016 Hoopville Spring Finale, held at a familiar location in Boston.

At the 2016 Boston Shootout, host BABC has a big day

June 8, 2016 by

Sunday was a big day for the host program at the 44th Boston Shootout

2015 Boston Back to School Showcase recap

September 18, 2015 by

The Boston Back to School Showcase gave high school teams from three states and north of the border a chance for a couple of early games. We take a look back at the day and a few who stood out.