Fordham Rams - Season 62
Defense: Full Court Press
Last 5 Years:
22-9 11-5 (PI - Elite 8)
PG: Kendall Price - SO - 5'11" - Brooklyn, NY
SG: Barney Morgan - SO - 6'4" - Jay, ME
SF: Dave Mireles - JR - 6'4" - Georgetown, KY
PF - Chad Reagan - SR* - 6'10" - Brooklyn, NY
C - Salvatore Esposito - SO* - 6'7" - Benedetto, Italy
PG: James Jaco - SO - 5'11" - Sidney, NY
SG: Jake Leech - FR* - 5'9" - Washington, DC
PF: Edmond Busby - JR - 6'11" - New Rochelle, NY
SG: John Korth (#32) - 6'3" - Pine Bush, NY
SG: Richard Perkins (#109) - New Britain, CT
SF: Ricky Wiggins (#48) - Reading, PA
SF: Dennis Riendeau (#86) - Parish, NY
Season 62 Pre-Season Team Outlook:
The Fordham Rams will field a very young team this year with only one senior (Chad Reagan), and two juniors, one of whom joined the team last year as a sophomore. In addition the team will no longer have the services of their all time leading scorer William Busby, who graduated after starting all four years at point guard. Sophomorews Kendall Price and James Jaco will share the duties at the point this year. Price, in particular, looks like he will be able to lead the team effectively although there will definitely be bumps in the road as the team improves as a group.
Despite the youth, the team is becoming one of the faster and more athletic teams in the conference, and the high pressure defense combined with the speed is expected to cause some opponents to turn the ball over.
The non-conference schedule is a bit easier than in years past, but is still tough enough to generate a good RPI if the team can run off at least 8 victories in non-conference. However, the conference is even tougher this year, and it will be difficult for a young team like the Rams to challenge for the championship, though it is not out of the question. It should be an exciting season.
The team had another very solid class of recruits, led by #32 ranked John Korth, a sharp-shooting SG from Pine Bush High School in New York. Freshman SF Dustin Riendeau from Parish, NY should get near 80 in Rebounding, and in the 70s in speed and Athleticism, so when he plays at PF or C, he will be difficult for the slower big men to handle.
Fordham should be a very strong team in a year or two as the newer players gain maturity.
Season 62 Goals:
It's hard to decide on goals for this team, because if they improve quickly and keep errors to a minimum, they could be quite good. But, this may be wishful thinking. The staff hopes to go at least 7-3 in non-conference, and have a winning record in conference play and overall. A post season bid is possible, but the coaching staff gives this about a 30% chance.
Season 62 Mid-Season Report:
The Rams have had a pleasantly successful season so far with an 8-4 record and an RPI of 70, and are currently projected at #67. In non-conference play, the team started with a 7-3 record against a fairly tough schedule highlighted by a win against South Carolina. Junior Dave Mireles is the team's leading scorer with a 10.5 average. His overall rating has improved to 795 as he has improved by 31 points in the 14 games, so he could end up in the mid 800s at least.
The team has improved by an amazing 27 points in just 12 games, led by redshirt freshman Jake Leech who has improved by 36 points already to raise his overall rating to 660. He may finish his freshman season at 700 or more. The team is ranked tied for second in the Ivy League with a 66 Athleticism rating, and is the third fastest team in the Ivy with a rating of 60. They are also 3rd in defense at 70. They are also the third best perimeter team at 52.
With only 3 upperclassmen, the team is looking like it will be a top team for the future. A post season appearance is looking very possible now, instead of the 30% chance that was given at the start of the season by the staff. Because of youth, the team is averaging 15 turnovers a game, while creating over 17. The team leads the league with 23 fouls per game, so as they improve defensively these stats should improve, making the team much more difficult to beat. If the team can pull off a few more big upsets against the top teams in the conference, and can avoid losing games to the lower tier teams, there is a good chance that they will make the National Tournament.
Season 62 Wrap Up:
Despite being in a great position at the mid season mark, the Rams stumbled a bit to the point that the RPI was 101 with just 3 games left. But wins against Duquesne at home and on the road at Cornell allowed the team to finish the regular season with an 89 RPI. The highlight of the second half was a 30 point blowout win at home against an always tough Princeton team. With a 15-11 record, and an 8-8 conference mark, it came down to how the young team would perform in the CT. A first round CT win over Yale left them facing an extremely tough Bucknell team, but the Rams prevailed 92-84, which insured their place in the PI, in spite of losing in the CT semifinals to Princeton by a score of 82-75. In round 1 of the PI, Fordham had an impressive 77-65 victory over UNLV and advanced to a second round matchup against Notre Dame. Notre Dame led by 32-27 at halftime, but an inspirational speech by coach chapelhillne fired up the team and they opened the second half with an 11-2 run. The game was back and forth to the end, with Notre Dame tying it up at 66 with 5 seconds left on the clock, but Dave Mireles hist a clutch floater from the free throw line with no time remaining on the clock to give the Rams a 68-66 win, and their second Elite 8 PI appearance in 3 years. After a 3rd Round win over Rutgers, the Rams finally fell to Illinois by a score of 60-57 in the Final 4 of the PI.