Jeff Neubauer has called getting to know every single player on the Fordham roster his top priority since becoming the head coach of the Rams.
“We’ve tried to spend as much time with those guys as possible,” Neubauer said. “We’ve been on the court, we’ve been in the weight room and just getting to know those guys even off the court. That’s been our number one priority.”
He said he has watched more than 100 clips on his current group of players, but has learned plenty from their workouts working out their group he has seen some players take strides over the course of just a few weeks.
— Fordham Athletics (@FordhamRams) March 31, 2015
“There are certain guys that I’m just learning about them as we go on the court,” Neubauer said. “One guy that I guess he would be considered an enigma here, over the last two years of Fordham basketball, is Jon Severe.”
“He really scored the ball as a freshman, he was 17 a game, and then last year just averaged six a game, so as a new coach walking into a program, there’s a curiosity about him and about how that happened. That’s one guy that I’m trying to get to know everyday to try to figure out how to get the most out of him and help him be the best player that he can be.”
Neubauer said his priorities are to fix the Rams three-point shooting, which ranked 329th in the country last season, and teach the team to value the ball. Fordham’s turnover rate ranked 331st in the nation, turning it over on 22.2% of their possessions according to Kenpom.
“I’m coming in with eyes wide open, my objective is to help these young men be successful,” Neubauer said. “There’s a lot of room for improvement.”
Barely a few weeks in to his tenure, Neubauer faces a tall task in helping lift the Fordham program to prominence in the Atlantic 10. His answer to what the greatest hurdle will be for the Rams to have success, in a conference where they have finished over .500 twice in 20 seasons, lies in bringing in the right talent.
“We have to be very successful in recruiting right now,” Neubauer said. “We need to go out right now and convince really talented guys, meaning Atlantic 10 talented guys, to come play for Fordham.”
“I think we have a great coaching staff in place, I think the personalities in our locker room are winning personalities, like I really like these guys. Now we’ve got to add some pieces to our puzzle, we’ve got to convince some talented guys to come help us win. That’s probably every job in the country, but that certainly is the case right now, if we don’t convince talented young people to come here and play at Fordham then we’re not going to be successful.”
Ryan Restivo wrote the America East conference preview for the 2014-15 Blue Ribbon College Basketball Yearbook. He covers the Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference, the America East conference among others for Big Apple Buckets. You can follow Ryan on Twitter @ryanarestivo or contact Ryan at rrestivo[at]nycbuckets.com.