Season At A Glance — Fordham

This is the fourth of what will eventually be capsules for each of the NYC teams when I’m sure their season has concluded.

Team: Fordham

Record: 10-19 (3-13 in the Atlantic 10)

Season High: Back-to-back wins at home over Georgia Tech and Harvard

Season Low: Losing by 20 at Rhode Island with the possibility of still making the A-10 Tournament alive.

Really Good At: Blocking Shots — Fordham finished first in the Atlantic 10 in block percentage thanks to the play of Chris Gaston and Kervin Bristol (19th in the country in Blk%) down low.

Struggled With: Offense — Fordham was the worst shooting team in the Atlantic 10 and the fifth worst shooting team in the entire nation according to effective field goal percentage. It’s hard to have an effective offense when that’s the case.

Key Losses:

  • Kervin Bristol (defensive presence and solid shot blocker)
  • Alberto Estwick (three-point specialist who struggled a bit with his shot in 2011-12)

Key Returnees:

  • Chris Gaston, Jr., F (All-Atlantic 10 performer, 17.1 PPG, 9.9 RPG)
  • Devon McMillan, Fr., G (7.4 PPG)
  • Branden Frazier, So., G (11.7 PPG, 4.0 APG)

Outlook: Improving. I’m sure Tom Pecora wanted to make the Atlantic 10 Tournament this season, but small steps had to be made first at Fordham. Rose Hill came to life as the Rams beat Georgia Tech and Harvard at home and also surprised La Salle in A-10 play. The foundation has been built. Another year in the weight room along with the experience that McMillan and Frazier gained this season should make them better at running the offense next season. McMillan seems like the type of player that could have a huge jump in efficiency from his freshman to sophomore seasons because he’ll be able to score more at the rim and limit turnovers as he gets stronger. Ryan Canty and Marvin Dominique are going to have to help Chris Gaston in the paint next season. Gaston can’t be the sole player responsible for going to the glass. The offense seems like it could make a big improvement in Year 3 under Pecora, but will the defense improve enough to make the Rams a dangerous team in the A-10 next season?

Pecora forced to coach effort in February

There’s just a month left in the regular season and it should be the time for coaches to be implementing specific game plans for must wins games, but on Saturday at Rose Hill in a must-win game against Charlotte, Fordham head coach Tom Pecora found himself coaching effort.

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Fordham struggling in A-10 play

Whether its the fact that Atlantic 10 teams have seen this before, the schedule has been difficult, the legs are giving out or something else altogether entirely this much is clear – Devon McMillan, Bryan Smith and Branden Frazier are struggling shooting the ball in conference play. After Wednesday night’s 102-58 loss to Richmond the three of them have combined to shoot over 50% just once in conference play (McMillan was 4-7 against Rhode Island).

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What’s up with Fordham?

The Fordham Rams are starting to show some signs of life at Rose Hill. Tom Pecora’s squad is now at 7-6 on the season after defeating Georgia Tech and Harvard at home. The Rams have won four of their last five, which is a big change from the beginning of the season when the Rams won three of seven, including losses at Loyola (Ill.) and Monmouth. Fordham has shown a number of sustainable improvements moving forward. It’ll have to keep them up in order to compete in Atlantic 10 play, which starts on Thursday at Massachusetts.

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Turnovers don’t tell the story of Fordham’s youth

Fordham has a young team. Tom Pecora is running out freshman and sophomores in a number of key places in the rotation. Typically when people think “youth” in college basketball it automatically equates to “turnovers,” but as the Rams’ 56-50 loss to St. John’s on Saturday in the MSG Holiday Festival proved, there’s much more to the equation.

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Jaspers thump Rams in 104th Battle of the Bronx

Manhattan showed just how far its come with another convincing win in the 104th edition of the Battle of the Bronx against Fordham on Wednesday at Draddy Gymnasium. The Jaspers jumped out to an early 8-0 lead with all the points by junior George Beamon and never trailed on the way to a dominating 81-47 victory.

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Breaking down the CCSU freshmen guards

Central Connecticut State is 5-2 overall and 2-0 in conference after an overtime victory over Sacred Heart last night. The Blue Devils have one of the best offenses in the country, scoring more than 80 points per game. Part of that is thanks to the addition of two freshman, Kyle Vinales and Devon McMillan. While Vinales gets all the hype because of his ridiculous scoring outputs earlier in the season, McMillan has provided a steady presence at point guard during his freshman season. They’re the two CCSU leaders in assist rate thus far this season at 28.8% for McMillan and 26.4% for Vinales. Let’s break down where those dimes are going in order to see the difference between these two players.

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Looking at Fordham’s foursome

For Fordham this season is going to come down to how fast three young players can develop and make an impact. Understandably that means the offense has struggled a bit through the first four games. Tuesday night against Colgate, a 79-69 win, was the first time Fordham had cracked a point per possession on offense all season. Still, four games into the season is enough to at least start getting a feel for the young guys.

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