The 2015-16 college basketball season is just around the corner. In honor of the Flyers winning 53 games the last two seasons (and because I couldn’t come up with 2,015 reasons), I’m counting down 53 reasons (in no particular order) to look forward to the season.
Follow the blog between now and the season opener against Southeast Missouri State on Nov. 13. I will have four to five updates per week.
I’ll post links on Twitter (@DavidPJablonski) and on my Facebook page: www.facebook.com/DavidPatrickJablonski.
No. 13: Fordham game
Continuing a look at Dayton’s A-10 opponents in reverse order of finish last season, let’s take a look at Fordham. The Flyers play in the Bronx on Jan. 24, which means Scoochie Smith gets to play close to home for the third straight seasons.
After two straight 10-21 seasons, Fordham fired Tom Pecora. He was 44-86 in five seasons. The new coach Jeff Neubauer, who spent the last two years at Eastern Kentucky, inherits a team picked to finish last in the conference.
The Rams have won 14 A-10 games in the last seven seasons. The Flyers beat Fordham twice last season and have won nine straight in the series.
“Right now we have to create momentum by winning and create momentum by getting 3,400 people into Rose Hill Gym to watch us play,” Neubauer told the New York Post at A-10 media day. “I understand where we are. We need to win and once we win and show people that Fordham can win, then I think Fordham can explode.”
Fordham’s top scorer a season ago, fordham Eric Paschall, transferred to Villanova. Paschall averaged 15.9 points per game and won the A-10 Rookie of the Year award.
Fordham had one of the league’s top freshmen two years ago as well. Guard Jon Severe averaged 17.3 points per game as a freshman but 6.7 last season as a sophomore. Neubauer called Severe an enigma when he talked to NYCBuckets.com in May.
“He really scored the ball as a freshman,” Neubauer said. “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.”
Fordham returns two other capable scorers: guard Mandell Thomas (13.3) and Christian Sengfelder (11.7). Thomas ranks 29th in Fordham history with 1,064 points.
The Rams have two productive rebounders, too. Senior Ryan Rhoomes averaged 8.6 last season and ranks 15th in school history (635). Ryan Canty missed all of last season with an injury. He averaged 6.2 rebounds two years ago.