Fordham Rams - Season 63
Defense: Full Court Press
PG - Kendall Price - Jr. - 5'11" - Brooklyn, NY
SG - Barney Morgan - Jr. - 6'4" - Jay, ME
SF - Dale Mireles - Sr - 6'4" - Georgetown, KY
PF - Edmond Busby - Sr - 6'11" - New Rochelle, NY
C - Salvatore Esposito - Jr* - 6'7" - Benedetto, Italy
PG - James Jaco - Jr. - 5'11" - Sidney, NY
SG - Jake Leech - So* - 5'9" - Washington, DC
SG - John Korth - So - 6'3" - Pine Bush, NY
SG - Richard Perkins - Fr* - 6'2" - New Britain, CT
SF/PF - Dustin Rienedeau - So - 6'6" - Parish, NY
SF - Ricky Wiggins - So - 6'6" - Reading, PA
C - John Maker - 6/'10" - Al Noor High School, Brooklyn, NY. #25 Ranked Center, #99 Overall, 2 Star.
John Maker finally realized his childhood dream of donning the Rams jersey. A fan of the team, ever since he could remember, he was thrilled when Coach Chapelhillne offered him a scholarship early in the recruiting period. He should be a strong presence in the low post, although his 55 athleticism will be a bit of a detriment. However, by his senior year, he should approach 100 in rebounding, shot blocking, and low post skills, so he should be a solid contributor. Coach chapelhillne has stated privately that he intends to redshirt his new player, since the team is so deep this year.
SEASON 63 PRE-SEASON OUTLOOK:
The Fordham campus is really fired up about this season's Rams squad, as all but one player are returning from last years PI Final 4 squad. The team worked hard in the of-season, and enters this year as one of the teams to beat in the Ivy League. If the Rams do not make the National Tournament this year it will be a huge disappointment.
The team will be led by Senior Dale Mireles, who starts the year at 833, but there are so many scoring threats on this well balanced team. The team is finally comfortable with the press now, and should be able to wreak havoc on inexperienced players or poor ball handlers. The team is extremely well conditioned as well, and will play 40 minutes of fast pace up and down the court basketball to go along with the swarming defense.
The non-conference schedule features three Big 6 schools - on the road at West Virginia, and at home against both Alabama and Pittsburgh. This team can hold its own with those teams, with the possible exception of Alabama. The staff hopes to go at least 8-2 in non-conference, but if they could go 10-0, they may be ranked by the time that conference play rolls around. Even though the Ivy League is much tougher this year, the staff's prediction for conference play is a 13-3 record and a conference championship. So, the overall prediction is a 21-5 record, and the first ever Conference Tournament Championship for Fordham, putting the team at 24-5 going into the NT with a #6 seed, and making it to the second round of the NT to finish with a 25-6 record. This would really get the program on the map. The future looks very bright at Fordham.
MID SEASON REPORT:
The Rams looked dominant in the non-conference schedule and finished with a record of 9-1 and a #17 ranking. They outscored their opponents by 20.3 points per game in the non-conference. Highlights included a 99-69 win at West Virginia, a 100-77 win at home against Pitt, a 90-75 win at Long Beach State, and an 80-52 win at 8-1 Lipscomb. The Rams were rated # 3 n points scored in Division 1 at 91.4 and hit 100 or more points in 3 games. James Jaco has stepped up and become a team leader and the leading scorer at 11.2 PPG, to go with 5.2 assists per game, as the backup PG. The attack is very balanced with 9 players averaging 7 or more points per game. If the Rams can keep this up, they will make the NT for only the second time in team history, and the first time in 48 years.
SEASON 63 WRAP UP:
Season 63 has been the best season in the history of the Fordham program. After going 9-1 in non-conference, the Rams went 16-0 in conference play, with 13 of the 16 games being won by double digits. Columbia took the team to OT, but Fiordham dominated the extra period. At the end of the regular season, Fordham was 25-1 with a #8 ranking and an RPI of 22, and rose during the NT to a high of #4 in the country and a 16 RPI. It was the first time a Fordham team had ever finished the year nationally ranked.
In the Conference Tournament, after a first round bye, The Rams started the tournament trailing by 9 points at halftime to a scrappy Duquesne team, but came back to win by a final score of 74 to 63. In the semi-finals, the team took it to the next level with a dominating performance over Bucknell and a 100-63 win. The championship featured another solid performance by Fordham as they went on to defeat Princeton by a score of 84-72, and earn the first CT Championship in the program's history. The team ended the regular season and tournament ranked #6 in the country.
In Fordham's second trip in school history to the NT, Fordham continued its domination in the first round by beating a poorly coached (SIM) Texas San-Antonio team by a 25 point margin, 98-73. Butler, the 12 seed, was their next opponent after they pulled the OT upset against Wisconsin. Butler looked to be ripe for the picking after losing one of their better players to poor grades just before the end of the season. And the Rams were again dominant, winning 86-63. This raised the team's ranking to #4 in the country. In the second round, Maryland pulled the big upset over the #1 seed, and #3 team in the nation LSU by 1 point in OT. So, it was Fordham and Maryland in the sweet 16. Maryland's overall rating was 759, and the Rams was 728, but Fordham was still an 8 point favorite. After leading by 4 points at the half, the team could not hold on and fell by a score of 74-69, breaking the team's 26 game winning streak, and ending the season ranked at #7.
The players and coaching staff of the Rams pulled in a number of Ivy League awards, including seven all conference members. Barney Morgan was first team All Conference at SG and won the Ivy League defensive player of the year. Newcomer John Maker won Freshman of the Year. Coach Chapelhillne won Coach of the Year. Three layers were First Team All Conference - James Jaco at PG, Morgan at SG and Dale Mireles at SF. Dustin Riendeau was Second Team All-Conference at SF. Kenneth Price, Jake Leech, Edmond Busby, and Freshman John Maker were honorable mentions.
With only Edmond Busby and Dale Mireles leaving this year, the Rams look to be the team to beat again in season 64.