Sunday Afternoon - its the Forham Rams

Last year, <b>Fordham</b> was one of the teams the <b>Northwestern Wildats</b> should have handled easily on the road. This year, <b>Fordham</b> comes into Welsh-Ryan 1-6 but with 3 starters who regularly score in double figures. <br>This could be another nail biter...

Last year the Cats wound up playing Fordham in Madison Square Garden, Smush Parker had 21 points, Teremun Johnson had a double double [12 Pts/11boards] and we lost 63-60.

This year Smush is playing in Cleveland, Teremun is gone, and Fordham is having trouble winning games. Since their 79-76 opening day win over William & Mary, the Rams have lost to Western Michigan, Siena, Northeastern, Manhattan, St. Johns and Rutgers.

Located in the Bronx -- Fordham is one of the many college teams in New York, and right now is virtually ignored in the New York press. They play in the Atlantic 10 Conference.

The Coach
Fordham Head Coach Bob Hill is the former Head Coach of the NBA Spurs, Pacers and Knicks. He's 35-57 overall with the Rams.

He's got a few years in the College ranks at Kansas, Pittsburg, and Bowling Green as an assistant.

He's in his fourth year with Rams, building his recruiting classes at one of New York's tougher academic schools [Fordham is a Jesuit College].

Hill has had a fair amount of success in the NBA - his teams regularly advanced to the playoffs.

The Starters
Forwards: Michael Haynes [#1 6-8 Jr] and Drew Williamson [#3 6-4 Fr]
Center: Glenn Batemon [#55 6-11 So - left]
Guards: Jermaine Anderson [#5 6-1 Fr] and Mark Jarrell-Wright [#11 6-5 Jr]

Ashanti Burke [#15 ] started 4 of Fordhams first 7 games, but cold shooting appears to have put him on the bench, but still in the 9 man rotation for the Rams.

The Big Gun [s]
Michael Haynes [left] has scored in double figures in each of the Rams first 7 games. He's averaging 16.7 ppg, and has 54 rebounds, 37 on the defensive end..

Center Glenn Batemon is second on the Rebound list with 38 boards, 5.7 per game, 28 on the defensive end.

Freshman Forward Drew Williamson [right] has the best 3 point average - he's 12-24 from the arc. Williamson has also been hot of late, scoring 18 and 15 in Fordham's last two losses. He's from Australia, and played on their Under 20 National Team last year.

Junior Guard Mark Jarrell-Wright has been in double figures in 5 of his 7 games this year too.

The Rest of the Team
The top subs off the bench appear to be 6-2 Guard John Blackgrove [#12] and 6-2 Soph Guard Anthonique Wilson [#2]. Blackgrove averages 4.4 ppg, Wilson 2.1. 6-4 Junior Guard Alessandro Acquaviv has played in 6 of the games averaging 1.7 ppg.
So the Big Question is...
Is this the game the Rams come back from their doldrums? or are they just not any good.

Fordham head coach Bob Hill has too good a track record not to have a competitive team, and the Rams have been scoring some points - they average just over 67 points a game.

But they've given up 83 points a game. Opponents have shot 204-424 (.481) against their defense, and have out rebounded them 278-227.

If Haynes, Williamson and Jarell-Wright [left] start off hot, the Rams could be in business. Keep them out of the basket and off the scoreboard, and they could cool off fast.

Watch for the Rams to come out and try to play their NBA style offense against the NU D. Notice the number of players listed under "big guns" above.

I wouldn't be surprised to see some pressing early.

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