MBB Preview: ‘Cats host Fordham on Monday

Daniel Madden

Fordham went 12-17 overall last season, including a 6-10 record in the Atlantic 10. Bryant Dunston, perhaps the school’s greatest player, graduated and finished as the second-leading scorer and third-leading rebounder in school history. Dunston and three other graduates accounted for 70 percent of the scoring, leaving a monstrous gap to fill.

The one returning starter, junior guard Brenton Butler will look to carry most of the load for the Rams. He averaged 11.0 points and 1.3 rebounds per game last season.


Perhaps Fordham’s biggest strength is its athletic style of play. It has a quick backcourt behind Butler and Jio Fontan and likes to control the ball with an up-tempo offense that can get out and run. These two guards are premier scorers, along with freshmen Trey Blue and Alberto Estwick and sophomore Mike Moore. All but Butler scored in double-figures against Concordia. Look for Butler to take some pressure off the young guards against a tough Villanova defense.

The team’s quick style of play also translates to the defensive end, where high pressure and full-court defense should be expected. Against Concordia, Fordham turned 25 turnovers into 35 points.

The Rams also have one of the most recognizable figures in college basketball history on their side. Head Coach Derek Whittenburg finds himself in his sixth year at Fordham, 25 years after he threw up the most famous air ball in basketball history to the hands of Lorenzo Charles for the dunk that won the 1983 NCAA Championship.


After losing four starters, the team’s biggest weakness is its lack of experience. However, the need is in the frontcourt. The Rams’ guards have plenty of talent, but the forwards will struggle against Villanova’s stronger talent. No Fordam forward averaged more than 3.1 points last year.

Senior Luke Devine will most likely start at center. He scored no points in his 10 games last year.

The team hoped to get some production from sophomore transfer forward Jacob Green, but he will only be eligible come December. He averaged 0.8 points last season for West Virginia.

The team as a whole only shot 32 percent from behind the arc and 67 percent from the free-throw line last season. Expect nothing more, since Villanova held opponents to 36.5 percent and 68.4 percent last season, respectively.

With most of the scoring gone from last season, Fordham will struggle to match both Villanova’s powerful scoring attack and the team’s experience, as the Wildcats return everybody. Their youth and inexperience may doom them against Villanova.