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1/26/2023 12:48 am  #1

GW vs Fordham Game Thread

5-2 in the A10, GW takes its 3 game win streak on the road to battle Fordham.

Fordham is 16-4 and coming off a road pounding of The Bonnies, so this is going to be a tough one

Does GW make it 4 straight wins and improve to 6-2 in league play???


1/26/2023 12:45 pm  #2

Re: GW vs Fordham Game Thread

Playing at Fordham's HS gymnasium has not been kind to GW the last few years...


1/27/2023 3:32 pm  #3

Re: GW vs Fordham Game Thread

Flying charter again up to NYC


1/27/2023 3:38 pm  #4

Re: GW vs Fordham Game Thread

School's hosting another tailgate tomorrow, I'll be there. Looks like the game's sold out as well!


1/27/2023 3:56 pm  #5

Re: GW vs Fordham Game Thread

This shapes up to be a "feel good" matchup.  Both programs have been down and out for a while (for Fordham, certainly since joining the conference), and now both appear to be turning a corner.  It's nice to see that Fordham has not seemed to miss a beat despite Kyle Neptune having moved on to Nova.  Still want the win, desperately, but the Rams have admittedly been a good story.


1/27/2023 11:56 pm  #6

Re: GW vs Fordham Game Thread

Fordham Rams

Date/Time: Saturday January 28th @ 2:00 PM ET at Rose Hill Gymnasium in The Bronx, NY.
Preseason Ranks: 229th (KenPom), 152nd (Bart Torvik), 190th (Sports Illustrated)
2021-22 Record: 16-16, 8-10 (8th in A10)
2022-23 Projected Record: 21-10, 9-9 (T-6th in A10)

Head-to-Head: 31-11. Fordham's home victory snapped a three game win streak by GW in the series. In that 70-66 loss we led by 2 at halftime but were unable to put together a full 40 minutes playing at a high level. That was one of those games down the stretch of last season where we simply did not make the right plays needed to win. You look at our shot selection and we deserved to lose. With 2:29 left to go in the game, GW was down just three points. We proceeded to jack up two three pointers in consecutive possessions with absolutely no movement off the ball or desire to attack the hoop. GW made 10 threes in the game at a 53% clip for the game, but you have to be more selective in crunch time.

Granted, GW shot terribly from the line as well - just 42% and Bray missed two key FTs with less than a minute left but that doesn't change the fact that those two possessions could have made the difference in a tight game. This happened just days after the Mason game where the same exact thing happened. The last couple weeks of the regular season were very frustrating as a GW fan. Fordham also outrebounded GW by 7, largely due to a dominant 16 rebound performance by the since graduated Chuba Ohams.

Three Colonials finished in double figures: Bray (17 points, 5 assists), BA (12 points, 6 rebounds), and Joe (11 points). JB had a rough game, going just 3-12 from the field after an impressive 25 point performance in the home game which included a couple dagger threes.

Offensive Efficiency: 227th (KenPom), 250th (Bart Torvik)
Defensive Efficiency: 109th (KenPom), 136th (Bart Torvik)
Pace: 66th (KenPom), 68th (Bart Torvik)
Offensive Shot Quality Rank: 247th
Defensive Shot Quality Rank: 111th
Rim & 3 Rate: 83% (57th)

Strengths (OOC Play):
Blocks Per Game (3rd)
Winning Percentage (T-15th)
Free Throws Made Per Game (19th)
Free Throw Percentage (32nd)
Free Throw Attempts Per Game (37th)
Defensive Rebounds Per Game (49th)
Field Goal Percentage Defense (72nd)
Three Point Attempts Per Game (T-77th)
Three Pointers Per Game (T-100th)

Weaknesses (OOC Play):
Offensive Rebounds Per Game (T-259th)
Turnover Margin (T-264th)
Assist Turnover Ratio (266th)
Fastbreak Points (T-278th)
Turnovers Per Game (T-299th)

Key Returning Players:
Darius Quisenberry (Graduate Student; Springfield, OH) 16.2 ppg, 3.8 rpg, 2 apg, 1.5 spg; 37% FG, 31% 3-PT, 80% FT
     Last Season @ Fordham: 18 points, 2 steals; 6-12 FG, 2-5 3-PT, 4-5 FT in 33 minutes.

Kyle Rose (Junior; Upper Marlboro, MD) 7.5 ppg, 3.3 rpg, 1.3 apg, 1.3 spg; 38% FG, 33% 3-PT, 79% FT
     Last Season @ Fordham: 7 points, 3 rebounds, 3 steals; 2-6 FG, 2-5 3-PT, 1-2 FT in 36 minutes.

Antrell Charlton (Junior; Live Oak, FL) 7.3 ppg, 5.4 rpg, 3.5 apg, 1.8 spg; 34% FG, 27% 3-PT, 68% FT
     Last Season @ Fordham: 2 points, 6 rebounds, 6 assists; 1-5 FG, 0-3 3-PT in 32 minutes.

Key Losses:
Antonio Daye (Transferred to Coastal Carolina; Durham, NC) 16.8 ppg, 3.6 rpg, 3.3 apg, 1.4 spg; 46% FG, 26% 3-PT, 76% FT (14 games)
Chuba Ohams (Graduated; The Bronx, NY) 14.8 ppg, 11.6 rpg, 1.8 apg, 1.6 bpg; 50% FG, 33% 3-PT, 63% FT
Josh Colon-Navarro (Graduated; Carolina, Puerto Rico) 7.5 ppg, 2 rpg, 1.5 apg; 36% FG, 32% 3-PT, 87% FT

Kyle Neptune did a phenomenal job at Fordham in his first year as a head coach. The Rams finished the year 16-16, marking just the second time the Bronx Rams finished .500 or better in the past 15 years. Fordham had developed a defense-first identity during the Jeff Neubauer era (there will be no mention of the "offense" he ran during his tenure) and it comes as no surprise that Neptune's squad were able to find success by locking in on that end.

Per KenPom, Fordham surrendered just 95.1 points per 100 possessions, the 41st best mark in the country and the highest mark in program history. Given Fordham has had some good defensive squads in their history (notably in the Dereck Whittenburg era) that's pretty impressive. Expectations at Fordham have been virtually non-existent so an 8th place finish is undoubtedly a success not to mention the fact that Antonio Daye, who was having a strong year, departed halfway through the season. I get the argument that Neptune should have won A10 coach of the year (because again, we're talking about Fordham) but that award is not ever given to a team that finishes that low.

The Rams were undoubtedly excited about potential future success under Neptune, but then Jay Wright decided to retire late in the offseason at Villanova. Neptune was offered the job given his previous experience as an assistant there and quick success at a tough place to win. Nova hasn't had their typical success in the Big East this year, but to be fair to Neptune this was somewhat of a rebuilding year for them. I'm a bit surprised that the Wildcats picked a coach who only had one year of experience, but I get that they wanted a guy who was familiar with the Villanova culture. It's interesting to think now, but I'd have to imagine Ashley Howard would have had a good chance of getting the job had he found more success at La Salle. Perhaps even Billy Lange at St. Joe's as well. Fordham 100% made the right decision to hire from within following the Neptune news given 1) their success last year and 2) the likelihood of retaining some of that winning culture going into this season.

It would be irresponsible to not mention the fact that Neubauer won 17 games in year #1 only for Fordham to fall back to their losing ways so it's not a given that Fordham was going to continue their upward trajectory coming into the season. A few key players also moved on from the program, but something feels different at Rose Hill under new head coach Keith Urgo, a native of DC (he attended Gonzaga for HS). Like CC, Urgo has paid his dues as an assistant - 12 years to be exact between Villanova, Penn State, and Fordham. There is always a desire to win as a head coach, but there is a little more motivation for Urgo - his dad attended Fordham. In that way, it's a bit similar to Keith Dambrot at Duquesne, who is fully invested in getting the Dukes program back to the days when his father attended the school.

Fordham's 12-1 OOC record has an asterisk next to it due to the fact that they played the weakest schedule in the country, but I still think that's an impressive record for any A10 team with that schedule (especially if you look at this year's league - most teams would have likely found a way to lose multiple Q4 games). The Rams do at least have a notable road victory against Tulane, a team that going into the year had sleeper potential in the AAC and could still make the NIT.

It's also impressive that Urgo has largely been able to maintain Fordham's identity of playing tough-nosed defense after losing a player like Chuba Ohams. Ohams was one of the great stories in the league last year after a good part of his career was derailed by various injuries. When you lose a player that is a double-double threat on a nightly basis at a program that is looking for continuity to win consistently, it's not an easy task to keep the team playing at a high level. Ohams ranked in the top 100 nationally in a number of categories last year:

Defensive Rebounds Per Game (5th)
Double Doubles (5th)
Rebounds Per Game (5th)
Total Rebounds (T-10th)
Offensive Rebounds Per Game (59th)
Blocks Per Game (T-65th)
Total Blocks (T-72nd)
Free Throw Attempts (T-76th)

When you look at Fordham's strengths above, it's almost impossible to believe they still ranked so highly in blocks, free throws, and rebounding after losing a guy like that yet they were able to do so.

i had mentioned that something felt different this time around in Fordham's quest to find consistent success. It started in the offseason when Georgia Tech transfer Khalid Moore announced that he was returning home to NY. A player of Moore's caliber would be a good get at any A10 program. His production in the ACC might not appear eye-popping (4.5 ppg) at a program that is usually towards the bottom of the league but any time you are able to get a part-time starter at the P6 level to transfer down that's a good get. Moore has done a great job replacing the free throw production that needed to be replaced from the Ohams graduation. He took the 45th most FT attempts nationally during OOC season, making them at a respectable 75% clip. While Moore is certainly capable of stepping out and shooting the 3 at 6'7" (he's 31% on the year) he is at his best attacking the hoop and grabbing any rebounds coming his way. It's not surprising that he's had four double-doubles this season. He is also a good defender and willing passer. The Moore vs. Lindo battle will certainly be one to watch tomorrow afternoon.

Despite the key losses above, the Rams do return quite a bit from last year's squad. Youngstown State transfer Darius Quisenberry returns after leading the team in scoring following Daye's midseason departure. Quisenberry, a preseason third-team all-A10 selection, is a versatile scorer albeit somewhat volume-dependent. He is as important a player as any on their squad given that he played the 68th most minutes nationally last year and that hasn't exactly changed this season. Quisenberry figures to be a tough guard tomorrow. You have to respect his jumper (he made the 53rd most threes per game during OOC at a strong clip) but like Moore he's not afraid to take it to the rim if you over-help on him. He's also made the 65th most free throws at 80% (which also ranked in the top 100). Quisenberry is just a well-rounded player - he's a good on-ball defender and also makes good decisions with the ball if he's double-teamed.

In the backcourt, role players Kyle RoseAntrell Charlton, and Zach Riley also return. Rose is another guy who fits the Fordham system very well as a guy who goes after it defensively. He took a step forward offensively last year although is still not the strongest player on that side of the ball. You have to respect his three point shot but if we run him off the line we should be okay. Rose has taken on more of a sixth man role that comes on to play more defense - somewhat like Amir Harris.

Charlton, a former JUCO, is another versatile player on both sides of the ball. He led the Rams in assists last year (68th in assists per game nationally during OOC) although he does not exactly look the part of a pure point guard. Actually, the Amir Harris comparison might a better fit for Charlton's game than Rose. Charlton is yet another guy who plays good defense for them but struggles when you force him to be more of a scorer than a facilitator.

Riley, a native of New Zealand, provides instant offense from off the bench. He struggled with his shot last year but has taken a step this forward this year, making 9/25 (36%) shots from deep thus far.

Up front, Rostyslav Novitskyi, Abdou Tsimbila, and Patrick Kelly return. Novitskyi starts for Fordham as the tallest player on the roster at 6'10". He showed some strong offensive skills in limited time last season and is a reliable finisher and rebounder. Novitskyi (38th nationally in blocks) does a decent job at protecting the rim, but Tsimbila (a Penn State transfer) has done an even better job up front replacing Ohams on the defensive side of the ball. He's far from a finished product offensively, but demands court time with his defensive abilities. During non-conference play, he finished with the 12th most blocks and rebounded at a top 100 rate on the defensive end. Kelly is another Penn State transfer who provides further depth up front should there be any foul trouble to the above players in the frontcourt.

Finally, true freshmen Will Richardson, Elijah Gray, and Romad Dean have seen some action in their first year of college ball. Richardson, a 3-star PG coming out of HS, has been starting for the Rams during conference play. Having other playmakers like Charlton and Quisenberry has allowed Richardson to play more off the ball, and he has already emerged as Fordham's best shooter on a team largely lacking it (43% from 3 on the year).

Dean and Gray (who I believe we expressed interest in) may see some spot minutes in the frontcourt. Dean, a native of the Bahamas, has had the edge in the shooting department of the two this year but both players will likely have bigger roles in future seasons. A possible Dean vs. Dean matchup up front is certainly intriguing. Having watched Ángel Montas on the circuit last year, I'm a bit surprised he hasn't seen playing time for Fordham this year because that guy can really play and has the strength to contribute.

There should be some motivation by the veteran guys given we lost at Fordham last year (in terrible fashion as mentioned above). You of course have to keep winning to stay in the double-bye race, but GW needed to win Wednesday's game more given it was at home and they took care of business. A loss up in NY is more understandable given 1) Fordham's improvement, 2) it's a road game, and 3) we may be fatigued having played an OT game just a few days ago. Hopefully Amir's ankle is good enough to play his usual role otherwise JB/BA's efficiency will almost certainly be affected down the stretch of the game. I'm interested to see if we'll throw some zone looks Fordham's way given they aren't as good at shooting compared to recent opponents we've played like Mason and St. Joe's. Via Bart Torvik, Fordham has ranked last in offensive efficiency thus far in conference play despite an improvement on that end. I'll take any advantage our defense can get in a matchup. The frontcourt will have to hold their own on the boards and stay out of foul trouble. Fordham is playing faster now that they have more depth at a number of positions and they are one of the better teams from the FT line in the league.

Projected Score: Fordham 77, GW 75. 43% chance to win (Bart Torvik). ESPN gives us a 29.1% chance to extend our win streak to 4 for the first time since 2017.


1/28/2023 8:17 am  #7

Re: GW vs Fordham Game Thread

Pesky guards on D and if you get past them, big shot blockers under the basket.  Novitskyi’s foul problems put our bigs to shame, getting him to the bench would be a nice step.  His backup Tsimbila only played seven minutes last game so he either had injury or doghouse issues.


1/28/2023 9:04 am  #8

Re: GW vs Fordham Game Thread

Game opened up at GW +3.5 last night and is unchanged this morning.  Incredibly, GW is now 7-0 in the first half bet.  That is outright, without the spread (in which we would have been getting points in some of those games).  A testament to how good our starting 5 have been in conference play, as well as the game prep by the coaching staff.  Maybe that is the reason I have not found any halftime lines on GW these past couple of games, at least not on BetMGM.


1/28/2023 12:29 pm  #9

Re: GW vs Fordham Game Thread


1/28/2023 1:01 pm  #10

Re: GW vs Fordham Game Thread


1/28/2023 2:11 pm  #11

Re: GW vs Fordham Game Thread

Long Suffering Fan wrote:

Game opened up at GW +3.5 last night and is unchanged this morning.  Incredibly, GW is now 7-0 in the first half bet.  That is outright, without the spread (in which we would have been getting points in some of those games).  A testament to how good our starting 5 have been in conference play, as well as the game prep by the coaching staff.  Maybe that is the reason I have not found any halftime lines on GW these past couple of games, at least not on BetMGM.

I wish I saw this sooner but in the future you may be able to do a 1st half/win 'Game Prop' where you take GW to lead at halftime and then the opposing team to win the game


1/28/2023 2:50 pm  #12

Re: GW vs Fordham Game Thread

Our halftime lead streak still stands but man what an ugly final 30 seconds of the half


1/28/2023 2:52 pm  #13

Re: GW vs Fordham Game Thread

Played good till last minute then crap.  Give up a 3 then Lindo with a turnover and a Forham dunk. 5 point swing in seconds. 8 big turnovers. Come on guys.


1/28/2023 2:53 pm  #14

Re: GW vs Fordham Game Thread

Their perimeter defense really good. We have to get something going inside to take pressure off


1/28/2023 2:54 pm  #15

Re: GW vs Fordham Game Thread

Man, Fordham fouls nonstop.  I guess it’s just as well thst the refs are letting it go since it keeps us out of foul trouble, but Fordham should have had a lot more fouls.

Nonetheless a strong effort by us.  Like what we are doing on defense.  I was glad the game slowed down after the first ten minutes because I didn’t think we could keep up that breakneck pace with no bench.

To win this thing, we have to keep burning their aggressive defense by driving to the paint. I suspect Caputo will emphasize that.  The drive and dish down low has worked great this game. 

Hope Adams is ok.


1/28/2023 2:57 pm  #16

Re: GW vs Fordham Game Thread

We were up big in our previous games at 1/2. Then faded in 2nd. Cannot afford these turnovers.


1/28/2023 3:12 pm  #17

Re: GW vs Fordham Game Thread

Novitsky just puts his head and shoulders down and slams into the defender nonstop.  It’s absolutely ridiculous that they didn’t call an offensive foul on either of the last two possessions.


1/28/2023 3:23 pm  #18

Re: GW vs Fordham Game Thread

Fordham fouls a lot but refs are not calling them. Sad.


1/28/2023 3:24 pm  #19

Re: GW vs Fordham Game Thread

Back to our normal 3-point shooting percentage. St. Joes game seems to have been an anomaly


1/28/2023 3:27 pm  #20

Re: GW vs Fordham Game Thread

Free Quebec wrote:

Novitsky just puts his head and shoulders down and slams into the defender nonstop. It’s absolutely ridiculous that they didn’t call an offensive foul on either of the last two possessions.

Just did it again


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