City Sports Report

Same old ‘movie’ for Fordham could lead to change

Paschall 2

Changes could be in store for the Fordham Rams in the very near future, according to head coach Tom Pecora. The Rams are regrouping after their 76-58 loss to Dayton.  The defeat dropped Fordham to 0-3 in the Atlantic 10 this season, 5-9 overall.

In Fordham’s previous two defeats, conference games against VCU and Rhode Island, the Rams played their opponents well for the first 20 to 30 minutes of the game before fading down the stretch. Fordham would go into halftime against Fordham tied at 25-25, however a 14-4 run by the Flyers in the second half proved to be the knockout punch the Rams could not get up from. Fordham’s inability to put a complete game together this season has hampered their progression.

“I’ve seen this movie,” Pecora said following the game. “We played our tails off for about 30 minutes, and then we just get worn down. We don’t have the grit of a veteran team.”

A frustrated Pecora confirmed what appears to be a growing thought I’ve had about this team as the season has progressed. The time for a youth movement could be on the horizon for Fordham.

“If we have to go with a total youth movement, so be it. Guys are going to get what they deserve.”

Pecora’s frustration with the inconsistent play of his upper classmen has been an underlying theme throughout this season. This includes senior Bryan Smith, and juniors Ryan Rhoomes and Mandell Thomas.

Meanwhile, freshmen Eric Paschall (16.3 points, 6.2 rebounds), Christian Sengfelder (11.6 points, 6.5 rebounds), and Antwoine Anderson (8.4 points, 3.8 assists) continue to improve as their roles have increased in recent weeks.

When asked after the loss to Dayton what can be done to address his team’s inability to competitively play a complete game, Pecora’s response shed more light on where his mindset could be now with his younger players.

“You can get through it with personnel changes and come to the conclusion that there are certain guys that are just not going to answer the bell in the late rounds,” he said. “You can put more of a burden and more of a responsibility on some of the guys who have been [answering the bell], some of the younger guys.”

The schedule gets more challenging for Fordham, as their next two games are on the road against Saint Joesph’s and LaSalle.  The Rams come back home on January 22 for George Washington.

Pecora’s been waiting on his veteran players to show consistency in areas pertaining to helping this team win this season, however that hasn’t happened.  On the flip side of that page are seven freshmen, specifically Paschall and Sengfelder, who are showing their time has apparently come to be featured more.

It appears Pecora not only sees the writing on the wall for Fordham, he’s also ready to embrace it.


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