The Sports Cycle’s Donnie Dwyer is at the Rose Hill Gym reporting on Fordham Basketball’s 31 point win over Furman. Ryan Rhoomes had a standout game with a double-double of 15 points and 14 rebounds (9 offensive), Mandell Thomas had 19 points and 4 rebounds, Jon Severe keeps up his 20+ streak with 23 points and knocking down 5 three point shots, and the Fordham defense didn’t allow the Paladins to make a three point shot in the game.
Categories: Atlantic 10, College Basketball, Fordham
Tags: Coach Pecora, Donnie Dwyer, Fordham Basketball, Furman, Jon Severe, Mandell Thomas, Rose Hill Gym, Ryan Rhoomes, The Sports Cycle
Categories: Football, High School, Photo of the Week, Upper Peninsula
Tags: Detroit Loyola, Grandpa Camo, high school football, Ishpeming Football, mhsaa, State Champs
…Ishpeming Hematites are about one word, Heart. This city, this town, and this football team has so much character and respect for one another. Last year was about David and Goliath, this year the story was already written and Ishpeming was destined to win. These players play their butts off for Coach Olson and the High School they represent. Winning a state title one year is awesome, but celebrating back-to-back state titles is special. That’s what the UP and the city of Ishpeming is, “a special place.” UP Power is not a slogan or a saying, it’s a way of life…
Categories: Football, Photo of the Day
Tags: Alabama Football, Auburn Football, BCS Standings, College Football, Iron Bowl, Photo of the Day
…This picture is beautiful and describes the win and the rivalry perfectly. Everyone from the state of Alabama was present at the Iron Bowl in Auburn. My goodness the Jordan-Hare Stadium was rocking and every student rushed the field in a sea of orange and navy blue. This college football game will be talked about for a very, very long time and the significance behind it was remarkable. That’s the beauty of sports, one moment lives on forever…
Categories: Atlantic 10, College Basketball, Fordham
Tags: Battle of the Bronx, Branden Frazier, Coach Pecora, Fordham Basketball, Jon Severe, Mandell Thomas, Manhattan, Ryan Rhoomes, Sacred Heart, stats, Travion Leonard
I was sitting on the baseline with my camera in hand for the 85-73 loss to Sacred Heart and I couldn’t help but think this season was lost after Fordham lost Manny Suarez, Antoine Anderson, and Ryan Canty for an uncertain time table. Plus, Bryan Smith suffered an injury in practice and has missed a couple of games. In the press conference, Coach Pecora was very upset and said things were going to change in the “Battle of the Bronx.” He practiced his players very hard to teach them that every possession matters. Well, it showed Tuesday night and here are my 5 reasons to why they were so successful in the victory against Manhattan.
#1 - Attack mode which led to 37 Free Throw Attempts
During the loss to the Pioneers, the Rams only took 20 free throw attempts in the game and only 1 in the first half. During the win against the Jaspers, Fordham took 37 free throw attempts and converted on 26 of them. Being aggressive led to Manhattan’s shot blocker Rhamel Brown, who finished the game with 9 blocks, to foul out of the contest.
Fordham has gone to a four guard lineup which allows quicker guards to matchup with slower forwards. Coach tells his guards to get to the basket and finish through contact. Having speed is an advantage the Rams want to exploit all season long. Freshman Jon Severe and Senior Branden Frazier each took 13 free throw attempts in the victory and the Jaspers totaled 28 personal fouls which takes away minutes from big time athletes.
Through 5 games, the main slashing guards (Frazier, Severe, and Thomas) have attempted 101 free throws combined up to this point. If these three continue to attack the defense, the Rams will have more W’s in the win column.
#2 – Force opponent to take perimeter shots
The Rams allowed 40 points in the paint and only 15 three point shot attempts to Sacred Heart in the rough loss. But in Tuesday night’s victory, Fordham forced Manhattan to take 32 three point shots and they only converted on 6.
The Rams have gone to a 2-3 or 2-1-2 zone for most of the season. They key to the zone is communication. Through 4 games, the communication was a work in progress. On Tuesday, Fordham gave Manhattan looks from deep and forced long jumpers which led Fordham to run out in transition and attack the rim.
If Fordham allows Furman to take 32 three point shots, they should have themselves a winning streak and a home victory.
#3 – Bigs Rebound the Basketball consistently
Through Fordham’s first four games, the guards have a combined 114 rebounds and the bigs have 63 rebounds. They key to the Rams success is having your forwards and centers rebound the rock. On Tuesday, the guards got some help.
In the win, Travion Leonard and Ryan Rhoomes had 13 of the 42 rebounds and 6 of the 14 offensive boards. If Fordham can get Leonard to average 7 rebounds and Rhoomes to average 6 rebounds, the Rams would get help on the glass and it would take pressure off the guards to crash the boards every time there is a miss.
If #2 and #30 continue to be consistent rebounding the basketball, Coach will find it easier to call their name during a game and give him confidence that they will produce.
#4 – Positive Assist to Turnover Ratio
One of Fordham’s strong statistics is their assist to turnover ratio through 5 games. They have a 1.2 assist to turnover ratio which is better than the -4.5 they had last season. This is due in large part to the four guard lineup, the great ball movement from sideline to sideline, and the lack of a post play in the offensive sets (like a Chris Gaston or Kervin Bristol) to be successful like in years past. Fordham can now attack off the dribble and use the spacing of the floor to their advantage rather than go into a motion offense and eat up clock.
#5 – Converting Second Chance Opportunities into points
The Rams converted on 16 second chance points on 14 offensive rebounds in the win Tuesday Night. During the first four games the Rams averaged just 9.5 second chance points a contest, so to score 16 second chance points was a big improvement. Fordham showed that if they crash the glass, they can score on an easy bucket or start a new offensive possession to create more chances to put points on the scoreboard.
With Ryan Rhoomes having 17 offensive rebounds and 15 defensive rebounds so far this season, expect more offensive chances from him and expect the Rams to convert on those extra possessions. ———————————————————————————————————————————————————–
Fordham takes on Furman this Wednesday at 7 PM in the Rose Hill Gym. The Paladins are ranked 213th in rebounding with 35.2 boards a contest. The Rams need to take advantage of that weakness and continue to create points from the free throw stripe.
Categories: MLB, MLB Offseason
Tags: 84, Detroit Tigers, Hot Stove, Ian Kinsler, J.T. Snow, jersey, MLB, numbers, Prince Fielder, Texas Rangers, trade
This week, new Texas Rangers first baseman Prince Fielder was introduced to the media after a blockbuster trade that sent second baseman Ian Kinsler to the Detroit Tigers.
With his new team also comes a new jersey number. Fielder will wear No. 84 with the Rangers, not the No. 28 he had worn through his 1,322 career games with Milwaukee (2005-11) and Detroit (2012-13).
“It’s a new start I guess, and 84 is the year I was born. It’s just fresh,” Prince said. “I think it works.”
That also happens to be the last year the Tigers won the World Series.
Rangers General Manager Jon Daniels believes that Fielder is ready for a new beginning and can help the Rangers score runs more consistently.
“A guy of his magnitude, a perennial MVP candidate and one of the top power hitters in the game, isn’t available if he’s coming off a career year,” Daniels said. “Based on the work we’ve done and our reports on him, we’re confident there’s a lot more in the tank.”
Prince is confident, and he’s excited to get going.
“I just want to play,” Fielder said. “Right field is very nice for me, so I’m definitely going to look into that. I’m happy to be here. I just want to play hard and win some games.”
…I am a jersey fanatic and I think that having the #84 in baseball is a ridiculous number. In baseball, only players from the minor leagues wear that high of a number during spring training games because the rosters are very large and the players are not guaranteed a major league roster spot. The last #84 I could think of is former Giants and Angels first baseman J.T. Snow. He wore #84 in 2006 for the Boston Red Sox in honor of his father Jack, a former NFL player. As for the all star’s new start in Ranger blue, Prince will be at a place where he can find the power in his swing. That little league park in Arlington is going to help the slugger produce some big numbers and I expect the big fella to have success deep in the heart of Texas…
Categories: baseball, Free Agent, Hot Stove, MLB, MLB Offseason
Tags: Brayan Pena, Cincinnati Reds, Colby Lewis, Free Agent Signings, Hot Stove, Jose Molina, MLB, Nick Punto, Oakland Athletics, Offseason, Tampa Bay Rays, Texas Rangers, Yadier Molina
When it comes to the MLB offseason and Free Agency everyone looks to the Jhonny Peralta’s new 4 year contract with the Cardinals or the big trade swap between Texas and Detroit involving Prince Fielder and Ian Kinsler. While those deals are significant for the 2014 season, there are moves that go on throughout the winter that doesn’t get everyone’s attention on television or in the newspaper that should be noted to all baseball fans.
Let’s start with infielder Nick Punto signing with the Oakland A’s. In Los Angeles last season with the Dodgers, he had a very good defensive year at 3rd Base and Shortstop. But let’s start off with his value. He had a WAR (Wins Above Replacement) of 2.2 and 22 RAR (runs above replacement). He had a line of .255/.328/.327 in 335 plate appearances for the Los Angeles Dodgers but it wasn’t his bat that makes him so important because he defense makes up for that line. His Rdrs/year (Defensive Runs Saved) at 3rd and SS was 11 which is very good at the hot corner including 48 double plays turned and a .974 fielding percentage. Note, this is a utility player who will bring leadership and depth to a team that was lacking that in the postseason. Like I said, this is not a sexy signing but it is very influential to the Oakland A’s ball club in 2014.
Next is a signing that occurred today with Colby Lewis and the Texas Rangers. He signed a minor league deal with an invitation to spring training. If Lewis makes the major league team, he’ll make $2 million in base salary and can earn up to another $4 million in incentives. He won 26 games for the Rangers in 2010-11 and in the playoffs he was 4-1 with a 2.34 ERA. Here is the important part, he started 200 innings in both of those years and had a winning record in a ballpark that is tough to pitch in. The Rangers will lose Matt Garza and lack veteran leadership in their rotation. If he can get it right after shoulder surgery in 2012, he can be an innings eater and can be that important back of the rotation guy at a very low cost compared to the Royals signing Jason Vargas for 8 million a season with a career 4.30 ERA. At the age of 34, he shouldn’t be the same pitcher we saw 3 years ago but I expect him to be effective and help the club get more wins this season. Watch for his story when Spring Training arises. I like his comeback potential.
Catchers are at a premium in baseball, especially defensive ones. When the Cincinnati Reds signed Brayan Pena and the Tampa Bay Rays signed Jose Molina on two-year contracts, I thought they were extremely smart moves from both clubs.
For the Tigers last season, Pena had a good percentage catching 30% of runners stealing bases. He also presented some pop in his bat with a .297 average, 4 home runs, and 11 doubles in 71 games. Not many backups catchers have those types of numbers in the big leagues and the Reds lacked a catcher with home run power and strong defense behind the dish.
On the other side, Molina is a defensive wizard and is essential for Tampa Bay’s pitching staff. During the 2012 season he held the staff to a 3.22 ERA and a 3.74 in 2013. He had a value defensively of 6.2 compared to the league average of 0.9 in 2012 and 3.9 compared to league average 1.4 in 2013. In his two years with a Rays uniform he has had 55 runners killed on the base paths which shows how valuable he is compared to any other catcher in the market. Plus, he ranks first in framing runs above average with 33 which is 5 better than his brother Yadier Molina who is the best defensive catcher in the National League.
As for the offense, he has batted a poor .228 with the Rays but his defense is more valuable than his offense and you could see that in the 2013 Wild Card game against the Indians as he led Alex Cobb to 6 2/3 scoreless innings and striking out five.
So after reading this I hope you realize that while adding a player like Robinson Cano can make a huge difference in wins for any roster in the major leagues, it is the buying low and getting high reward players that fans don’t know about going into spring training. I hope I have kept you informed on smart deals for teams that needed improvements at those positions.
Categories: Atlantic 10, College Basketball, Fordham
Tags: Branden Frazier, Chris Whitehead, College Basketball, Donnie Dwyer, Fordham Rams, home, Jon Severe, loss, Louis Montes, Rose Hill Gym, Sacred Heart Pioneers, Tevin Falzon, The Sports Cycle, Tom Pecora, winless
The Sports Cycle’s Donnie Dwyer covers Fordham’s first home loss to the Sacred Heart Pioneers at the Rose Hill Gym 85-73. Branden Frazier had 21 points and 10 rebounds, Jon Severe had 23 points and 9 rebounds. The Pioneers outrebounded the Rams 49-35 and Louis Montes finished with a double-double of 16 points and 13 boards. The Rams take on Manhattan in the Battle of the Bronx this upcoming Tuesday.