Posted tagged ‘Villanova’

Unbelievable Upset! Fordham beats Temple 30-29 to begin season 3-0

September 15, 2013

Fordham footballToday made it 12 teams! 12 FCS (DIV 1-AA) have defeated FBS (DIV 1-A) teams this season. Fordham defeated Temple in Philadelphia, PA 30-29 thanks to a 29 yard touchdown strike from Mike Nebrich to a leaping Sam Ajala in the end zone with 4 seconds left on the clock (Highlight below). With the win, Fordham is now 3-0 on the season and beat an FBS opponent for the first time since 1954 season with a 13-7 win over Rutgers.

This season has been special so far for Fordham. Last week they beat #8 ranked Villanova on their home turf for the first time in school history, this team advance to 3-0 for the first time since 1988, and the Rams played their first game at an NFL stadium since 1983 when they faced St. Norbert’s College at Lambeau Field.

So where does this win rank in Fordham Football history? It may not be at the top, but it certainly is very high compared to recent history against FBS schools (Losses to Buffalo in 1993 and 1995, Army and UConn in 2011 and Cincinnati 2012). Last time Fordham was relevant in the FCS was 2007 when they lost to UMass in the first round of the FCS Playoffs. This team has struck magic in the early going and I hope they can keep it up going into next week.

The Rams host Columbia University next week at home for a 1:00 p.m. contest in the annual Liberty Cup game. I know the stands will be packed with maroon and white as fans will start entering Jack Coffey Field with smiles on their faces.

It’s a new era of Fordham Athletics. This is just the first step in bigger success coming to multiple programs. It’s time to get excited in the Bronx.

Marquette basketball against Big East Big Men

February 3, 2011

Marquette is having a year that is filled with high and low points. The high when beating #10 ranked Syracuse for the first time in many years and beating Notre Dame by 22 at the Bradley Center. Then the lows of losing to Louisville with an 18 point lead, losing to Vanderbilt on the last play, and losing to Wisconsin at the Bradley center in the instate rivalry.

While those wins and loses may mean something to many people, the thing that matters the most to me is how the big men in the Big East have taken Marquette to school. Take a look at these stats:

at Pitt: Gary McGhee: 12 pts 6 reb 3 blks Gilbert Brown: 14pts 7 reb 1 blk

at Louisville: Terrence Jennings: 7pts 8 reb (4 off) in 20 min of play George Goode: 7 pts 6 reb in 14 min of play

at Notre Dame: Carleton Scott: 11 pts and 10 reb 1 blk

vs. UConn: Jeremy Lamb: 24 pts Charles Okwandu: 10 reb Roscoe Smith: 11 pts 8 reb (5 off)

at Villanova: Antonio Pena: 14 pts 1o reb (2 off) 2 blks Mouphtaou Yarou: 18 pts 5 reb (3 off)

Special non-conference selection: vs. Duke: Mason Plumlee: 25 pts 12 reb and 5 blks

Notice how many offense rebounds have been given up. When your tallest player playing most of the game is Jae Crowder and Jimmy Butler at 6 foot 6, I don’t think you are going to win many ball games. The rebounding has killed them all year and if they get a few possessions from those rebounds, they could have upset so many teams. It is just so hard to win without a big man who can rebound and block shots for you.

I have always said that Marquette always needed a player like a Blake Griffin or Amare Stoudemire type. A guy who can rebound the basketball at will and attack the basket with force to get to the free throw line. Unfortunately, Marquette and Buzz Williams only wants to pick up guards who are fast, can shoot the ball, and can play at multiple positions.

Without a quality big, does Marquette ever think they will advance far in the NCAA tournament let alone the Big East year after year? They have shown in the past they can be effective. But how long will effective be not enough?

Former Bobcat’s coach Larry Brown is bored

January 20, 2011


 Larry Brown’s latest basketball stop had nothing to do with taking another coaching job.

Brown was a guest at Villanova’s practice Thursday to catch up with the Wildcats and his good friend, coach Jay Wright. Brown lives near campus and visited for the first time since he parted ways with the Charlotte Bobcats in December.

“He’s allowing me to hang around,” Brown said, “and get my basketball fix.”

Brown was a frequent visitor at Villanova games and practices for two seasons after he was fired by the New York Knicks. Wright, who has led the seventh-ranked Wildcats to a 16-2 record, considers Brown a mentor and friend.

“I love these kids,” Brown said. “I just love being around him.”

Brown, who said he’s bored without basketball, joined Wright for a team breakfast. Wildcats players and coaches took turns talking to Brown and shaking hands.

“I would like to” coach again, Brown said. “I don’t want to end the way this one ended. Right now, the most important thing is I’m getting time with my family.”

The 70-year-old Brown, a Hall of Fame coach, was in the third season of his 13th professional and college head coaching job. He left with an 88-108 mark for the Bobcats. His 1,327 victories in the ABA and NBA are nine shy of supplanting Don Nelson for the most all-time.

Wright, in his 10th season at Villanova, loves having Brown stop by and give advice.

“Oh, it’s the best,” Wright said. “He just has so much to offer to any coach. We’re lucky he’s here.”

Brown said he enjoys watching friends and former assistants such as Kentucky’s John Calipari or Kansas’ Bill Self have success.

“I feel like I’m part of that,” he said.

Brown is the only coach to win NBA and NCAA titles.

…When I read this story it completely came from left field. Larry Brown has stepped down from coaching the Bobcats a few months ago and now he is bored and looking for work? He also left the Knicks job in his second year of a 5 year contract. I understand that he loves basketball but the man is 70 years old and old people get bored a lot just staying at home. The weird part about this whole article is that he is talking with the Villanova basketball team and Jay Wright. Of all teams and places he chooses Villanova. Overall, he is a good coach who is one of the most successful coaches ever in the NBA. I hope Larry Brown gets back to coaching soon because you don’t want him to get bored again. The one thing you don’t want him do is be like Isiah Thomas and coach College Hoops…

Update: Fordham-Villanova scrimmage today

October 30, 2010

Via Chris Gaston:

We played od Goood today against villanova I’m very proud of my team !!!

…This is great news for the team as they played a quality Big East team. I will find out the results later but Gaston is very honest with the way he and his team plays on social networking sites. Interesting to see how this one turned out. Stay tuned…

Big East Pre-season Basketball predictions

October 26, 2010

Via Zagsblog:

NEW YORK — Pittsburgh is the choice to win the 2010-11 BIG EAST men’s basketball regular-season crown in the BIG EAST Preseason Coaches’ Poll.  The Panthers, who finished 25-9 overall and tied for second place in the conference at 13-5 last season, collected 12 first-place votes from the head coaches who did not place their own teams on their ballots.

The Panthers return four starters from last year’s squad, including Preseason All-BIG EAST selection Ashton Gibbs.  Coach Jamie Dixon’s club sits atop the preseason poll for the first time since 2006-07.  Pitt is the only team in the conference to win at least 10 IG EAST contests in each of the last nine seasons.

 Villanova follows Pitt in the poll in second place.  The Wildcats had 208 points which included one first-place vote. Villanova tied the Panthers for second place in BIG EAST play last year with a 13-5 record and is coming off a 25-8 season.  This year, the Wildcats are expected to depend on senior guard Corey Fisher, a Preseason All-BIG EAST First Team member, for production and leadership.

Syracuse, last year’s regular-season league champion, was picked third.  The Orange corralled a pair of first-place votes and a total of 187 points in the poll.  In 2009-10, SU compiled a 15-3 BIG EAST mark after being picked sixth in the preseason poll.  Coach Jim Boeheim directed Syracuse to a 30-5 overall record.

The coaches placed Georgetown fourth.  The Hoyas, who can lean on Preseason BIG EAST Player of the Year Austin Freeman and three other returning starters, totaled 173 points in the poll.  Georgetown finished 23-11 last year.

West Virginia was slotted for fifth place.  The Mountaineers won their first BIG EAST Championship last March and advanced to the NCAA Final Four.  WVU’s final record was 31-7 overall, including 13-5 in conference play.  This season, the Mountaineers can build around junior forward Kevin Jones, a Preseason All-BIG EAST First Team selection.

St. John’s received one first-place vote and finished sixth in the poll.  The Red Storm have not been picked higher than ninth in the preseason poll since 2002-03.  St, John’s has 10 seniors and a new coach, Steve Lavin.  The league coaches feel the Red Storm are capable of making a big jump.  St. John’s finished 6-12 in league play last year and 17-16 overall.

Notre Dame was in seventh place with 123 points.  The Fighting Irish were 23-12 last year and 10-8 in the league standings.  Louisville and Marquette tied for eighth place in the poll just behind the Irish with 121 points.  The Cardinals and Golden Eagles also tied in the standings last year at 11-7.

The coaches put Connecticut 10th and Seton Hall 11th.  Both teams were NIT participants last season.  The Huskies, who finished 18-16, had 113 points, while the Pirates, who were 19-13, garnered 104 points.

Cincinnati took 12th place in the poll with 91 points.  Last year, the Bearcats tied Connecticut for 11th place in the standings with a 7-11 BIG EAST mark.  Cincinnati finished 19-16 overall and made the NIT.

The coaches have tabbed Providence for 14th place followed by Rutgers and DePaul.

1. Pittsburgh  (12 votes)

2. Villanova (1)

3. Syracuse (3)

4. Georgetown

5. West Virginia

6. St. John’s (1)

7. Notre Dame

8(t). Louisville


10. UConn

11. Seton Hall

12. Cincinnati

13. USF

14. Providence

15. Rutgers

16. DePaul

…This is a really interesting list. To be honest, I see some flaws in this list. Let me start out with the school I go to, Marquette. Marquette finished 4th in the league and they have two returning players who are going to be huge contributors in Darius Johnson-Odom and Jimmy Butler. This team is young and fast and Buzz Williams really knows how to coach and teach them. I do not see them finishing 8th but 5th or 4th in the league. Remember they were supposed to finish 13th last year. Look what happened to that. It’s the Big East, anything can happen. I do like where St. John’s is on the list. I like Steve Lavin and his system with the senior leadership he has this year. I can see them being a sleeper in this league. What I do find interesting is who gave them the  one 1st place vote? It’s kind of peculiar. Also, I can see Rutgers and Depaul moving up that list because of the new coaches coming in. I think Mike Rice for Rutgers will propel his team to wins and make them a legit threat in years to come. I also see Depaul being better than they actually are. With Oliver Purnell running the staff from Clemson I can really see them winning but not going far in the post season tournaments. They are a team that can surprise with their guard play. Overall, the Big East is taking a huge drop because of all the players that left via NBA Draft or because of seniority. I feel that this won’t be the best basketball conference in College Basketball and I feel that winning this league is up to any team and the way they compete. I am already excited for college basketball. Let’s get the balls rolling…

ESPN article on Fordham Head Coach Tom Pecora

August 19, 2010

Tom Pecora took over the Fordham Rams Basketball program at a time where it has hit a very big low. The team has only one 5 games in two years and went 0-16 in the conference last year. The conference they are in is the Atlantic 10 and it keeps getting stronger each year with more NCAA bids and better talent. How is Pecora going to change the whole dynamic of the program? Well it is a step by step process with a lot of coaching and practicing. However, he ultimately sees Fordham as a “Sleeping Giant” in college basketball throughout the New York City area.

Here is an article that ESPN writer Dana O’Neil on Tom Pecora and why he left Hofstra to build a dynasty with the Rams. To read, click here.

…I think Tom Pecora is a coach like Jay Wright who will do some damage in the A-10. While many think he won’t do anything and won’t produce, I would like to disagree with them. He took over a program in Hofstra that wasn’t too high on the ranks and brought it back to respectability and also 5 consecutive 20 win seasons. He has also recruited talent from New York to play in the CAA at Hofstra and I think playing in the Bronx in a better conference will allow Pecora to bring in the young guns and make some noise. One thing the article does is get quotes from Jay Wright, Villanova’s head coach. He speaks very highly of Pecora and thinks he will do a good job. Pecora used to be an assistant under Jay Wright and I wonder if Jay ever gives him a few pointers on how to make his team better. All in all, the article speaks very highly of Pecora and Tom really seems like a humbling guy who wants to make a difference rather than making the money. Life is a challenge, and Pecora wants to attack it…

Villanova Guard Corey Fisher drops 105 in a summer game

August 10, 2010

Via Zagsblog:

According to reports, Fisher made 23 of 28 3-pointers — missing only five — and scored 72 points in the second half of the 40-minute game in the Watson Classic in the Bronx.

Some cat named Jose Calderon from Spanish Harlem — not the NBA — was primarily guarding him, but Fisher reportedly faced multiple double and triple-teams.

…This is flat-out Ridiculous! I have never seen anything like this since the time when the girls high school team Dallas Academy shut out Covenant 100-0 and when a high school girl scored 113 points in a game. To score this in a summer league game in Men’s college basketball is just unheard of. Going to Marquette in the Big East and watching Villanova all the time, I always thought Fisher was a good player and a future second team all Big East player but not a player who would score 105 pts in a game. I hope this is just a highlight of his career because if he plays like that for Villanova this year, they would win the national championship…