There were plenty of interesting stories going into the offseason in the Atlantic Ten. Would La Salle’s transfers mesh right away and dominate the league? How would Dayton cope with the loss of Steve McElvene? Could Jack Gibbs average over twenty shots a game?
However, none of these subjects could touch the intrigue that stemmed from Karen Neubauer’s Twitter account last April and May. Karen was the wife of current Fordham head coach Jeff Neubauer. Apparently Jeff was stepping out on the missus and she felt it was appropriate to out him publicly (which might lead you to believe Neubauer made the right move by leaving her).
She let loose with this torrential downpour on Twitter.com:
This is every middle-aged man’s nightmare. Just as you get your hands on some cash, a woman comes along and ruins it. Granted, in this case it is a woman Neubauer made a legal obligation to, but still.
Long story short, Neubauer divorced his wife and quickly married his goomah during the offseason. And, to be fair to Jeff, he definitely upgraded. Don’t hate the player I guess.
This whole situation reminds me of a scene from A Bronx Tale, an awful movie Robert DeNiro directed back in the early 90s. Some ginzo owes the main character, Colagero, twenty bucks and he is having issues collecting. As always, an uneducated Italian man who makes his living kicking people on the ground is full of wisdom:
Colagero: This guy Louie Dumps over here, you know, he owes me twenty dollars. It’s been two weeks now, and every time he sees me, he keeps dodging me. He’s becoming a real pain in the ass, should I crack him one or what?
Sonny: What have I been telling you, sometimes hurting someone ain’t the answer. First of all, is he a friend of yours?
Colagero: No, I don’t even like him.
Sonny: You don’t even like him. There’s your answer right there. Look at it this way, it cost you twenty dollars to get rid of him. Right? He’s never gonna bother you again. He’s never gonna ask you for money again. He’s out of your life for 20 dollars. You got off cheap. Forget about it.
So, there you go, Mr. Neubauer. She’s out of your life for good, forget about it. (Sidenote: the fact that the main character was dating a black girl might have been the least realistic thing I’ve ever seen in a movie.)
Chris Rock once said a man is only as faithful as his options. I couldn’t agree with this sentiment more. If you come into some money like Neubauer did after signing with Fordham, your poon pool gets bigger and better. If he was fine with his current wife, then stay with her. If he felt like he could do better with increased capital, why not upgrade? As long as kids aren’t involved no one gets hurt. You only live once, why not live the best life possible? Good on you, Jeff.
Fordham is not the worst team in the Atlantic Ten, I repeat; Fordham is not the worst team in the Atlantic Ten. The Rams are a respectable, for them, 3-5 in the league, sporting wins over VCU, UMass and Davidson. Neubauer’s non-conference slate was disgraceful, an absolute slap in the face to all God-fearing Americans.
The Rams lead the Atlantic 10 and are third in the NCAA in steals per game (10.5) and are fourth in total steals (220). The Rams are also second in the NCAA in turnover margin (5.7) and turnovers forced (18.86/game). To keep beating a dead horse, Fordham causes a turnover on 27.1% of their opponents’ possessions, second in the nation to only West Virginia. Fordham is a one-trick pony, but that trick is rather useful.
Offensively, the Rams are awful. They hit foul-shots at nice rate but that’s just about it. Almost all of Fordham’s offensive metrics rank above 250th in the nation. A batshit statistic that points to how offensively undisciplined most of the Rams are is the squad’s percentage of three-point shots compared to their total field goals. An astonishing 43% of the Rams’ field goal attempts come from behind the arc. Morale: Stop doing that.
My love for reigning A10 Rookie of the Year Joseph Chartouny knows no bounds. One of those rare players that makes everyone around him better, Chartouny’s “basketball IQ” is OTC (for those of us who aren’t Jon Rothstein devotees – that’s “off the charts”). JC leads the nation with an absurd 3.6 steals per game, averages 5.2 assists per contest and is scoring eleven points per game. I love this Canadian gentleman, his one weakness is that he is not aggressive enough offensively. I need more Chartouny bombs.
Christian Sengfelder, now a junior, continues to be a steady influence for the Fordham Rams. The 6’7” German is shooting an exceptional 62% inside the arc and a respectable 35% from behind the three-point line. Like Chartouny, Sengfelder is a smart player who plays within himself – meaning he rarely turns the ball over and basically just takes wide-open threes. Freshman Chuba Ohams joins Sengfelder as Fordham’s other starting forward. He’s a good athlete who chose to play in the Bronx, choosing the Rams over VCU, DePaul, Rutgers and Providence.
The rest of the starting lineup is filled out by junior Antwoine Anderson and graduate transfer Javontae Hawkins. Anderson is scoring eleven points a game; he’s a volume scorer and one of the Rams’ better defensive players. Hawkins transferred in from Eastern Kentucky and came to Rose Hill locked and loaded. He leads Fordham in scoring, averaging just over fourteen points per contest. Although not a consistent shooter, Hawkins is aggressive and routinely gets to the charity stripe. Hawkins, a 6’5” wing, leads the Rams in rebounding, pulling down 5.2 boards a game.
Will Tavares and Prokop Slanina are Neubauer’s top reserves. Tavares transferred into the program as a JUCO, a 6’6” wing who can knock down shots from the perimeter. Slanina, a 6’10” forward from the Czech Republic, is a solid rebounder and shot-blocker. The Rams have been hit by the injury bug this season, so there’s no telling who Neubauer will turn to for additional minutes against Dayton. Regardless, they will be pretty shitty.
A quick perusal of Fordham’s numbers shows a very below average team, but tweets deem they could contend for the league title. If VCU wins out, Fordham is crowned champion due to their win over VCU. At least that’s what people in Richmond tell me. Back in the real world where 1+1=2, Fordham is just another land mine on the path to Pittsburgh.
Fordham’s offense is terrible, not quite Saint Louis appalling, but pretty darn bad. They shoot free throws at a decent clip, almost 75%, and jack a lot of threes. I’m guessing because they’re subpar at basketball and don’t get good shots. Further proof? They’re in the bottom 50 in offensive possession length and criminally poor from behind the arc (32%), I’m declaring my theory as fact.
On the defensive side of the ball the Rams are average, ranking 121st in defensive efficiency. However, this is mostly due to the fact that the Rams are exceptional at causing turnovers and shitty at everything else. That’s good news for everyone not named Sam Miller and John Crosby. Wait, the second guy is our backup point guard? Ok, just limit him to like ten minutes. Don’t come out flat, disinterested and throw the ball away every third possession and the Flyers should leave the Bronx with a W.
Tonight will be the 34th time these two programs link up for a sporting game of basketball. The Flyers of Dayton hold a distinct advantage in the series, a 28-5 record against the Rams of Fordham. UD has won the past 12 matchups and I can’t see how Neubauer’s squad prevents loss number thirteen.
Flyers win 71-62. Charles Cooke gets back in the black, leading all scorers with 21 points. Scoochie plays his last game in front of his hometown crowd and doesn’t disappoint — 16 points, 7 assists. Remember when Dayton beat a horrible Duquesne team two and a half weeks ago? Yeah, they’re back, facing the Flyers in the Gem City on Saturday afternoon. Gotta avoid these landmines, God bless you people going to these games.