Hey! Everybody’s Got A Conference Wi…Oh, Sorry.

Posted by jstevrtc on March 2nd, 2010

We have conference tournaments starting this week, and as of right now there is but a single team in Division I college basketball that has not won a game in its conference:

Yes, the Fordham Rams.  They are 0-14 in the Atlantic 10 this season.  They were 1-15 last year, with that sole win coming in a 67-65 squeaker at St. Bonaventure on January 28, 2009.  Since then — 24 straight conference losses.

To be fair, the Rams weren’t really predicted to improve on last year’s 3-25 (1-15) performance, especially after their best player, sophomore guard Jio Fontan, decided to skip town after five games and head for USC where he’ll be eligible in December 2010.  As a freshman in 2008-09, Fontan led the team in scoring (15.3 PPG) and assists (4.7 APG) and was putting up similar numbers this year.

One bright light for Fordham has been the play of freshman Chris Gaston.  Averaging 18.0 PPG and leading the team with a 44.9 FG%, he’s won or shared multiple Atlantic 10 Freshman of the Week awards so far this year.    That shooting percentage is remarkably good, by the way, since Fordham ranks 344th of 345 D1 teams in that category, shooting 37.7% on the year.  And there is further good news; last month the Fordham Board of Trustees voted to increase the men’s basketball budget, raising it from the very depths into the top third when compared to the hoops budgets of the other A-10 schools.

As for the remainder of this season, they have two games left.  The first is Wednesday night, their final home game of the season against Xavier.  Their last game of the year is a noon tipoff this Friday at Duquesne (the last two teams in the A-10 do not qualify for the post-season tournament).  I wouldn’t get excited — the oracle known as KenPom gives Fordham just a 2% and 4% chance, respectively, to win those games.  Fordham has never suffered a winless conference season as a member of the Atlantic 10, Patriot League, or MAAC, going back almost 30 years.

Eating a conference doughnut isn’t as rare an occurrence in college basketball as you might think.  Last year, DePaul (Big East, 0-18), Air Force (Mountain West, 0-16), and Southeast Missouri (Ohio Valley, 0-18) all pulled it off.  Three teams did it in the 2007-08 season: Rice (CUSA, 0-16), Colorado State (Mountain West, 0-16), and Oregon State (Pac-10, 0-18).  In fact, there have been only three seasons out of the last 20 in which every team won at least one conference game, and those were the consecutive seasons between 2004-2007.  There is some reason for optimism for the future of Fordham basketball, but that statistic will stand, and they’ll be the only winless team in conference play this season unless they can beat the odds and come through in one of their remaining two chances.

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06.19.08 Fast Breaks

Posted by nvr1983 on June 19th, 2008

Along with all the news/hype surrounding decisions on whether or not to enter the NBA Draft, there are other college basketball headlines:

  • Title IX rears its ugly head in a different form than we are used to seeing. The NCAA handed down a 2-year probation sentence to Southeast Missouri. The more interesting thing about it is that it seems like more serious violations came from the women’s program. Are teams really cheating in women’s college basketball?
  • Ten cities have submitted their names for the 2012-2016 Final 4. The list seems pretty standard with the exception of Phoenix (never hosted one before) and Arlington-Dallas-Fort Worth (couldn’t they just pick one?).
  • In news that probably falls under the “Who?” category, Tennessee Volunteer reserve Ryan Childress recently underwent successful knee surgery. We wonder how Bruce Pearl will replace his 2.3 PPG and 2.4 RPG if Childress has to miss any time.
  • Apparently, Georgia Tech head coach Paul Hewitt was quite animated during the most recent Knight Commission. While I agree with some of what he said, I think the point about concerns regarding maintaining eligibility as a reason that many athletes don’t take higher level classes is ridiculous. I don’t think anybody who is taking Theoretical Physics is going to be worried about meeting a minimum GPA. My favorite part of the article is Len Elmore blaming the straight to NBA trend as the reason why the Lebron James has “no mid-range game”. Does anybody think Lebron wouldn’t have just bulldozed his way to the basket if he had stayed in college for 4 years?
  • It’s really too bad that Kansas guard Sherron Collins isn’t going pro – next year could be very difficult for him on the road in the Big 12 after he lost a civil lawsuit for allegedly “exposing himself and rubbing against [a woman] despite being told repeatedly to stop.”  Whattayagot Mizzou?
  • Air Force head man Jeff Reynolds earned a five-year extension today after his scintillating 16-14 first season.  To be fair, last year was one of the best first seasons from a new coach in the history of AFA’s program.
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