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You do realize that is a quote from an A10 assistant coach right?

I also would read the quote more carefully. While it isn't well spoken I see the point.

Josh is one of the better writers for the A10. Covers a good bit of mid atlantic teams. Does outstanding work and I know sjuhawk will attest to that.
Highly doubt the assistant coach meant Chris Matthews. Chris Matthews wasn't even that good, and Matthew Wright was who left last year. It was a classic Matthews, Matthew mix up.
 

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Forgot about Dunston. He too was a good big. Is he still playing somewhere?

I will take that to heart, Ace. It is in all good fun, yes, but that could have been better phrased--my bad.
Thanks, I truly appreciate that.

Dunston is currently playing for Olympiacos in Greece. Previous to that he was at Cimberio Varese in Italy which was cool b/c one of their fans found our board (fordhamfans.com) and would give us regular updates. At one point he even offered to send out DVD's of his recordings of Dunston's games. I received one, but my DVD player could not read it.
 

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Thanks, I truly appreciate that.

Dunston is currently playing for Olympiacos in Greece. Previous to that he was at Cimberio Varese in Italy which was cool b/c one of their fans found our board (fordhamfans.com) and would give us regular updates. At one point he even offered to send out DVD's of his recordings of Dunston's games. I received one, but my DVD player could not read it.
You sure have been getting props this week and now you are calming Philadelphians. You are like a basketball whisperer.
 

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Gosh. I really want Fordham to get good (just don't beat the Bonnies, if you please). I remember the Solomon years for Bona and how old the constant message board jabs became.
 

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Thanks guys, I appreciate the good wishes for my program.

I actually am hopeful about this coming season, though my hopes might be a bit minimal compared to that of others. I am looking for a big step forward for Fordham, as I think we have some tools in place and it's just a matter of putting them together.

Two big contributors in my opinion will be 6'6" Eric Paschall who can play either the 3 or the 4 and will present some match-up problems if played at the 3. He would do better at the 3, but I think roster will force him into the 4 more than I would like. I also am (prematurely) a fan of Christian Sengfelder. At 6'7" he will like play exclusively at the 4, but will have the ability to stretch defenses out as he can hit from the outside. Pecora has said he sets picks better than any freshman he has ever coached and normally I would think that a throwaway comment, but Pecora coached Halil Kanacevic as a freshman.
 

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Thanks, I truly appreciate that.

Dunston is currently playing for Olympiacos in Greece. Previous to that he was at Cimberio Varese in Italy which was cool b/c one of their fans found our board (fordhamfans.com) and would give us regular updates. At one point he even offered to send out DVD's of his recordings of Dunston's games. I received one, but my DVD player could not read it.
Damn region encoding, probably.

Death to PAL.
 

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Fordham's biggest problem is still Tom Pecora, imo.

He might be amassing a good bit of talent--I think he is--but his schemes still aren't effectively using the solid bigs he's getting, imo. I don't understand, either, since at Hofstra he had Halil and used him decently IIRC.
 

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UMass walked all over Div II AIC in an exhibition game tonight. A 30 sec clock was used and the score was 120-71. It would have been much higher if the walk-ons did not go in with 5 minutes left. The scoring slowed to a snail pace as the other players tried to set-up the walk-ons.

C.J. Anderson' scored pretty well but seemed a bit lost on defense.

Other new or players with limited action from last year were excellent to very good: Hinds, Coleman, Dyson and Clark. Berger was OK and players with good minutes last year felt TBerg did not shine and played OK along with DG. Trey Davis, Maxie Esho and Cady played excellent.

November is full of games that should challenge and define this team and was very encouraged tonight.



http://www.umassathletics.com/sports/m-baskbl/recaps/103014aaa.html

http://www.gazettenet.com/home/14142290-95/matt-vautour-observations-following-umass-120-71-exhibition-win-over-aic
Would you say they were in mid season form? :p
 

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Fordham's biggest problem is still Tom Pecora, imo.

He might be amassing a good bit of talent--I think he is--but his schemes still aren't effectively using the solid bigs he's getting, imo. I don't understand, either, since at Hofstra he had Halil and used him decently IIRC.
I have heard rumors, though to an extent they have been refuted, that Halil had thoughts of transferring from Hofstra before Pecora got the FU job.

A big chunk of our fan base agrees with you on Pecora, btw.
 

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I have heard rumors, though to an extent they have been refuted, that Halil had thoughts of transferring from Hofstra before Pecora got the FU job.

A big chunk of our fan base agrees with you on Pecora, btw.
I heard the same thing, that Halil was unhappy in Pecora's system because it relied so heavily on the guards and he had a hard time getting touches.

It was kind of funny at the time because Hofstra made a big deal of not letting Chaz or Halil follow Pecora after they announced that they were transferring.

Don't know about Chaz, but from what I understand there was a 0.0 percent chance that Halil wound up at Fordham.
 

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I don't know one way or the other what was or wasn't wanted, all I know is that I've seen Fordham get capable bigs who get stuck in a terrible offense that simply doesn't help the team win.

I also think Fordham has had a disturbing lack of effective wing players. Idk anyone who's been really good at getting to the rim for the Rams in a long time and the lack of a midsized defender has often hurt, imo.
 

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I heard the same thing, that Halil was unhappy in Pecora's system because it relied so heavily on the guards and he had a hard time getting touches.

It was kind of funny at the time because Hofstra made a big deal of not letting Chaz or Halil follow Pecora after they announced that they were transferring.

Don't know about Chaz, but from what I understand there was a 0.0 percent chance that Halil wound up at Fordham.
This article says otherwise and there are others, but I heard from someone at hofstra that he was not happy.

http://www.csnphilly.com/ncaa/halil-kanacevics-unlikely-odyssey-hawk-hill
 

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IMO Fordhams biggest issues with Pecora is that they have been bad on the defensive end of the floor. Fordham was last in PPG allowed and FG% defense. A recipe to finish at the bottom no matter how much offensive talent is there.
 

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Yes, Pecora's teams don't D up too well, but my biggest issue is their offense. WAY too much standing around while one or two guards try to break down a defense off the dribble. I've said it before, but it terrorizes me because it reminds me of Anthony Solomon's offense. Pecora just has way better guards, so it isn't always as glaring.
 

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Pecora got to go in IMO. The guy can recruit but the guy is unbelievably bad at coaching. I put Severe in way too many bad situations for my liking. However, perhaps he is making strides. I hear quite a bit of good news coming from Fordham regarding Paschall. However, some of the freshmen on his roster are NOT A10 level players. Too many projects and Pecora simply can't do it.

However, I commend Fordham fans especially Ace. I know what it's like to be at the bottom and wasn't always as respectably as you when we were there. Remember though every nightmare ends. La Salle can officially close that book this year. If G is about to put up at least 20 wins this season La Salle will have over 80 wins in 4 years which would be the best record for La Salle since the peak of Speedy Morris days in the late 1980s. How likely that is no one can tell you but I have something we both have...hope!
 

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No. 23: Treveon Graham, Senior, Forward, VCU | Score: 7.44

Graham is a power forward (emphasis on power) on track to become the Rams' all-time leading scorer. Though he can shoot the 3, it's his ability to bulldoze the basket -- and opponents' inability to stop him -- that makes Graham the likely Atlantic 10 player of the year.

Jeff Goodman ‏@GoodmanESPN
Top 100 players countdown down to 20-39 with four of the top freshmen included. Link: http://es.pn/1xSD19g
 

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2014-15 College Basketball Preview: All-Defensive teams

Virginia Commonwealth's Briante Weber is key to the Rams' 'Havoc' style of play.

The college hoops offseason is painfully long. But we're almost through it! And now it's time to get ready/informed for 2014-15 with our month-long worth of ample preseason content here at CBSSports.com. We'll be previewing all of the major conferences in addition to giving you a bevy of other features. Today's lookahead examines the best backcourts in America. And be sure to head here for our hub of preseason goodies.

While offensive numbers are responsible for player accolades like All-American honors and scoring titles, it's often defense that wins championships.

Just ask Kevin Ollie's Connecticut team from last season that finished 10th in Ken Pomeroy's adjusted defensive efficiency rating on their way to a national title. The Huskies particularly ratcheted up their defense during the AAC and NCAA Tournaments, giving up only 96.5 points per 100 possessions compared to their regular season defensive average of 100 points per 100 possessions against fellow NCAA Tournament teams.

And it's with Connecticut that we begin, as they were very close to being the only team nationally to have two players make one of our four All-Defense teams, as listed below. Amida Brimah is here, but you'll notice that guard Ryan Boatright is not. Boatright is an excellent defensive player capable of locking up either guard position, but he was our final cut to this list. I promise that I don't hate him. I just felt that some of the other guys were slightly more versatile and capable of guarding bigger players, as opposed to only those in the backcourt. And because of that, Connecticut fans will have to settle for only having two of the 21 defensive players in the country instead of two of the top 20.

Some other notes about the list:

I mostly tried to adhere to positionality, however you'll notice that the middle position vacillates between being a guard spot and a forward spot. I took that as a swing position depending on who I thought deserved to be on what team.
There are so many good defenders in the NCAA. Fifty different players could have taken one of these spots. These are but my picks, and I tried to give you strong, well thought out analysis in order to help you understand what I like about each player. The really hard players for me to leave off included Boatright, Winston Shepard, Jordan Fouse, and Rakeem Christmas.
Freshmen were not considered. It's extremely difficult to gauge how freshmen are going to understand defensive schemes without having seen them play on this level. So my apologies go to Myles Turner, Jahlil Okafor, and Stanley Johnson particularly.
NBA potential was not considered a factor here, but possible collegiate progression this season was.
So without further ado, here are our top four All-Defense teams going into the 2014-15.

First Team All-Defense

Briante Weber

VCU | Guard

Preseason Defensive Player of the Year

To call Weber a great defender is an understatement. Weber is an historically great collegiate defender. He is the linchpin of Shaka Smart's "Havoc," a player with an indefatiguable motor as well as superb quickness that allows him to stay in front of everyone that the opposition can place in front of him. He presses, pests, and annoys offensive players through sheer speed and energy. Those skills alone would be enough to land him on this list somewhere. However, combining them with his incredible hand-eye coordination creates a weapon that is unlike any other in the NCAA, and one that could enter the NCAA's record book come March.

Weber averaged 3.5 steals per game last season, and has averaged nearly five per 40 minutes throughout his career. If Weber can average three steals per game over the 30 games that the VCU has on its schedule currently, that would give him 386 career steals, one more than the 385 that current NCAA career leader John Linehan of Providence has. Given that VCU will also play in currently unscheduled games in the Legends Classic, the Atlantic-10 tournament, and likely the NCAA Tournament afterward, Weber should be able to put some distance between himself and Linehan with any luck. Because of that and because of his sheer defensive skill in Smart's system, he's a perfect pick for our All-Defensive team player of the year.

Tekele Cotton
Wichita State | Guard


The reigning Missouri Valley Conference Defensive Player of the Year, Cotton will combine with Ron Baker and Fred VanVleet to create one of the best backcourts in America this season. Cotton is a defensive bulldog that utilizes his strength and length to push offensive players off of their position. At 6-foot-3 and over 200 pounds, Cotton is one of the more physical defensive guards in America. He epitomizes Wichita coach Gregg Marshall's "play angry" philosophy, and he should help Wichita stay strong despite their frontcourt losses.

Chris Jones
Louisville | Guard


Jones is pure speed and quickness in the backcourt for coach Rick Pitino. Pairing with Russ Smith last season, Louisville's backcourt wreaked havoc on the opposition last season both in the fullcourt press and in the halfcourt. Their pure aggressiveness all over the floor was a joy to watch, and he came away with a five percent steal rate, which was good for eighth in the country last season. Now without Smith around, Jones will have to take on more of a burden himself, as guard Terry Rozier is not quite the defender that Smith was. However, if anyone can do it Jones can with his excellent lateral quickness and hand-eye coordination.

Chris Obekpa
St. John's | Forward / Center


This is America's best pure shot blocker. With a 15.8 percent block rate in each of the last two seasons, Obekpa protects the rim with ease as players both big and small try to finish around the rim. Sporting a near 7-foot-5 wingspan on his 6-foot-9 body, Obekpa's sense of timing on shots near the rim is nearly impeccable. He affects an equal amount of shots as the ones that he actually blocks, and totally shuts down the paint due to his length. But that's not all he does well. Because of his length, he also does a pretty good job on the perimeter as it's pretty difficult to get around him. His feet can be a little bit slow at times and his rebounding leaves something to be desired, but when Obekpa is in the game it's awfully difficult to get a decent shot from within 10 feet of the rim. That makes him extremely valuable, and very worthy of being on this list.

Willie Cauley-Stein
Kentucky | Forward / Center


For my money, Cauley-Stein is the most complete big defender in the NCAA. Yeah, he takes the occassional play off, but when he's engaged it's just about impossible to score on him. As a legitimate 7-footer with the quickness of a wing, Cauley-Stein moves from one side of the paint to the other better than any other player in college basketball. His 12.3 percent block rate was good enough to tie him for 11th in the country last season, and he affects countless other shots simply through his activity. However, where Cauley-Stein sets himself apart is on the perimeter, where he can switch out onto guards with ease and defend them in short spurts until the rest of the defense recovers. He's also a better post defender than the other forward mentioned on this team, and can move players off the block from time to time. The only problem that Cauley-Stein has is as a defensive rebounder, where his 17 percent rebounding rate is a little bit low for an elite player. Still though, Cauley-Stein is nearly a perfect athletic defender.

Second Team All-Defense
G: Kenneth "Speedy" Smith, Louisiana Tech


Speedy Smith is not only one of the best passers in the country -- he is the nation's returning leader in assists per game -- but he's also one of the best backcourt defenders as well. The reigning Conference USA Defensive Player of the Year, Smith led the league in steal rate and was ninth in the country in steals per game. As is often the case with elite perimeter defenders, Smith is an extremely aggressive player who excels both on-ball when staying in front of opposing guards and off-ball when trying to vulture his way into passing lanes to get out in transition. It's also worth mentioning that he picked up a little over three defensive rebounds per game last year, which always helps to start the fastbreak. His play should lead the Bulldogs back to the NCAA Tournament for the first time since 1991.

G: Demarcus Holland, Texas

Holland is listed at 6-foot-2, and was forced into playing the small forward position at times last year for the Longhorns. He guarded everyone from Andrew Wiggins when they played Kansas to Juwan Staten when they played Oklahoma State and West Virginia. There was one common theme about those nights for each of those players: pure frustration. Holland played a large part in holding those two guys below ten points in various games that Texas played against them last year, utilizing his quickness and long arms to make up for his smaller stature. Holland should play a similar role on Texas this season, even though coach Rick Barnes is likely to play more zone as he experiments with a large frontline due to the addition of freshman Myles Turner this offseason.

F: Jordan Mickey, LSU

Instead of making a horrible joke and saying Mickey was so fine as a defensive player last season for the Tigers, I'll just mention some of the excellent skills he has when playing on that end. First and foremost, this was one of the premier rim protectors in the country despite only standing 6-foot-8. His sense of timing is unparalleled in college hoops, and it led to an SEC-leading 3.1 blocks per game last year. He also moves well on the perimeter and showed himself capable of occassionally defending 3s if necessary, as coach Johnny Jones often played a large frontline featuring Mickey, Jarell Martin, and Johnny O'Bryant. But it's the rim protection overall that makes him so valuable. Going into his sophomore season, look for him to improve upon his unspectacular 18 percent defensive rebounding rate now that O'Bryant has vacated Baton Rouge for the friendly confines of Milwaukee.

F: Amida Brimah, Connecticut

The aforementioned Brimah took a large step forward in his development last season. Standing 7-foot tall with arms that basically drag to the floor, Brimah's biggest contribution is obviously as a rim protector. He blocked nearly six shots per 40 minutes, which is insane in and of itself. But he also finished third in the AAC in blocks per game despite only playing 16 minutes per contest, which might be even crazier. Basically, the paint shuts down when Brimah enters the game. He moves really well from side-to-side, and never gives up on plays. He needs to improve on his fouling, as 6.6 per 40 minutes is a few too many for a player that will see a large uptick in minutes this season. However, it wouldn't surprise me to look up at the end of the year and see that he led the nation in blocked shots. However, he'll have competition from Obekpa and the next guy on our list....

F: Mamadou Ndiaye, UC Irvine

Ndiaye is unfairly tall. At 7-foot-6 with a reported 8-foot-3 wingspan, players in the Big West have basically no chance of scoring against Irvine in the paint. The Anteaters were the best team in the nation against two-point field-goals, allowing opposing teams to shoot only 39 percent against them. That is an unreasonably low number, and it all starts with the man in the middle. With a 15 percent block rate, Ndiaye gets his hands on a fair number of shots. However, he affects countless others just due to his sheer presence on the floor. He is also a good rebounder with a 21.5 defensive rebounding rate. Unfortunately, his movement away from the post just isn't quite good enough yet to get him up higher on this list. But if Irvine makes the NCAA Tournament, Ndiaye will cause a lot of problems for just about every team in America.

Third Team All-Defense

G: Shannon Scott, Ohio State

Looming in the shadow of Aaron Craft for the past three seasons, Scott has not gotten nearly the due he deserves for being an incredible defender. He's now a two-time member of the Big Ten's All-Defense team, and Matta utilized him last year to cause problems on-ball for quick guards throughout the conference. Scott finished ninth in the country in steal rate at 4.6 percent, and should continue to cause problems in passing lanes for opposing teams with his strong reactionary skills. With Scott in tow, the Buckeye defense should be able to maintain a strong rating despite losing Craft and another strong perimeter defender in Lenzelle Smith.

G: Norman Powell, UCLA

Powell is pure athleticism, capable of defending three positions on the college level despite his 6-foot-4 stature. The Bruins unleashed Powell on their toughest offensive matchup every night, and more often than not he was able to get the better of it. The athleticism advantage that he holds over almost every other player on the floor allows him to overwhelm and overpower the opposition physically. That combination of physicality and aggressiveness was the main reason for Powell's success on the floor last season. This year, he'll need to step into a heavier offensive role. Hopefully his defense doesn't suffer as a result because there are few players more fun to watch defend than Powell.

G/F: Josh Richardson, Tennessee

Richardson locked up many of the best offensive players in the SEC last season and made life extremely difficult for perimeter players. However, he saved his best performance for the NCAA Tournament, when he was primarily responsible for Iowa guard Devyn Marble's 3-15 performance in the NCAA play-in game and Michigan guard Nik Stauskas's rather ineffectual 14 point performance in the third round. Utilizing a mix of size, length, and excellent lateral quickness, Richardson is able to cause problems both for smaller guards and larger wings. He doesn't force a ton of turnovers, but high-scorers on the other side know that they're in for a rough night if Richardson is on the other end.

F: Branden Dawson, Michigan State

Dawson is probably the most versatile defender in the country, capable of defending any position from 2 through 5 becuase of his length, strength, and activity level. His energy seemingly never quits, and his toughness will be the hallmark of a seemingly less talented Spartan team this year under coach Tom Izzo. He's a power forward in a wing's body, with all of the lateral quickness and length of a wing but the tenacity and interior defensive skill of a power forward. He's capable of pushing players off the block with his strong lower body, and capable of throwing off perimeter players with his strong upper body. Dawson is the ultimate glue guy, and one that Izzo ill enjoy in his final collegiate season.

F: Markus Kennedy, SMU

Kennedy is an active, mobile big man that blocks shots, has active hands in passing lanes, and defends well in the post. Despite being an undersized center moreso than a power forward, Kennedy's play in the middle was the largest reason for SMU's top 20 defense a year ago. He forces turnovers, rebounds extremely well to limit second-chance opportunities, and just generally has a nose for the ball that few have. His basketball IQ is off the charts despite middling athleticism both laterally and vertically. There are still some questions as to whether or not he'll be eligible this season. But if he is, look for him to lead another excellent defense under Larry Brown.

Fourth Team All-Defense

G: Delon Wright, Utah

Tasked with not only being the focal point of Utah's offense last year, Wright was also asked to defend the best perimeter player on the opposing team every night. The coaches in the Pac-12 thought he did an excellent job, voting him to the Pac-12 All-Defense team after last season. One of the reasons for that is that he's really good at forcing turnovers. He led the country in blocked shots among point guards last season at 1.2 per game, plus was top-30 in the country in steal rate at four percent. Taking that in conjunction with the fact that he can guard any position 1 through 3, and you'll find that Wright is an excellent addition to the team.

G: Malcolm Brogdon, Virginia

I'd be remiss to not include someone from Virginia, who finished fifth in the country in adjusted defensive efficiency last season per Ken Pomeroy. Brogdon is a big reason why, and he's likely the best on-ball defender in the ACC. With long arms and pure power, Brogdon overwhelms offensive players who try to attack him. They basically end up being swallowed up and spit out, which leads to defensive rebounding opportunities, where Brogdon also excels as a guard. He may not be the highest leaper like Powell or the quickest athlete like Weber, but Brogdon's pure strength may be unmatched among guards in the country. That, along with his excellent basketball IQ and tenacity leads to him being one of the best defensive guards in America.

F: Rondae Hollis-Jefferson, Arizona

I know that Hollis-Jefferson is a good defender. In fact, he's excellent. He's strong, physical and has a motor that never ends, which leads to him being awesome on-ball. His aggressiveness is fun to watch defensively, and he veritably forces turnovers. However, it's awfully difficult for me to get a read on exactly how valuable he is on that end becuase of how good Aaron Gordon was last season. Gordon legitimately flew around the court, recovering and helping onto just about every player on the floor simultaneously. With a guy like that around -- who, somehow, didn't receive a single vote for the Pac-12's All-Defense team despite the fact that I think he was one of the five best defenders in the country -- it's really difficult to put an official rating on the players he plays with. Hollis-Jefferson might be a better defender than this ranking. But for now, I've safely slotted him here.

F: Shaq Goodwin, Memphis

Another player that excels at forcing turnovers, Goodwin averaged over three blocks plus steals per game. His activity level on that end both in passing lanes and on-ball is high, and his combination of high-end athleticism and strength make it tough on opposing offensive players. It's fair to say that Goodwin will occassionally fall asleep and get burnt off ball, but his ability to force turnovers and make things happen on that end is so valuable that I don't think I could possibly keep him off of this list.

F: Nnanna Egwu, Illinois

Egwu was the chief reason for Illinois' elite defense last season, despite not making the Big Ten's All-Defense team. His movement on the perimeter is the best part of his game -- especially in the pick-and-roll -- and it legitimately affects the way that other teams can run their offense against Illinois. At 6-foot-11, he's also a strong post defender that doesn't allow people to get deep on the block against him. Plus, he's a solid rim protector that finished second in the Big Ten in blocked shots. Overall, Egwu is a really hard worker and a complete defensive player that could make the leap as the Big Ten's Defensive Player of the Year if the Illini can get past Tracy Abrams' injury and get into the NCAA Tournament.

http://www.cbssports.com/collegebasketball/eye-on-college-basketball/24781369/-15-college-basketball-preview-all-defensive-teams
 
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