A NeuEra in The Bronx?

If you’ve watched any Atlantic 10 basketball in the past few years, chances are you haven’t seen Fordham doing much of anything–besides losing.

Since 2010, the Rams went 57-175 under then Head Coach Tom Pecora. At the conclusion of the 2014-2015 season, Pecora was fired.

On March 30th of 2015, the university’s athletic department announced that Jeff Neubauer was to inherit the difficult role of Head Coach. The university did everything they could to get the fans excited about the program and the hiring, a very difficult task. It was during this time that the school adopted the “NeuEra” slogan. The athletic department looked to Jeff Neubauer as an opportunity for a new, winning era of Fordham Basketball after all these years of coming up short.

While Fordham-faithful seemed hopeful for this season, experts did not. Prior to this season, CBS Sports ranked Fordham last in their A-10 preseason rankings. Out of their six analysts, only two chose Fordham to finish somewhere other than dead last.

It was clear that the experts didn’t expect anything to change.

And after losing their season debut to UT-Arlington, it was easy to see why. The Rams looked mediocre at best. While Fordham stuck with the Mavericks, it was hard to feel anything other than the familiar feeling of disappointment that came along with losing. Fans couldn’t help but considering the possibility that this season could be just another unsuccessful one, just like seasons past.

But much has changed since that loss to UT-Arlington. The Rams have lost just three games.

What once looked like a bad loss to UT-Arlington, got a little easier to swallow. The Mavericks went on to beat Ohio State, Memphis, and fell just short of shocking Shaka Smart and the Longhorns. Currently sitting at 11-2, maybe Fordham’s loss to the Mavericks wasn’t so bad after all.

After losing their season debut, they went on to win nine consecutive games, including a win over NYC rival St. John’s. Considering the record season the Rams were on pace for, fans quickly became believers in Jeff Neubauer. The “NeuEra” seemed to be a real thing in the Bronx. Fordham basketball was finally something to be proud of, and Coach Neubauer was responsible.

Fortunately, the other two losses weren’t bad either. Their winning streak ended when they lost to Boston College 64-55 in a game that was much closer than the final score suggests. While the team struggled to find the basket, they stuck with BC for most of the game. The result wasn’t ideal however the team again showed significant improvement from years past.

Their third and most recent loss came at the opening of conference play. The Rams were defeated by George Washington by a score of 69-63. Despite the loss, Fordham again played at a level that was previously unfamiliar. Yet again the Rams showed much promise despite losing.

While the Rams currently sit on a two game losing streak, it’s hard to overlook their success this season. Fordham fans are thrilled as the team sits at 9-3.

As the season continues, it should be interesting to see if Fordham’s success does too. Only time will tell if this is truly a “NeuEra” of Fordham basketball. But considering the team is just one win shy of their overall wins last season, there is already some evidence to support that the Neubauer Era is one you should invest in.

With conference play presents comes new challenges but the excitement in the Bronx is at great heights so far this season. Fordham fans are eagerly awaiting what’s next for this program under their new coach. We can only wait and see what the future holds for this team, but considering their achievements thus far under Coach Neubauer, the future’s looking bright.

Coach Neubauer looks to continue the success tonight as the Rams take on his alma mater, La Salle.

Grant Labedz is a college basketball superfan who loves the entire sport but definitely has favorites in the A-10 and the Big Ten. He has written for ...
  • johanschmidt
  • January 6, 2016
NeuEra indeed. One of the worst, most inept D1 programs of this century (and before) is showing real signs of life. Neubauer is to be applauded for the job he has done so far at Fordham.
I couldn't agree more. It should be interesting to see how the team does in conference play.