Oh boy. We’re finally here. After months of rampant speculation, Fordham seems to have finally made a decision in their head coach by naming Villanova Assistant Coach Kyle Neptune as Head Men’s Basketball Coach this morning. Overall, this is an amazing hire, as Neptune has shown in his time at Nova that he’s got what it takes to lead a program to success.
A Studded Resume
Neptune already enters the Fordham job with a decent amount of titles under his belt. Under Head Coach Jay Wright, Neptune has been a part of two National Championship teams, as well as 4 Big East Tournament and 7 Big East Regular Season Championships. Neptune knows the value of winning, and that level of experience at just age 35 should be huge for the program both on the court and in recruiting. While Neptune is back to square one, he knows what a winning team looks like, and will try to remold the Rams into his vision as best as he can.
A New York Guy
While not the biggest difference maker in a hire like this, Neptune being a native of Brooklyn can only do good for the program in terms of recruiting. New York high school basketball is a world of it’s own, and it takes a certain level of experience to be able to navigate some of it’s top recruits, so having a guy from the city will do wonders in bringing in some solid talent from around the Five Boroughs, especially the Bronx. Over the past few years, Fordham has been missing out on some top Bronx recruits, not only to bigger programs like Duke, St. John’s, and Ohio State, but even to other Atlantic 10 schools like Dayton.
Jay Wright listed Neptune’s ability to communicate and form a relationship with his young players as one of his biggest strengths. While the team won’t completely turn around next season, Neptune can definitely start laying the groundwork of getting some solid New York based talent to Fordham.
Some Patented Nova Intensity
While recruiting should see some improvements due to the Neptune hire, his on-the-court knowledge should not be underestimated. Under Jay Wright, Neptune helped orchestrate several offensive schemes that made Nova one of the more efficient scoring schools in the country. One of the biggest strategies that allowed that to happen was Wright’s use of the “4-Out, 1-In” scheme, in which four players are spaced out beyond the arc and ready to take a three-pointer. This scheme allowed Nova to set the record for most threes made in a season in 2018, and while Fordham will need to develop competent shooters for something like this to work, but given time, Neptune could make it work. Fordham’ scoring has been towards the bottom nationally in recent years, and developing some high-volume shooters would be a major improvement.