Fordham Rams 2018-19 Overview

Last year, the Fordham Rams struggled to find any sort of consistency throughout the season. Mainly due to seemingly endless injury concerns last year, the Rams were sometimes left with a rotation of just 6 guys, which is not something that typically leads to success on the court. Now, with the departure of Joseph Chartouny, as well as a couple other graduates, Fordham’s expectations again are not too high heading into the season. But, as with everything, there is hope, and that hope starts with Prokop Slanina.

Averaging 12.6 points a game last year, Slanina is the only returning player who averaged over double digits for Fordham. With the struggles that Fordham had last year, Slanina was the one constant throughout. If the Rams are going to have success this year, they are going to have to make sure he is involved a lot. His outside range as well as his ability to work in the post were displayed last year, yet still he seems to fly under the radar. If Fordham is going to be successful this year, it starts with the big man Prokop.

While Slanina will be a huge key, Fordham also has a lot of new talent to go along with the returnees. One new face is transfer Antwon Portley, who sat out last season. In his freshman year at Saint Peter’s, Portley averaged 14 points and started all games that year. Portley can definitely be a potent scorer, and it will be exciting to see how he gels with this Fordham team.

Another newcomer to look forward to is Freshman Nick Honor. ESPN had him as a 4 star recruit, and the guard out of Orlando will definitely be looking to make a large impact this year. With a lot of young guards on this team, Portley and Honor will be looked at to head the charge from the guard position.

Slanina will also have plenty of help down low. Chuba Ohams will be returning from his season ending injury a year ago, and David Pekarek will also contribute solid time in the rotation.

And last but not least, the guy that can put everything together, Ivan Raut. Raut has shown that he is one of the best shooters in the A-10… when hot. He can be very inconsistent, but when he is scoring, good things happen. Just take a look at Fordham’s best game of the year last season, the monster win over Duquesne. Raut had a nice 25 in that game. If he can score with consistency, teams better watch out. And oh by the way, he’s just a sophomore.

Overall, while Fordham does have a lot of experience, there is also an equal amount of inexperience. At the end of the day, this team will come down to Slanina and Raut, and how far they can take this team. There is definitely a bright future for this Rams team moving forward, but for this season, we will just have to wait and see.

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    Hugh Shull
  • September 25, 2018
Unfortunately word is Slanina is out for the year due to shoulder surgery. More injury blows. But this new recruiting class shows promise. Honor as mentioned. But also Ty Perry, who poured in 54 points off the bench in one game last year for powerhouse Woodstock, as well as California (Assistant Coach Ali Ton's stomping grounds) big man Onyi Eyisi of Prolific Prep and wing Chris Austin from Pasadena's Maranatha, Jalen Cobb, a fast, wiry guard from Loomis Chafee and Lazar Skoric, a Serbia sharpshooting combo guard.

Ohams and Bunting will have to replace Slanina. Bunting isn't an outside shooter like Prokop, but a very good athlete (Mass high school high jump champ his senior year) who has very good efficiency numbers in limited time. One of Fordham's best games last year, aside from the Duquesne road win, was a win over Manhattan where Slanina didn't play but Bunting went for 12 and 6. He and Chuba have to fill the void.

Another transfer aside from Portley is Erten Gazi from Cyprus and DePaul. More Eastern Europeans from Ali Ton's other pipeline.

More athletes and bodies should help Fordham get back to their high-pressure defensive ways. Fordham ws 3rd in the nation in opponent turnovers per possession in 2017 (West Virginia was 1st, Final 4 team South Carolina 4th). If they can get back to turning team's over, get some asy buckets, and make some 3s for a change (they were atrocious from 3 last year), things will be looking up.

A more consistent Raut, and Honor, Portley and Perry, hopefully can make up for Slanina's rumored absence.