By Carlos De Jesus IV
Coach Jeff Neubauer summed up Fordham’s 75-52 home beating by Dayton Saturday at Rose Hill with his usual blatant assessment.
“Dayton were just so overwhelming”
His response to being asked why, after 6 of their last 7 games went down to the wire, were his Rams routed by over 20 points. “They are one of the most talented teams in the league” Neubauer said “and tonight they played like it.”
It has been an abysmal start to 2019 for Fordham, with a winless January and no conference success, the Rams are racing for the A-10 basement alongside struggling U-Mass.
“At this very moment the word is frustration” Coach Neubauer said of his team’s struggles “it is frustrating to not be able to compete the way we want to compete.” A visit by Dayton’s imposing front court only compounded the frustration, exposing a young Fordham core still in search of consistency.
“Cunningham and Toppin are two of the most efficient players in basketball” Neubauer said of the Dayton duo “they only take shots that they are going to make.”
Something Fordham’s freshman have been trying to replicate themselves this season, with a bad habit of vanishing for long stretches starting to take their toll. “Feels a little bit like Onyi has hit a wall” coach Neubauer said of freshmen forward Onyi Eyisi “he played so well for a couple games but hasn’t been himself recently”
Six points in his last 79 minutes proves Eyisi has indeed hit a bit of a roadblock, but he is not alone. Freshmen guard Nick Honor was the epitome of frustration tonight with zero points in the first half, shooting only 31% during the Ram’s losing streak.
“In general Nick’s confidence is really high and always will be” Neubauer said “but he is just feeling his way through like many guys in the locker-room.”
Despite recent struggles this team seems united and committed throughout, whether on a winning streak or a losing one. “Our coaches feel the same in that you cannot differentiate between who is more bought in” Neubauer said “because every guy in that locker-room is trying his tail off.”
“Today’s game is an aberration; we have lost seven games this year by one possession.” Neubauer said “but when you are struggling to score and to stop the other team you feel helpless.”
Neubauer and his Rams will look to shake that helpless feeling and finally get on the board for 2019, as they visit George Washington on Wednesday night.
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