Fordham University Announces 2012-13 Men's Basketball Schedule
The 2012-13 Fordham University men's basketball schedule was released today and it features non-conference contests at New York City's Most Famous Arena (Madison Square Garden) as well as one at the city's newest arena (Barclays Center), games against schools from the BIG EAST, the Atlantic Coast Conference and the Southeastern Conference, an appearance in the Preseason NIT, and a visit from the newest Atlantic 10 member, Butler University, to the Rose Hill Gym.
"This is one of the toughest non-conference schedules I've ever played," said Fordham head coach Tom Pecora. "We'll face quite a few difficult non-conference opponents with most of those games on the road. Hopefully that will prepare us for the Atlantic 10 schedule which was made even more challenging with the addition of Butler and VCU. The Atlantic 10 is truly one of the top basketball leagues in the country."
The 2012-13 Fordham schedule includes 16 schools that played in the postseason last year, including eight NCAA participants. Atlantic 10 opponents who advanced to the NCAA tournament last year include Saint Louis, St. Bonaventure, Temple, VCU and Xavier while Connecticut, Harvard and Lehigh also appeared in last year's tournament. Dayton, La Salle, Massachusetts, Mississippi and Saint Joseph's all played in the 2012 postseason NIT tournament while Butler and Princeton appeared in the 2012 CBI tournament and Manhattan was in last year's CIT tournament.
The Rams will open the 2012-13 season by traveling to San Marco, Texas, as they face the Texas State Bobcats on Friday night, November 9th. It will be Fordham's first visit to the Lone Star State since a game at Texas A&M in 2006.
Fordham will then compete in the Preseason NIT with a first round game either on Monday or Tuesday, November 12th or 13th, and the consolation/championship game for the pod will occur on either Tuesday or Wednesday, November 13th or 14th. Pairings for eth Preseason NIT have not yet been announced.
The Rams' next game will depend on their success in the first round of the Preseason NIT. If Fordham wins the pod, the Rams will play at Madison Square Garden on Wednesday, November 21st in the Preseason NIT semifinals and then play in either the championship or consolation game on Friday, November 23rd. Should the Rams not win the pod, they will play in a consolation pod on Monday and Tuesday, November 19th and 20th at a site to be determined.
On Thursday, November 29th, Fordham will host cross-Bronx rivals, Manhattan College in the annual Battle of the Bronx. It will be the 104th meeting between the Rams and the Jaspers, the most against any opponent for Fordham.
Fordham then takes to the road for its next two games, traveling to Cambridge, Mass., to face Harvard on Saturday, December 1st, and out to Bethlehem, Penn., to take on Lehigh University on Tuesday, December 4th. Both teams won their respective conferences titles last year and advanced to the NCAA Tournament.
The Rams return to New York City on Saturday, December 8th, as they venture into Manhattan to square off with St. John's University in the annual Holiday Festival at Madison Square Garden. It will be the second straight year that Fordham has appeared in the festival.
After a week off for finals, Fordham returns to action in Brooklyn, to face Princeton University on Saturday, December 15th, in the Barclays Center, host to the 2013 Atlantic 10 Championship. The game will be one of three at the arena that day as Michigan will battle West Virginia and St. John's will play St. Francis (NY).
On Friday, December 21st, Fordham will face its second BIG EAST foe as the Rams head up to Storrs, Conn., to take on the University of Connecticut, 2011 NCAA champions, in the first meeting between the two institutions since 1999.
The Rams return to the friendly confines of the Rose Hill Gym to face Siena College on Sunday, December 23rd, before taking a short break for Christmas.
After Christmas, the Rams venture down to Atlanta to tip-off with Georgia Tech out of the ACC on Saturday, December 29th. This will be the second straight year the two teams have met with Fordham upending the Yellow Jackets in the Rose Hill Gym last year.
After hosting the Monmouth College Hawks in the Rose Hill Gym on New Year's Eve day, Fordham will close out its non-conference slate with a trip to Oxford, Miss., to take on the University of Mississippi out of the SEC on Friday, January 4th. It will be the second all-time meeting between Fordham and Mississippi, a 2012 NIT participant, and the Rams' first contest against a SEC team since a preseason NIT game with Tennessee in 2006.
Fordham's Atlantic 10 schedule will open with back-to-back home contests as Duquesne and Massachusetts pay a visit to the Rose Hill Gym on January 9th and 13th, respectively, before the Rams take to the road for games at Charlotte (January 16th) and Dayton (January 23rd).
The end of January will see the Rams back in the Bronx for games with Rhode Island (January 26th) and Saint Joseph's (January 30th), while February will open with Fordham taking its first ever road trip to Virginia Commonwealth.
The Rams will continue play in February with a visit from Saint Louis on the 6th in a game that will be televised by the CBS Sports Network before the Rams travel to La Salle on the 9th and then to Xavier on the 13th.
On February 16th, Butler pays its first visit to the Rose Hill Gym in a game that will be televised live on the CBS Sports Network. The team will then end the month with a trip to George Washington (February 20th) and a home game with Richmond (February 23rd).
Fordham closes out its 2013 Atlantic 10 schedule with a trip to Saint Joseph's on March 2nd, a home game on Senior Day with Temple on March 6th and then a journey to St. Bonaventure on March 9th.
The top 12 teams in the regular season qualify for A-10 Men's Championship from March 14-17, with all 12 teams advancing to Brooklyn for the first round and quarterfinals. Tickets to the 11 games at Barclays Center in Brooklyn are currently on sale through Ticketmaster by visiting www.barclayscenter.com or www.ticketmaster.com, or by calling 800-745-3000.
On the court, head coach Tom Pecora's Rams will be led by senior forward Chris Gaston, a Second Team All-Atlantic 10 and Second Team All-Metropolitan Basketball Writer's selection last year, who led Fordham in both scoring and rebounding for the third straight year, averaging 17.1 ppg and 9.9 rpg. He also recorded 46 blocks (second best in the team), 35 steals (third best on the squad), and 30 assists. Gaston led the Atlantic 10 in rebounding for the third consecutive season, and in offensive (4.0/game) and defensive rebounding (5.9/game). He also ranked fifth in the conference in scoring and seventh in blocked shots (1.6/game).