4GuysinBlazers

Fordham Game Preview with Insight from Daly Dose of Hoops

Jaden from DalyDoseofHoops.com was kind enough to lend us some insight into Siena’s next opponent, the Fordham Rams. The Saints and Rams will tip off tomorrow at noon in a game that will be televised on the YES Network.

4GuysinBlazers: Can you give our audience an audience a sense of what kind of player Branden Frazier is?

DalyDoseofHoops: Branden is a point guard playing somewhat out of position, as his style and stats indicate a guard who is much better and easier suited to playing off the ball. That being said, he sometimes tries to do too much, and forces up a lot of bad shots that he normally shouldn’t take. With Chris Gaston having been injured earlier in the year, Branden has assumed the role of Fordham’s leader, and singlehandedly defeated Princeton down the stretch at the Barclays Center last Saturday. He will almost always take any mid-range jumper he can get, but he has a very deceptive drive inside that can catch the Saints off guard at any time.

4GIB: How much of an impact did Chris Gaston’s absence have on the Rams 2-9 start?

DDOH: When he first went down, Fordham actually played better, defeating Penn and almost taking Fairfield to overtime. Once the Rams played bigger and better teams the likes of Harvard, Lehigh and St. John’s, Gaston’s absence became more noticeable. Not having him in the lineup against Manhattan also hurt Fordham down the stretch of that game. When talking to Tom Pecora throughout the year, he has attributed the start primarily to a stronger schedule than he has been used to, but Gaston not being around was definitely a factor, as his presence on the court could easily have turned Fordham into a .500 team going into Sunday’s matchup.

4GIB: Aside from Gaston and Frazier, who else should Saints fans keep an eye on?

DDOH: First and foremost, Ryan Canty. The sophomore forward is Fordham’s tallest player at 6-9, and has benefited the most from Gaston’s injury, getting more minutes and producing to the tune of consecutive double-doubles against St. John’s and Princeton. Canty will likely draw O.D. Anosike at some point in the game, and that should be an intriguing matchup to watch. In addition, Bryan Smith is a factor as well despite his enigmatic tendencies. When the sophomore makes his shots, especially from outside, Fordham usually wins, and when he is held to less than ten points, they’re 6-13 lifetime.

4GIB: How worrisome is the three point shooting of the Rams, and does this project to be a season long struggle?

DDOH: Fordham’s outside shooting causes worry primarily due to the fact that most of the threes the Rams attempt are either contested, ill-advised, or a combination of both. In this instance, Branden Frazier and Jeff Short are the main offenders, as each has done this countless times in every game. I wouldn’t go so far as to call it a season-long struggle yet, but Fordham hasn’t had a consistent stretch from beyond the arc, so it could eventually turn into one if the Rams can’t get it going from long range.

4GIB: Any surprises, positive or negative, in this early part of the schedule?

DDOH: Without a doubt. First off, the number of close games Fordham has played has been impressively high. From the wins against Penn and Princeton, (by two and three points, respectively) to the close losses against Fairfield, Manhattan and even St. John’s, the Rams have been competitive more often than not this season. Their biggest problem is playing a full 40 minutes, something they will continue to struggle with being a young team; but for the most part, they’ve done pretty well. From a negative standpoint, hardly anyone expected them to lose to Texas State in their season opener after handily defeating them at home last year and bringing most of the team back.

A special thanks again to Jaden for taking the time to answer our questions. You can check out his site, A Daly Dose of Hoops here or follow him on twitter here for insight into the Big East and Metro Area hoops.

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