High Expectations for Men’s Basketball Heading Into 2022-23 Season

Rams look to maintain success and improve from last season under updated coaching staff



The Fordham men’s basketball season begins on Nov. 7.


The Fordham men’s basketball season begins on Nov. 7 at the Rose Hill Gymnasium against Dartmouth College, where the Rams will look to continue the success that began last season. Fordham saw remarkable improvement last year under former head coach Kyle Neptune, who has since left to coach the Wildcats at Villanova University. 

The Rams’ 2-12 record and first round exit in the Atlantic 10 (A10) championship in the abbreviated 2020-21 season was improved to a 16-16 record and a quarterfinals appearance this past season under Neptune’s leadership. 

Keith Urgo, who served as Fordham’s associate head coach under Kyle Neptune last season, will be the team’s new head coach this year. He brings over 20 years of coaching experience with him, including 18 years as both assistant coach and associate head coach for Pennsylvania State University as well as five years with the Villanova coaching staff. With this promotion, Urgo, who is already familiar with the Fordham’s system, playstyle and roster, will attempt to further that success and to continue to develop players.

Last year, the Rams were bolstered heavily by their graduate students — namely forward Chuba Ohams, Graduate School of Arts and Sciences (GSAS) ’22, and guard Darius Quisenberry, GSAS ’23. It was Ohams’ final season, and he completed it by averaging over 11 rebounds per game as well as nearly 15 points per game, earning him a spot at the Reese’s Division I College All-Star Game. Quisenberry, who will be returning this season, averaged over 16 points per game as well as a remarkable 35 minutes per game. 

While players such as Ohams may have left, there is still plenty for the Rams to look forward to this year; one of the best recruiting classes in recent Fordham history is making its debut. This includes first-year guard Will Richardson, Fordham College at Rose Hill ’26, from Teaneck, New Jersey. There, he attended Bergen Catholic High School, averaging 19.5 points per game as a senior, and was named New Jersey State player of the year in 2020.

This year, Loyola University Chicago will be joining the A10, becoming the 15th team in the division. Last year, they finished 13-5 in the Missouri Valley Conference and 25-8 overall before being eliminated from the NCAA Division I tournament in the first round as the 10 seed. This season they are ranked fourth in the Atlantic 10 preseason poll while Fordham sits at No. 11. The Rams and the Loyola Ramblers will face each other in Chicago on Feb. 22, 2023.

Throughout the season, Fordham will play in several games to test its new coaching staff and young recruits, both outside and within the A10. Namely, the Rams will be traveling to Fayetteville, Arkansas, to take on the University of Arkansas on Nov. 11 in what will be only their second game of the season. 

This matchup is brutally lopsided, not just due to the difference in ranking but also the sheer difference in competition that the two teams face. Arkansas is ranked 10th in the nation by the Associated Press and reached the Elite Eight in the NCAA tournament last season. Additionally, they play in the Southeastern Conference (SEC), which, despite being known for football, is still a top-tier basketball division. In total, the SEC hosts five different teams, including Arkansas, that are ranked among the top 25 in the nation by the Associated Press. While Fordham’s chances of winning are not necessarily high, this game will provide an excellent opportunity for growth and development by playing a team and coaching staff that, on paper, is clearly superior.

Conference play among the A10 teams does not begin until Dec. 28, when the Rams will host Davidson College, the team that eliminated them last season in the A10 quarterfinal game. The contest will be broadcasted nationally on CBS. Davidson had the best record in the division last season, going 15-3 within it and 27-7 overall. This season, they are ranked sixth in the Atlantic 10 preseason poll and are still led by senior guard Foster Loyer, whose inevitable collision with  Quisenberry will likely once again prove to be must-watch basketball.

Last season was a dramatic step forward for Fordham men’s basketball. They went from a team that struggled to keep up with any of their opponents to a gritty group of players who could hold their ground against even the best teams in their division. This year, while they may not be the number one pick for winning the division, Coach Urgo and the Rams will be on the hunt for something that has eluded them for 15 years: a winning record.

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