Returning Seniors Look to Lead Rams to Postseason


Published: November 8, 2007

On a team with five returning seniors, two of which who have been named preseason All Atlantic 10 picks, the Fordham University Rams 2007-08 men’s basketball team looks to improve on last year’s success by receiving an invitation to a postseason tournament.

Head coach Dereck Whittenburg, who is entering his fifth season at Fordham, has completely turned the men’s basketball program around from when the team consistently placed in the bottom of the Atlantic 10. The team’s record of 18-12 last year, including a conference record of 10-6, was the best the school had achieved in 15 years.

“The graduating seniors deserve a lot of the credit,” Whittenburg said. “It was a losing program when they came in, but they have made us proud both on and off the court.”

Forward Bryant Dunston, FCRH ’08 (14.5 points per game), and guard Marcus Stout, FCRH ’08, (15.3 points per game) lead the senior-laden team with their nominations as preseason All Atlantic 10 selections.

As a force in the low post with a team leading 71 blocks and the team leader in rebounds, Dunston will give the team an offensive presence while protecting the team under the basket on defense at the same time.

Stout comes into his final year ranked 13th on the all-time scoring list at Fordham.  His offensive prowess is equally matched by his defensive skill, as Stout was the Rams’ leader in steals last season with a total of 79 while finishing second on the squad in assists.

Also returning to the starting lineup are forward Michael Binns, CBA ’08, point guard Kevin Anderson, CBA ’08, and forward Sebastian Greene, FCRH ’08.

Anderson has run the Rams’ offense efficiently for the past three years and was the team leader in assists (121) and assist-to-turnover ratio (2.4) last season.

In their quest to reach a post-season tournament, the Rams know where they’ll need to excel. “It’s common knowledge that defense wins championships in basketball,” Whittenburg said.  The Rams look to build on their success from last season, when the team was ranked number one in defense in the Atlantic 10, holding opponents to 64.2 points per game.

While the Rams have proven themselves to be a defensive force, they must improve offensive production this season. In their conference, the Rams ranked near the bottom in points scored per game.

Aiding the veterans, the Rams will draw from their young talent to contribute off the bench.  Herb Tanner, FCRH ’10, who joined the team late last year in the spring semester, saw plenty of court time last season. He has already been described as “vastly improved” by Whittenburg upon entering this upcoming season.

Another sophomore who saw significant court time last year was Brenton Butler, FCRH ’10. Whittenburg expects Butler to become another scoring threat for the Rams.

In addition to Tanner and Butler, the Rams will add freshman guard Mike Moore, FCRH ’11, to the rotation.  Moore comes to the Rams as a two time All-State selection and Player of the Year winner from Connecticut.

With a team that is strong in leadership and committed to defense, the Rams can expect to place well in the conference and maybe even receive an invite to a post-season tournament. Whittenburg believes the program is ahead of schedule, but will only get better because of his seniors’ contribution and determination to turn the program around.

“Our goal every year is to do better than we did the last year…We have a great chance to go to the NCAA tournament this year,”  Whittenburg said.