The average Arkansas fan might look at the non-conference men’s basketball schedule in one of two ways.
One point of view is to have the five-star freshmen dangle like sugar plums and not have any worry about what lies ahead. The other, denies that any team should even step on the same court as the Razorbacks, because why play the game?
Both ways, while less stressful, are no fun. Join us as we break down each Arkansas hoops non-conference opponent and what to expect out of each game.
The early parts of the season will be important for head coach Eric Musselman to figure out his rotation and for younger players to get acclimated to the college game. In what we’ll be a multi-part series, we’ll be giving a look at every Arkansas non-conference foe for the upcoming season.
We broke down North Dakota State on Tuesday. We now look at Arkansas’ second opponent of the season — Fordham.
vs. Fordham – Nov. 11
Fordham went 16-16 in 2021-22 and 8-10 in conference play. As a team, the Rams were great at home, but suffered on the road with a 3-9 record.
Three players averaged more than 14 points per game last season, with Darius Quisenberry returning as a senior combo guard. Eight total players who produced for last season’s team return.
66.1 points per game
39.4% field goals and 29.7% 3-pointers
72.7% free throws
-0.2 rebound margin
+0.5 turnover margin
66.8 points per game
42.6% field goals and 31.3% 3-pointers
13.7 turnovers forced per game
Fordham’s best returning player is the aforementioned Quisenberry. He was sixth in the Atlantic 10 in scoring last season, averaging 16.2 points per game to go with 3.8 rebounds. An all-conference player at Youngstown State, he transferred to Fordham prior to last season.
Ukrainian Rostyslav Novitskyi is the tallest on the team at just 6-foot-10. Lacking playing time last year, he averaged just 2.2 points and two rebounds per contest. His role will most certainly increase this season for a team that needs big men to produce.
With seven, the Rams have the most incoming freshmen of any team that Arkansas will see in the non-conference. Former Georgia Tech forward and graduate transfer Khalid Moore is the only newcomer via the transfer portal.
Moore averaged 5.2 points and 3.4 rebounds for the Yellow Jackets last season. Throughout his career, he has compiled 63 starts and will likely be a starter for Fordham this season.
Game Difficulty – 1.5/10
New head man Keith Urgo has his work cut out for him with the second game of his tenure being a trip to Arkansas. While there is a chunk of returning production along with potential All-A-10 guard Quisenberry, there is a lot to be desired.
Freshman guard Will Richardson could be a player to watch. As a top-200 recruit according to the 247Sports Composite rankings, he turned down some big-time offers, including Texas A&M, to play for the Rams. The tallest player on the team is 6-10 and a negative rebound margin a season ago is proof that there is a massive chink in their armor.
The game shouldn’t be an issue when looking at rebound numbers. Balanced production could allow a player no one expects to go off, well, go off. Either way, this is not a scary game for the Razorbacks as they should roll rather easily.
Featured image courtesy of Fordham athletics