Fordham Men’s Basketball’s New Attitude for 2022-23


Men’s Basketball is looking to build upon their success from last season and keep the ball rolling forward. (Courtesy of Twitter)

Fordham Men’s Basketball has been an albatross since joining the Atlantic 10 (A-10), but they defied odds last year. The Rams saw one of their best players, Antonio Daye Jr., leave midseason and former head coach Kyle Neptune assume command at Villanova University after the retirement of Jay Wright.

Now it is head coach Keith Urgo’s turn to lead Fordham. He comes in with a marvelous track record as an assistant coach under multiple winning coaches in the Big East and Big Ten conferences in Wright and Pat Chambers at Pennsylvania State University. He returns most of the pieces from last year, with a few new additions.

Chuba Ohams, one of the nation’s leading rebounders, and Josh Colon-Navarro both graduated. Kam’ron Cunningham, Jalen Cobb and Ahmad Harrison all transferred to new schools. This year, continuity will be king in the A-10 Conference and Fordham retained their veterans.

Graduate student guard Darius Quisenberry returns for his final year of college eligibility. Last season, he threw up 16.2 points per contest while battling various ailments. He played sparingly in the A-10 tournament last March and does have injury history, but the preseason all-league selection is ready to roll.

Junior swingman Antrell Charlton returns following a season in which he logged 1,062 minutes, the most on the team. He will once again be in his role as the team’s defensive leader and point man. He led the team last year in assists (113) and steals (56) and will look to do so again. He was also second on the team in rebounds, grabbing 5.4 boards per game.

Senior wing Kyle Rose was an unsung hero last year as a two way threat. His big three-pointer against George Mason University on Feb. 22 was his signature moment, and he will look to improve his scoring output which jumped to 7.5 per game, 2.3 higher than the previous year. Rose’s value as a set shooter is key on a team who struggled with threes last year.

Junior center Abdou Tsimbila looks to fill large shoes left by Ohams as the team’s lead center. Tsimbila started 17 games alongside Ohams, and in the final 11 games the team went 6-5. He was also second last year in blocks (23) and second in offensive rebounds (54). He must avoid foul trouble, as he averaged 2.0 fouls last season.  

Fellow senior center Rostyslav Novitskyi returns to add some offensive juice. Last year, he shot 33% from long range while helping out with rebounding and post defense. Novitskyi flashed  potential in the team’s A-10 quarterfinal game against Davidson, nailing 18 points on 58% shooting. There are more opportunities in the forward rotation this year which could line up perfectly for Novitskyi’s weighty improvement.

The same can be said for sophomores Patrick Kelly and Zach Riley, both of whom entered the equation late. Kelly had a hand injury and didn’t debut until Dec. 9, 2021. He went off in the first A-10 tournament game vs. George Mason by tallying nine points on 3-3 from range. Riley came in the spring semester due to the New Zealand school year calendar, but made strides as a tough guard who adds a shooting touch.

Full off-seasons have been key for late bloomers and injury riddled players. Over 50% of the team’s production returns, a welcomed sight for Urgo. This will also help once the new Rams adjust as they enter A-10 play come December. 

Some of the best talent the program has seen in years has entered the equation. Fordham typically concocts high level two-star players and lower end three-star players who would grow during their four years. This class, however, has significantly raised the Fordham recruiting profile.

The first freshman to sign was point guard Will Richardson from Bergen Catholic High School in Oradell, N.J. Richardson is the highest rated Fordham recruit since Jio Fontan who arrived in 2008, coming in as the all time leading scorer at Bergen Catholic and a New Jersey State Interscholastic Athletic Association (NJSIAA) Group Tournament, Non-Public A, state champion.

Richardson is a complete point guard: finishing, passing and a commitment to defense should serve both parties very well. But one thing he knows is creating shots from the perimeter and getting into driving lanes, traits Fordham lacked last year and became apparent in the A-10 tournament when Davidson exposed the team’s weaknesses. 

Once the season ended, Fordham announced their second recruit in Romad Dean; a wiry, 6’7” forward from Canada by way of the Bahamas. In an interview with, Dean claimed he once grabbed 55 rebounds in a single game. His freak athleticism will serve him well as a shot blocker, cutter and the high flying antics will entertain all fans.

The third recruit came in April, when it was announced that the Rams had landed Angel Montas, a highly sought after guard from the Dominican Republic. 

Montas played his Amateur Athletic Union (AAU) basketball with SOH Elite based in Florida. He averaged 34.3 points, 8.4 rebounds, 3.4 steals and 2.7 assists per game as a senior. Montas was also a Sunshine Independent Athletic Association first-team selection.

Montas, like Richardson, adds an off-the-dribble game and another scoring option for the Rams. His 6’5,” 228 pound frame makes him a handful when he goes downhill and will create easy three point opportunities.

The transfer portal has allowed Fordham to inherit a graduate student; former Georgia Tech forward and Briarwood native, Khalid Moore

Standing at 6’7”, Moore will serve as Fordham’s defensive specialist and another leader for the younger group. He willingly does the dirty work to help the team rather than piling his individual stats. Given the current makeup of the roster, having Moore is essential.

In May, Fordham landed their fourth true freshman: combo guard Noah Best from Mount Saint Michael Academy in the Bronx. The local product chose Fordham over the likes of the University of Illinois, Manhattan College, Rutgers University, Saint Peter’s University and Quinnipiac University. 

Best’s greatest tool, his three point shooting, is something the Rams will covet. They were ranked last in the A-10 last year in team three point percentage (.297%) on the fourth most attempts (25 per game). Though he may play sparingly, the Rams will ride whoever has the hot hand.

The team added a fifth freshman in June when they announced Elijah Gray. He posted averages of 17.1 points, 8.2 rebounds, 1.4 steals and 1.1 blocks on 58% shooting in his senior year at Hargrave Military Academy. 

Gray was a two star recruit as graded by most of the recruiting services, but has been impressive in practices. He’s light on his feet, powerful in the post and defends at a high level with the rebounding to go along with it. 

The team believes the momentum can continue rolling forward with Urgo in charge, who added former George Mason head coach Dave Paulsen as an assistant to help bolster the team’s offensive schemes. 

Fordham’s pedestrian offense must improve from last year, plain and simple. Players such as Quisenberry, Kelly, Riley, Rose, Best and Novistkyi need to add volume while being efficient from distance. 

The out-of-conference schedule is a point of emphasis for this program due to the weakness of it year in and year out, and that hasn’t changed this season very much. 

The team opens up at home against Dartmouth College on Nov. 7 before hitting the road to face the University of Arkansas Razorbacks, a potential final four team following a very successful elite eight run last year. 

Fordham will travel for a second time against Tulane University down in New Orleans on Dec. 3, finishing the rest of their non-conference matchups at the Rose Hill Gym. 

The team will also be hosting the Tom Konchalski tournament in honor of the late Tom Konchalski, widely considered the most important scout in basketball. In that tournament, the Rams will play the University of Illinois Chicago, Holy Cross and Stonehill College.  

The non-conference schedule also includes games against Harvard University, Wagner College and Binghamton University before the A-10 opener against Davidson College on Dec.28.

All told, Fordham looks to build upon last season’s success despite the unplanned circumstances they were dealt.