“Tonight I’m going to party like it’s 1999.…”: The words from Prince (or the "artist formerly known as Prince") hit the airwaves in 1983. Back in those days, things were rosy (pardon the pun) at Rose Hill. Postseason tournaments, conference contention and the house rocking were the norm.
Since then, times have been tough to say the least. Tom Pecora has been entrusted as the latest ’savior’ to right the fortunes at the Jesuit school.
On Saturday, we received a little reminder of the days of old and how special they were. Rhode Island, led by Danny Hurley, currently doing some rebuilding as well, was the opposition. The Rose Hill Gym was packed. Granted visiting Rhode Island travels well but the home crowd was out in force. The intensity was high and noted personalities of the past as former mentor Tom Penders, took it all in.
The Rams, of Fordham, emerged victorious. Packed locales do not get stops or execute ball screens. They CAN however, be an important step on the way to rebuilding. By coming out in support, there is proof the fans care.
There is no guarantee things will turn around at the Atlantic Ten school. But for one day, Fordham faithful got a reminder of the past and a glimpse plus some hope for a promising future.
The much-criticized Rose Hill Gym, always a fine photographic subject:
The heightened intensity of guard play stood out here as Rhode Island's Xavier Munford was matched up with Fordham's Jermaine Myers:
Fordham's cheerleaders were also out in full force:
The Hurleys (Rhode Island head coach Dan on the left with his back to the camera, and his older brother Bobby, Rhode Island's associate head coach on the right) question an official during one of many instances on the day:
Saturday's game drew an impressive crowd of 3,014, the largest attendance figure at Rose Hill this season:
Finally, Rhode Island swingman Nikola Malesevic concentrates at the free throw line: