Tom Pecora and Fordham face uphill battle to begin Atlantic 10 season. (Photo courtesy of the New York Daily News)
Last month, we revealed Fordham's nonconference schedule, the first half of our two-part preview that also included our annual preseason conversation with head coach Tom Pecora.
Now that we finally have a free moment or two, we can break down the second piece of the Rams' ledger. Fordham's Atlantic 10 schedule is, to steal a line from Billy Joel, frequently kind and suddenly cruel, the latter perhaps more noticeable from the onset.
The Rams begin conference play on January 4 by hosting league favorite VCU, also starting a stretch of three games in seven days that continues at Rhode Island on January 7 and ends at the Rose Hill Gym with reigning Elite Eight participant Dayton on January 10. It does not get any easier for Fordham, who goes through Philadelphia to take on Saint Joseph's on January 14 and La Salle three days later, only to return home to host likely NCAA Tournament team George Washington on January 22.
The George Washington game starts a run of four out of five home games for the Rams, who also host Rhode Island on January 28 before a February 1 jaunt to Dayton, which will be followed by back-to-back contests at Rose Hill against UMass on February 4 and Saint Louis on February 7. A February 11 journey to Richmond will take Fordham into a home date with Saint Joseph's on February 15, with a two-game road swing on deck against George Mason on February 18 and A-10 newcomer Davidson on February 21.
Up next for the Rams will be La Salle on February 25 at Rose Hill, with a return trip to UMass; one Fordham hopes will not be reminiscent of last season's 90-52 debacle, coming on February 28 before senior night against Duquesne on March 4 and a trip to St. Bonaventure on March 7 close out the regular season.