Flanked by athletic director David Roach and president Rev. Joseph McShane, Jeff Neubauer is introduced as Fordham's 28th head coach. (Photo courtesy of Jaden Daly)
Fordham head coach Jeff Neubauer on the biggest challenge moving into Fordham and the Atlantic 10, and the differences between Fordham and Eastern Kentucky:
"Well, first of all, the biggest challenge is finding the right place to live, alright? So, we're going to figure that out, but what I feel confident in, as far as the basketball, and working with these young men and helping them to improve, we're going to do well. Now as far as the level, there really is not a great difference in level between where I was at Eastern Kentucky and here in the Atlantic 10. There were three programs in the OVC, Belmont, Murray State and Eastern Kentucky, that were competing at an Atlantic 10 level, so I certainly understand the level. I coached at Richmond, including in the Atlantic 10, and I played at La Salle, so I think, level-wise, I'm very comfortable with where we are here at Fordham."
On his time with John Beilein, what he learned from him, and his mentor's knack for player development:
"Yes. I worked for Coach Beilein for eight years, and player development is a huge thing. Like, we did individual workouts with our team last night, and that's directly from John Beilein. When he got the Richmond job, we were on the court that night, and it really sent a message to me as a young coach about what's important. So I think that's the biggest thing, is developing the culture where the guys are gym rats and they're absolutely committed to improvement."
On what he sees in Fordham's current roster:
"Yeah, so, two things: First of all, they are really impressive young men, and so I don't want to say that I was surprised at how impressive they are, but when you're a new coach taking over a new program, you just don't know going in. So these guys really are impressive people, and then secondly, I think they're very hungry. These guys want to be successful, and that's really a good formula for a head coach."
On the youth of the roster laying a foundation for greater things:
"Yeah, I do think there's some things that this group will need to learn, but there are certainly some guys that can be really important to this program for years to come."
On his prospective staff, and what he would look for:
"I don't want to address staffing right now, other than to say I'm really glad that Rodney Crawford is here with me today. He is an absolute superstar as a coach, and he will help our program immediately."
On what he brings specifically that can enhance the Fordham brand:
"I think I can help our team by providing them with answers, and so, let's just talk offense for a second. I think that our teams at Eastern Kentucky have been very successful for a number of reasons, one reason, we have great value for the basketball. Number two, we shoot it really well, and so, we are going to help this group understand how to play maybe a little bit differently than they've played in the past, and I think by coaching them in my style, I think I can help these guys right away."
On exactly what his style implies:
"Our teams, for the last ten years, have been some of the best three-point shooting teams in the country. There were two years at Eastern Kentucky where we were THE best three-point shooting team in the country, where we made ten threes per game, and we shot 40 percent from three. We have great value for the ball, on the defensive end, we play incredibly hard, alright? This year, we were No. 2 in the country in steals, only behind West Virginia, and that's because our guys play incredibly hard at the defensive end."
On recruiting New York:
"Well, I think that's going to be very important to our success. We are going to need to sign very talented young men, and that's especially here in the New York area. Obviously, it's a great resource to have, to be able to be located right here in the city."
His description of the team, in one word: