Neubauer says everyone is buying in. Here’s what he really means
by Jack Archambault
The Fordham men’s basketball team finally won a conference game. No, I’m not lying. After starting off 0-8 in Atlantic 10 play, the Rams posted an 85-67 drubbing of UMass on February 6.
But don’t let that fool you.
Fordham basketball is still an irredeemable, soul-crushing dumpster fire. Going to a game is an exercise in self-hatred. Even free t-shirts can’t change the fact that watching the Rams play something resembling basketball is nothing more or less than ritualistic torture.
At the center of it all is head coach Jeff Neubauer, a man who, for my best guess, goes temporarily blind during the first and second halves of every game. After a particularly brutal 75-52 loss to Dayton on January 26, Neubauer held his typical postgame press conference. As a public representative of the University, he had to maintain some semblance of decorum. I don’t. Here are the answers he wanted to give.
Q: “Coach, did you feel like you were prepared to deal with a player like [Dayton forward Obi] Toppin?”
JN: God, no. To tell you the truth, I didn’t even know who Obi Toppin was before today. I usually take the first 15 minutes of every game to do all the scouting I didn’t do beforehand. That’s why until almost halftime it always looks like our guys have never played a game of basketball before. It’s not on them, it’s on me…. but it’s mostly on them.
Q: “What’s been the hardest thing about this losing streak?”
JN: Uhhh, probably all the losing?
Q: “What’s the biggest thing you’ve learned about your team during this losing streak?”
JN: That we’re not very good and we lose a lot. As the saying goes, “You win some, you lose some, but you can’t win ‘em all.” In our case, we can’t win any.
Q: “Chuba [Ohams] looked really good today. What has he been doing in the past few weeks to improve?”
JN: He’s been doing the exact opposite of everything I tell him. Call it the Neubauer Plan. I guess he finally realized that every instinct I’ve ever had has been wrong, so he’s just doing the opposite. Probably a good call.
Q: “What are you looking for from [freshman guard] Ty Perry? Is it simply a matter of shooting the ball more consistently?”
JN: Ty Perry is a master of the Jeff Neubauer offense. He hovers around the three-point line, swings the ball aimlessly around the perimeter, and shoots contested threes with the shot clock winding down. You can’t teach those intangibles. That’s my kind of player.
Q: “Coach, where is [freshman guard] Nick Honor’s confidence right now?”
JN: I think Nick has been playing very well. Like I said about Ty just now, he’s running my system to perfection. Missed shots, forced drives, I love it.
Q: “Dayton had a 32-point advantage in the paint. What was the difference between their big men and yours?”
JN: Theirs played better. I’ve got news for you, Christian Sengfelder isn’t walking through that door. I wish I could reference a better player than Christian Sengfelder, but this is Fordham, and he’s the closest thing I’ve ever seen to Larry Bird.
Q: “What challenges lie ahead for this team in the coming weeks?”
JN: Probably looking for employment mostly. I’ll start firing up my resume, too. I might still be qualified to coach a CYO team. Or maybe not. I guess I could always coach the football team. The qualifications don’t seem to be too high.
Q: “Any big train rides planned during spring break?”
Okay, I made that one up.