Robert Morris head coach Andy Toole, one of the hottest names in the coaching carousel, has decided to remain with the Colonials, the school announced on Friday night.
“We’re thrilled that Andy has decided to remain at RMU,” Robert Morris athletic director Craig Coleman said in a statement. “He has accomplished a great deal with our program, and we have full confidence that he can take our program to even greater heights.”
Toole is 110-66 since taking over the program in 2010. He helped Robert Morris reach the 2015 NCAA Tournament after back-to-back appearances in the NIT the two previous seasons. The Colonials defeated North Florida in the First Four before being eliminated by No. 1 Duke in the Round of 64.
Toole had been in contention for the Fordham vacancy. The Rams parted ways with Tom Pecora after five seasons. Fordham, which hasn’t had a winning record since 2007, actually has some young talent on the roster. However, the Rams’ future took a hit when their top player, Eric Paschall, the Atlantic 10 Rookie of the Year, was granted his release, as he will explore other options.
Tom Pecora has been “relieved of his duties” as the head coach of the Fordham basketball team, the school announced in a release on Wednesday morning.
Pecora was with the program for the past five seasons, but he only managed to put together a 44-106 record during that time, an average of less than nine wins per season. The Rams went 13-69 in the Atlantic 10 during that time.
This season, the Rams were 10-21 overall and 4-14 in Atlantic 10 play, which, ironically enough, was the best season that Pecora has had in the Bronx. There is some young talent in the program — Jon Severe, Eric Paschall, Mandell Thomas — meaning that the cupboard won’t be completely bare for whoever replaces him.
Pecora was at Hofstra for the 16 years prior to taking the job at Fordham.
Fordham sophomore guard Jon Severe returned to practice after a month-long absence on Friday. He will be available for Sunday’s Atlantic 10 opener at home against league-favorite VCU.
“Having Jon Severe back with us at 100 percent will obviously raise our talent level and make us a better basketball team,” Fordham head coach Tom Pecora told Charles Costello, who covers Fordham basketball for Bleacher Report. “The key to the process is Jon feeling comfortable enough to come back and compete on a daily basis.”
Severe was the team’s second leading scorer as a freshman during the 2013-14 season, averaging 17.3 points per game. However, he had a nosedive in his production to begin this season. After missing the first game of the year, the 6-foot-2 Severe played a combined 39 minutes in the next three games for the Rams, scoring a grand total of five points off of 2-for-13 shooting.
On Nov. 29, Severe took a leave of absence from the team for personal reasons. He’s missed the last seven games.
Fordham enters conference play with 5-6 record. Freshman forward Eric Paschall is the team’s leading scorer at the moment at 15.8 points per game.
Fordham will be without sophomore guard Jon Severe for the immediate future as the high-scoring Brooklyn native has left the team for personal reasons.
According to a report from Zach Braziller of the New York Post, Severe is taking a leave of absence from team activities and will remain at the school but not have any involvement with the basketball program. There is currently no timetable for his return.
The 6-foot-2 Severe was an impact scorer as a freshman, as he averaged 17.3 points per game last season. Things changed for Severe this season, however, as he’s struggled mightily whenever he’s seen the floor. After missing the opening game of the season, Severe has only played in 39 minutes in three games for Fordham this season — all losses — and he’s scored a total of five points on 15 percent shooting (2-for-13).
It appears that something is bothering Severe if his production has taken such a dramatic downfall. Hopefully Severe can resolve whatever is going on and return to form because he still has a lot of eligibility left and a bright future after scoring so many points as a freshman.
Without Severe, Fordham will likely continue to struggle, as they’re off to a 1-3 start, with its only win coming against a non-Division I opponent.
For the second time this month, Fordham has landed a 2015 commitment. On Friday afternoon, Joseph Chartouny announced his commitment to the Rams.
“I am proud and grateful to announce that I have officially committed to the Fordham Rams for next season,” he tweeted.
The 6-foot-3 lead guard joins shooting guard Matt Zignorski and power forward Jesse Bunting, who made his decision 12 days ago, in Fordham’s Class of 2015. According to NorthPoleHoops.com, Chartouny is the fifth best prospect in Canada’s Class of 2015, though, those current rankings include Montaque Gill-Caesar and Dillion Brooks, the top two prospects, who have both enrolled early at Missouri and Oregon, respectively. The same scouting service reports that Chartouny held more than a dozen Division I offers from schools ranging from Boston University to Green Bay.
Chartouny plays at Collège Jean-De-Brébeuf in Montreal, the same school current Fordham freshman guard Nemanja Zarkovic. During their time at Jean-De-Brébeuf, the duo formed a high-scoring back court when their team traveled down to New England to take on some of the top prep school teams in the region.
Sunday evening Fordham landed its second verbal commitment in the Class of 2015, as 6-foot-8 forward Jesse Bunting made his decision to join Tom Pecora’s program next season. The news was announced by Expressions Elite coach Tyron Boswell via the AAU program’s Twitter account.
Bunting, a native of Massachusetts, attends Tabor Academy and picked the Rams over offers from Duquesne, Quinnipiac and Saint Joseph’s. Bunting made the move to Tabor from Plymouth North HS in Plymouth, Massachusetts prior to the 2013-14 school year in hopes that the stiffer competition would help him improve his game.
Bunting is Fordham’s second commitment, joining guard Matt Zignorski. The New England Recruiting Report wrote the following about the skill set of Fordham’s latest pledge:
He began his high school career at Plymouth North High School in Massachusetts, averaging 20 points and 11 rebounds per game as a junior before opting to reclassify at Tabor.
He went on to score numerous division I scholarships offers, showing an unusual combination of power and athleticism. Bunting runs the floor, rebounds the ball in traffic, finishes through contact, and has developed into a capable shooter from 12-15 feet.
Fordham has one senior in its 2014-15 front court and that’s center Ryan Canty, who ranked second on the team with 6.2 rebounds per contest in 2013-14. Ryan Rhoomes will have eligibility remaining in 2015-16, as will freshmen Eric Paschall, Christian Sengfelder and Dekeba Battee-Aston.