Every fall, new student athletes join prestigious universities and try to continue and even expand the legacies of their programs. While the traditional method of reloading players during the offseason is recruiting players directly from high school, the NCAA has seen an increase of transfers over the last several years. Villanova has been victimized but has also benefited from the increase of transfer students. Dylan Ennis decided to take advantage of the increasing popular graduate transfer rule and left for Oregon. While the loss of Ennis was a blow to the depth chart, Nova received assistance for years to come in the form of Eric Paschall.
When Tom Pecora was relieved of his duties as men’s basketball coach at Fordham, Paschall decided to examine the opportunity to attend a different school. Paschall waited until Jeff Neubauer was named as the new coach at Fordham and ultimately decided to transfer to Villanova. While Fordham has not been a basketball powerhouse for some time, Nova fans should be excited about this import from the Bronx school.
Originating from Dobbs Ferry, NY the six-foot-six guard had the size and skill to pummel high school opponents in the metro New York area and, as time went on, drew a lot of attention from college coaches. In 2013, Paschall’s junior season, Paschall was awarded Mr. Basketball for Westchester County.
Only three other players have won that accolade as juniors. They were Elton Brand, Ben Gordon, and Jabarie Hinds.
Paschall made the decision to commit to Fordham before the end of his senior season with many basketball experts stating that Paschall should complete his senior year and then decide which college to attend. While attending St. Thomas More in Oakdale, CT., for his senior season, Paschall imposed his will on the competition and was named the 2014 NEPSAC AAA Player of the Year. Paschall did not change his mind and kept his commitment and matriculated at Fordham University.
Paschall had a successful run as a freshman for the Rams and averaged 15.9 points per game and 5.5 rebounds per game, which lead to Paschall winning another accolade, this time the Atlantic-10 Freshman of the Year award. Unfortunately the Rams were far from successful and were 10-21 overall with a 4-14 record in the Atlantic 10. With the poor overall team performance Pecora was removed from his position and Paschall decided he wanted to take his talents elsewhere.
There is a connection between Pecora and Jay Wright, the current Villanova head basketball coach. While a head coach at Hofstra, Pecora was one of Wright’s assistants and eventual successor when Wright moved to Villanova. It is easy to believe that the pre-existing relationship between Pecora and Wright facilitated the decision made by Paschall. While Paschall does have to sit out the 2015-16 season because of NCAA transfer rules, the young man could potentially be the next beast of the east for Wright and Villanova.
Photo courtesy of The Bench Mob
-(1) Villanova defeats (3) Michigan in the National Championship