In Sixth Year at Drexel, Fouch is Polar Opposite of the Diaper Dandies | Zagsblog
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Tuesday / December 6.
  • In Sixth Year at Drexel, Fouch is Polar Opposite of the Diaper Dandies

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    NEW YORK — If there is one player here this week who is the polar opposite of super-frosh Jabari Parker and Aaron Gordon, it might just be Drexel’s Chris Fouch.

    When Fouch began his college career — back in 2008 — Parker and Gordon were still in junior high school.

    Now, the 6-foot-2 Fouch is a graduate student in his sixth year of college eligibility because of ankle, shoulder and ACL injuries during his career. He seems a grizzled veteran compared to the rookies, Parker from Duke and Gordon from Arizona.

    While Parker and Gordon were making their Garden debuts Wednesday in the Preseason NIT, Fouch, a Bronx native, was appearing here for the sixth time.

    And he didn’t seem at all awed by the surroundings.

    For a while, it looked like Fouch and the Dragons would upset the No. 4 Wildcats, as they took a 19-point first-half lead before falling, 66-62. Drexel is still seeking its first program-win over a Top-10 team.

    “We felt like we can compete with anybody in this country,” Fouch said after putting up 29 points on 11-for-27 shooting. “And they must have came out thinking that we wasn’t going to be that good, so we  kind of punched them right in they face and we just wanted to keep it on. We knew that they was going to throw their punches and come back but we just tried to keep the pressure on them throughout the game.”

    Arizona assistant Book Richardson, Fouch’s former AAU coach with the New York Gauchos, was the scout on this one, and he said they didn’t take Fouch and his teammates lightly at all.

    “He’s the most under-rated and under-valued kid I’ve been around ever,” Richardson told SNY.tv.

    “You look at the teams he’s been involved with, he’s won at every level. You start looking at the daggers that he’s put into teams, he almost did it to us.”

    Fouch had said on Tuesday that he wasn’t awed or impressed by the super-frosh Gordon (10 points, 13 rebounds) or Parker because he has something they do not.

    “Oh, man, they ain’t been through what I’ve been through yet,” Fouch said. “I feel like I got a lot of experience while those guys are still learning so I feel like I got an upper hand on guys like that.”

    Fouch, who entered averaging a team-best 17.3 points per game, has experience, alright.

    He dates back to the now-shuttered Rice High School in Harlem, where he once played for then-coach Moe Hicks alongside Kemba Walker, now with the Charlotte Bobcats, Momo Jones and Durand Scott.

    In the summer, Fouch ran with a loaded Gauchos team that included former Big East players Jordan Theodore of Seton Hall, Truck Bryant and Danny Jennings of West Virginia and Devin Hill of DePaul.

    All those guys are gone from college now — playing in various professional leagues around the world — while Fouch is still at Drexel.

    “I speak to them guys all the time,” Fouch said. “Kemba Walker’s my best friend,  Durand Scott’s one of my best friends. And I speak to Jordan and Truck all the time, so we have a real great relationship.”

    Asked if he gets teased by those guys for still being in college, Fouch said:  “Actually, they don’t. I get the teasing from everybody else. Them guys are are real supportive, telling me to go out and do what I do best, so I appreciate them for that.”

    Fouch was granted a sixth year of eligibility in April after sustaining an ankle injury last November. He previously missed his freshman year 2008-9 with a knee injury.

    “The NCAA gets criticized a lot but they need to also be complimented in giving him a sixth year,” Arizona coach Sean Miller said.

    Added Fouch: “Six years is a lot to be in college but after speaking with my coach and my family, it’s a no-brainer for me. It’s a good opportunity. We was going to have a good team, and have a chance to do special things so once I got the news  it was right to work.”

    Indeed, Fouch might be one of those good college basketball stories Coach K referenced on Tuesday that gets overshadowed by the Diaper Dandies of this year.

    As for the fabulous freshmen group that includes Parker, Gordon, Andrew Wiggins of Kansas and Julius Randle of Kentucky, Fouch can’t help but be aware of them.

    “Those guys are great players,” Fouch said. “Nowadays in high school you get a lot of attention, so they did what they needed to do in high school to show how good they were. So that’s what comes with being a good player. As far as how they’re handling it, I don’t know  because I don’t know what they’re doing personally. But it just come with the game now. It’s different.”

    While Parker and Gordon and the others are positioning themselves and their teams for deep runs in the NCAA Tournament and a spot in the Green Room, Fouch is simply trying to get his team into the Big Dance with a shot at making some noise against the big boys.

    “Hopefully we can get there and win a championship and make a run in the NCAA tournament,” he said.

    Photo: Daily News



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    Adam Zagoria is a Basketball Insider who covers basketball at all levels. A contributor to The New York Times and SportsNet New York (SNY), he is also the author of two books and is an award-winning journalist and filmmaker. His articles have appeared in ESPN The Magazine, SLAM, Sheridan Hoops, Basketball Times and in newspapers nationwide. He also won an Emmy award for his work on the SNY mini-documentary on Syracuse guard Tyus Battle. A veteran Ultimate Frisbee player, he has competed in numerous National and World Championships and, perhaps more importantly, his teams won the Westchester Summer League (WSL) championships in 2011 and 2013. He lives in Manhattan with his wife and children.