The YES Network will present a special men’s college basketball telecast on Saturday, Dec. 19, featuring the Atlantic 10’s Fordham University Rams vs. the 2009 NCAA Final Four participant Villanova University Wildcats.
The matchup is set for 2 p.m. at the Izod Center in East Rutherford, N.J.
Twenty-three year old Ryan Ruocco (FCRH ’08) will deliver the play-by-play of the game while Jim Spanarkel, YES’ Nets analyst, will handle the color commentary.
Ruocco also handles in-booth statistics for YES’ telecasts of New York Yankees home games. He joins Yankees voice Michael Kay and former Nets voice Spero Dedes as Fordham alumni who have handled play-by-play duties on YES.
Fordham will be led into the fray by interim head coach Jared Grasso, who took over the helm of the Rams when Dereck Whittenburg was released from his contract after a 1-4 start. Fordham scored a convincing 93-77 home win against Stony Brook on Tuesday.
The Rams were buoyed by the outstanding performance of Palisades Park, N.J. product Chris Gaston’s 25 points and 11 rebounds – his fifth straight double-double.
The game was Grasso’s first head coaching victory.
Big East power Villanova, ranked no. 3 in the country, will provide a formidable foe for Fordham. The Wildcats are 9-0 this season under head coach Jay Wright, including wins against Dayton, LaSalle, Penn and Maryland.
Villanova is led by senior guard Scottie Reynolds, who poured in 22 points in the team’s most recent victory against St. Joseph’s on Dec. 9.
Ruocco honed his skills at Fordham’s WFUV Radio (90.7 FM), where he received the prestigious Marty Glickman Award for play-by-play excellence as a senior. The Fishkill, N.Y. native is now an update anchor for 1050 AM ESPN Radio in New York, and has handled the radio play-by-play for National Invitation Tournament basketball games and for the CBS College Sports Network.