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Game Thread: VCU


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This is a return game from the bracket busters played last year at VCU. VCU comes into this game with a record of 5-2 and what appears to be a solid team. They lose Nick George from last years team, arguably their best player but still return a very deep and talented team. So far this year their two losses came against a Xavior and Toledo teams by a combined 4 points, Xavior has an early RPI of #3 and Toledo #171, so needles to say their two losses came against one exceptional team and one very good. The combined 4 point margin of defeats speaks to the quality of the team that VCU is.

 

Any conversation about stopping this team begins with the perimeter and dribble penetration defense on Maynor, Walker and Pellot-Rossa who are their top 3 scores with 15.1, 14.3 and 14.3 ppg respectively. Maynor is the guy who apparently get the team going as he is the primary ball handler, as a pure PG he thrives in the up tempo game and is very smart with the ball (A/T ratio is 3.36) and he averages 5.3 assists per game. The guard play of this team is the key to their success.

 

Granted I am not that well versed in their team and the players they have other then what I've been able to ascertain from stat sheets and reading about their team. But the front court appears to be their Achilles heal as they appear to be somewhat inconsistent. The front court consists mainly of 6'6" and 6'8" players with the notable exception of Roland. But he appears to be a complimentary player as he only plays about 15 minutes a game. For us to be successful Gifford and Conelly have to take advantage of their lack of size, especially Gifford. He is showing tremendous growth over the last couple of games we have to go to him from the git go and often. I know it's allot to put on a young player but so far he has been improving quickly and this game is at home. Rebounding on this team is also very even as their top rebounder's are the the players mentioned above. So we have to pummel them on the boards, this could be the difference in the game.

 

Overall, I think this will be a very very tough game. They are a quality opponent and so far are having a wonderful season. My keys to the game are as follows.

- Solid deffense on the thee guards/wing players.

- We must get rebounds and not allow them second chance points.

- Crash the offensive glass and don't allow them to get out in transition, if they do the guards must get back or they will kill us.

- We have to go to Gifford early and often

- We must stretch their deffense, Iati, Knight and BWilson must find their shot.

- Jamar and Siggers must stay out of foul trouble and score to put pressure on their guards and wings.

- The bigger the crowd the better, bring everyone you know to get the CUE rocking!

 

 

Blue Ribbon says......

 

BACKCOURT: A-

BENCH/DEPTH: B

FRONTCOURT: B-

INTANGIBLES: B

 

This edition of the VCU Rams will be faster and one of the more fun to watch teams in the conference. Fans and opponents who wondered last season when the Rams would open up the attack, pressing and forcing the game on opponents, won't have to wait under Anthony Grant.

 

The other major change for VCU will be a more balanced attack. In years past, VCU could grind to halt, especially in crunch time, as players would defer to a single star such as Nick George. However, with Maynor setting up any number of players, this team will be difficult to defend.

 

Grant also added a strength coach specifically for the basketball team as part of his staff, believing that sheer physical strength is an important ingredient in the success of his system.

 

"We want to compete for a [league] championship every year," Grant said. "Placing ourselves for postseason participation is our goal."

 

Fans can expect last season's sixth-place finish to be the aberration for VCU. The Rams have a wealth of talent that should lead them into the jumble of teams fighting for a high seed in the CAA Tournament -- and remember, it will be played 25 blocks from the VCU campus.

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Mark Singelais quotes Coach Brown in his blog from yesterday evening on the VCU team coming in Wednesday evening.

 

"’The team that we play Wednesday is the hands-down most talented team in the Colonial,'’ Brown said. ‘"They’re an NCAA Tournament team. This is the second-most talented team on our schedule, man for man (behind UConn). We have no time to feel sorry for ourselves. If we hang our heads, we’re going to be in trouble on Wednesday night.'’

 

I hope we have a good turnout this week. There are a lof of reasons why fans might not show up.

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Some of the basketball sites claimed that the loss of their good, young coach, Jeff Capel, would be the most difficult thing for VCU to overcome.

It looks like they have found a way to not only survive, but also to flourish.

It will be a tough game to win, but Gifford will go for 25 points and 15 rebounds, Lillis will begin looking for his shot, and Carl Ross will have 17 steals.

 

GO GREAT DANES!

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Anyone from the student side know how much interest there is in attending tonight's game? We really appreciate the energy and enthusiasm you bring to the arena, and we hope you will be there in large numbers. I know this time of year is difficult on you, but we need you there.

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It's interesting that most of the posters on the CAA board seem very confident in a VCU win tonight. I'd peg this game as 50-50 game with a solid chance to win the game. Would be a great picker upper after the Siena game. I'm there today in my seat at center court, cheering with all I got.

 

Go Danes Go!

 

UAAAAUAUAUAAAAAAAAAA UA UAAAA - love that cheer!

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Anyone care to offer any predictions? In my heart of hearts I think we can win this game but I wouldn't be surprised if we lost. I think it will be a close game but I don't think we have enough to pull this one out. The only reason I say that is because our shooter, Iati, BWilson and Knight are all in a major funk. Especially Iatia! VCU seems to be clicking on all cylinders. With those guys unable to throw the ball into the ocean we become a more predictable team, if Gifford is unable to go I think we might have a very long night. I'm very afraid of this game, but that won't tamper my enthusiasm. JWilson, Siggers and Gifford are the key for us.

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Usually the school's athletic website posts headlines about important upcoming events. There is nothing about the VCU game tonight in the headline area, either on the main athletic page or on the men's basketball page.

 

Maybe the web designers have final exams today.

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Anyone care to offer any predictions?  In my heart of hearts I think we can win this game but I wouldn't be surprised if we lost.  I think it will be a close game but I don't think we have enough to pull this one out.  The only reason I say that is because our shooter, Iati, BWilson and Knight are all in a major funk.  Especially Iatia! VCU seems to be clicking on all cylinders.  With those guys unable to throw the ball into the ocean we become a more predictable team, if Gifford is unable to go I think we might have a very long night.  I'm very afraid of this game, but that won't tamper my enthusiasm.  JWilson, Siggers and Gifford are the key for us.

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If they are the second best team that UA has played then they would probably be favored even at UA. That said, they lost their best player last year and it was a pretty close game in Richmond last year.

 

I think at this point a win would be great, but there are things the team needs to keep working at:

1. The new 1-3-1 defense

2. Brett improving his endurance, reducing the bad fouls and continuing to gain confidence

3. Minimizing turnovers - especially against a team that is going to press most of the game.

4. Refining the back up guard role - still not clear on the Iati, Knight, Ross rotation - someone has to step up. Maybe Ross gets that chance at the top of the new defense.

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I like that Gifford is shooting 72% from the field. That's absurd.

 

This should be a very fun game and I agree VCU is the favorite. The way they press and run it should be great with Jamar and Siggers plus hopefully some open floor in front of them. I can't wait.

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I like that Gifford is shooting 72% from the field. That's absurd.

 

This should be a very fun game and I agree VCU is the favorite. The way they press and run it should be great with Jamar and Siggers plus hopefully some open floor in front of them. I can't wait.

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Good luck tonight, would be a great win against an "Up" team. It is this kind of game that makes the bracketbuster worth playing in.

 

I'd expect Siggers to play with a lot of confidence after the way he performed in the overtime sessions against Siena. If Albany is able to win this game, my guess is that Siggers play would be the driving force.

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