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Rowdy Preview: Men’s Basketball vs. Saint Louis

posted Feb 28, 2014, 10:17 AM by Mark Turner

After a three game road tour for the Rams, VCU returns home to take on St. Louis in a highly anticipated rematch. And from what happened on Thursday night, some pissed off Billikens will be looking for blood Saturday night at the Siegel Center.

VCU’s slate included three road trips to St. Louis, Massachusetts and the Bronx. The Rams fell to the Billikens at their first stop 62-64 in St. Louis and the terrain got tougher in Massachusetts where they loss to UMass at the Mullins Center 75-80. Fortunately in the Bronx, VCU were able to slaughter the Rams of Fordham with a ridiculous 2nd half outscoring Fordham 51-34 to grab an 85-66 win on Thursday night.

Leading the Rams in scoring with a double-double of 22 points and 12 rebounds was Juvonte Reddic followed by Rob Brandenberg with 16 points along with shooting a perfect 100% from downtown making all 4 of his 3-point attempts on the night. Melvin Johnson was in the starting lineup and put on a great performance in his hometown with 14 points. Mo Alie-Cox showed even more improvement coming off the bench grabbing six rebounds and scoring seven points.

VCU wasn’t looking so hot in the 1st half but thankfully after a pep talk from Shaka Smart and some key adjustments, Fordham did not stand a chance from the opening second of the 2nd. Defense looked much more in sync along with the communication on the floor. Offensively, rebounding was an issue early but that was quick fix once Reddic, Alie-Cox and Guest were able to figure out how to get pass Fordham’s big men and grab that basketball. In some instances it seriously did look like Fordham was close to grabbing their biggest win of the season but fortunately college basketball is played in two halves as VCU unleashed HAVOC! for the remaining 20 minutes.


The 2nd half of VCU will need to have an extension to a full game performance if the Rams plan on handing St. Louis their first conference road loss of the season at the Stu on Saturday.

The Billikens have been on an incredible run this season sitting at 25-3 overall and currently sitting on the A-10 throne at 12-1. Wait…What??? Oh right…Thursday night. St. Louis got knocked off their high horse by out of all the teams in the Atlantic 10…Duquesne. That’s right. The 4-10 Dukes went into Chaifetz Arena and did the unthinkable by defeating #10 St. Louis 71-64.

This tweet from Around The Horns sums it up pretty nicely from Thursday Night…

For Ram Nation it was bittersweet considering that they wanted to have the opportunity to hand St. Louis their first conference lost at Siegel.  This unfortunate change of events does not deter the importance of this conference match-up. Currently VCU sits tied for 3rd with UMass at 9-4 but the Minutemen holds the advantage with the win over the Rams so VCU sits in 4th place. George Washington, Richmond and Dayton are on the outside looking for a way to get into the Top 4 so they can have a double round bye in Brooklyn for the Atlantic 10 tournament. A win could give the Rams some breathing room but it’s not going to be easy.

St. Louis is a great team full of senior leadership, discipline and some very physical guards and forwards lead by Jordair Jett. Mix that in with the fact they just lost to a team that might end up playing in the Play-In Game for the Atlantic 10 tournament, yeah…they might be a little bit mad. Maybe a little…

For St. Louis, the Billikens will be looking to reassure the A-10 that they are the dominant alpha team in this conference and that Thursday was a fluke.

For VCU, they will be looking to hand the Billikens their first road conference loss of the season along with getting some revenge from what happened in Chaifetz Arena a few weeks ago.

And if this game wasn’t as emotional driven already…ShakaVille has returned to Siegel Center.

Happy Camping and See You Inside the Stu Saturday.


Smack-Down These Billikens

5 Jordair Jett (6’1”, 210. Senior), Guard: You can literally call Jett a jet because he drives into the paint just like one going for lay-ups. A physical guard that loves to run and goes into the paint like a big man in that 6’1” frame of his. Jett is not a 3 point specialist however he is a specialist in assists leading the Billikens with 137.

11 Mike McCall Jr. (6’0”, 180. Senior), Guard: If you’re looking for the 3 point threat, McCall is the closest to it. Some games he can’t hit the backside of the barn and in other games…well he just scorches the net like it’s his job. McCall is also a good passer along with some decent speed moving with the ball. He had a good scoring night against Duquesne leading St. Louis with 18 points in a losing effort.

21 Dwayne Evans (6’6”, 230. Senior), Forward: Grabbing a double-double on Thursday night, Evans can both score and rebound with ease. Evans leads the Billikens in PPG with 14.2, has the most total points with 397 and shoots around 50% from the field.  Possibly a weakness of Evans is that he turns the ball over when under too much defensive pressure. Picture that with HAVOC! both on the floor, the sidelines and in the stands and it just might be too much for Evans to handle.

51 Rob Loe (6’11”, 245. Senior), Forward: Loe is one tall man that loves shooting threes; he has shot 108 and has made 33 of them. Besides him trying to channel his inner Ray Allen, Loe is a monster in the paint with rebounds and second chance points. He also is good on the defensive side of the ball leading the Billikens in blocks with 36.

 

Kazie’s Prediction: #1 vs. #4. VCU comes home after ending their road trip on a good note and are already amped up for this game at extremely high levels. ShakaVille will no doubt be rowdy until it’s time to break down the tents and head into the Siegel Center where the rowdiness will continue at even higher levels of rambunctiousness. An emotionally charged Siegel will be the wild card in this matchup due to the fact that the Chaifetz Arena is no Siegel Center; nothing is like the Siegel Center on GAMEDAY. Along with the Rams looking to make a statement against the top dog of the A-10, what a better place to do it than the Stu right?

VCU, 69-62.

Player To Watch:  All Of The Rams are going to need to be on their A Game; from the starters to the reserves to the coaching staff. I’m not going to pick a player because I’m going to be watching everyone because this is going to need one of those team play efforts that the Rams are more than accustomed to having in order to dethrone the Billikens.

Friendly Reminder...WEAR GOLD!!!

Come On You Rams! It’s GAMEDAY in the City Of Richmond as your Rams of Virginia Commonwealth University take on the St. Louis Billikens in an Atlantic 10 matchup. The game is set for Tip-Off at 6 PM with the gates to the Stu opening around 4:30 PM!

Head on down to ShakaVille and campout with fellow Rowdies while having a great time getting ready for the biggest game of the season here at Siegel! When is another time you can actually campout at the Stu?! Can’t make it? Head over to Baja Bean where they will be showing the game along with some great specials because HAVOC lives there too.


LET’S GO VCU!

Rowdy Preview: Men’s Basketball vs. George Washington

posted Feb 11, 2014, 10:36 AM by Mark Turner

After suffering defeat on the road at St. Josephs, VCU returns home to Siegel Center to take on George Washington which should be a highly emotional contest to say the least.

The Rams were in for a battle Saturday night in Philadelphia at the Hagan Arena when they took on the Hawks of St. Josephs. From the opening tip, both teams traded the lead multiple times as both offenses were in good form in the early minutes trading buckets. St. Josephs was able to get a 14-4 run going and gave themselves some breathing room as they lead 34-26 into halftime. VCU was able to cut the lead late in the game and was in striking distance of taking the lead but St. Josephs was able to hold on and left Hagan Arena with a 69-62 win over the Rams.

Juvonte Reddic lead the Rams in scoring on the night with 17 points along with eight rebounds, three steals and two blocks. Melvin Johnson had 14 points coming off the bench and Briante Weber had a good shooting night finishing with 11 points. Treveon Graham finished the night with 13 points and eight rebounds.

At the start of the game, VCU appeared to have a good gameplan but once St. Josephs was able to slow down VCU’s defense and play at their own pace, the Rams struggled throughout the night. Once the Hawks set the pace and the tone of the game, VCU could not speed up the flow nor break St. Josephs offense which was the main reason they lost. The officiating was a tad bit shady at times which did not help VCU chances but the culprit to the defeat was that the Rams just couldn’t run wild like they usually do along with too many mistakes on the offensive side of the ball.

Taking a look at the Atlantic 10 standings, St. Louis is still sitting in 1st place at 9-0 after defeating La Salle on the road thanks to a last second lay-up by Jordair Jett. Even with the lost at St. Josephs, VCU still sits in second place at 7-2 but are now tied with their next opponent George Washington.

The Colonials are making the pre-season poll look foolish right now. George Washington was predicted to finish 10th in the A-10 preseason poll yet they are currently 7-2 tied with VCU for 2nd place. This team is not a pretender any longer as George Washington has turned into a legitimate threat that could possibly finish in the Top 4 at the end of the regular season.

In the first match-up between VCU and George Washington it was at the Smith Center in Washington D.C. where the Colonials edged the Rams 76-66 in mid-January. Now with the rematch just a tip-off away, GW comes into Siegel Center after thrashing Fordham 93-67 on their Homecoming night in the Nation’s Capital. The Colonials are on a 2 game winning streak.

As if this game wasn’t important enough considering that this will be a battle for 2nd place in the A-10 between two great teams, for VCU this game kicks-off an intense 7 game run until the end of the season where the Rams hold their own A-10 destiny:

-Wed, Feb. 12: George Washington (T-2nd)

-Sat, Feb. 15: at Saint Louis (1st)

-Fri, Feb. 21: at UMass (T-4th)

-Thurs, Feb. 27: at Fordham (T-10th)

-Sat, March 1: Saint Louis (1st)

-Thurs, March 6: at Richmond (6th)

-Sat, March 8: St. Bonaventure (9th)

A win would be ideal to start things off in the right direction during this challenging run for the Rams. Come Wednesday night it will be a battle of physicality vs. speed and offense vs. defense; George Washington has physical forwards along with guards that can pass and shoot the ball from everywhere. VCU can be physical and love to play at a high tempo and of course HAVOC! will come out to play as well to attempt to rattle the Colonials.

The winner will have sole position of 2nd place in the Atlantic 10. Emotions are running high and Ram Nation is looking to making a statement here at home.

Tip-Off awaits.

Veto These Colonials

21 Kevin Larsen (6’10, 247. Sophomore), Forward: Larsen had 22 points in the first matchup between VCU and GW which was very impressive along with seven rebounds. He has strength, good hands, and a good rebounder. Defensively, Larsen is good down low but not a blocking threat. This man is very consistent if he starts making buckets so shutting him down early is a must.

32 Isaiah Armwood (6’9”, 208. Senior), Forward: Armwood had a double-double (14 rebounds, 11 points) at the Smith Center when they took on the Rams. He also shot 80% from the field; a physical rebounder and scorer to say the least. Armwood could do a little bit of anything on the court and he can do it well.

11 Kethan Savage (6’3”, 200. Sophomore), Guard: Savage only had four points against the Rams in the first matchup so he will be looking for a better performance in the rematch. Averaging around 13 PPG, Savage is getting better offensively. His steal tally is now up to 36 which is now making Savage an all-around guard in the making. Savage still hasn’t found his shot from 3 point range but anywhere around the mid-range area and Savage can light up the net.

13 Patricio Garino (6’6”, 211. Sophomore), Forward/Guard: Garino went off from the bench against VCU as he had 25 points with seven rebounds and three steals. This guy literally can play any position. He can move, pass, rebound and shoot pretty well which is just what GW needs coming from their reserves. Garino has good stamina and a pretty good vertical along with a good basketball I.Q. If VCU wants to stop him, they to get him rattled and put a lot of defensive pressure on him.


Kazie’s Prediction: 66-76. That was the score from the first battle between these two great teams. VCU is at home for this match-up which is a huge factor and the Rams are in need of some home cooking to get back on track. With 2nd place on the line, both teams are emotionally charged to break away from the pack to solidify a Top 4 spot. 10 points separated these two in the first game, I’m thinking less than that in the re-match. My prediction is weighing on the Stu since GW is 4-3 on the road this season and the Rams…well the Rams are unbeatable at home.

VCU 72-67.

 

Player To Watch: I’m going to keep my eye on Rob Brandenberg in this match-up. Brandenberg lead VCU with 17 points at the Smith Center and a similar performance will be needed if the Rams want to grab the win on Wednesday night. Number 11 has been playing pretty consistent lately but an onslaught from VCU is in need when taking on George Washington’s physical forwards and I think Brandenberg will help lead that onslaught.

Come On You Rams! It’s GAMEDAY here at the Siegel Center as your Rams of Virginia Commonwealth University take on the Colonials of George Washington. Tip-Off is set for 7:00 PM with the gates of the Stu opening at around 5:30 PM. Can’t make it to the Stu? The game will be broadcasted on NBC Sports Network and Baja Bean will be showing the game along with GAMEDAY specials because HAVOC Lives There Too!

 

LET’S GO VCU!  

Rowdy Preview: Men’s Basketball vs. Rhode Island

posted Feb 5, 2014, 9:16 AM by Mark Turner

VCU laced up their sneakers and gave the Spiders a stomping in the Capital City Classic. Now after a win over their cross-town rival, the Rams battle the Rams from Rhode Island in their next A-10 matchup.

Siegel Center was the place to be early Saturday morning as VCU and Richmond tipped-off this year’s chapter in the Capital City Classic. Ram Nation was at a fever pitch as this highly anticipated battle in the Mother State got underway with 7,741 fans across the arena chanting and screaming at intense levels. The Rams’ offense started things off with a 7-0 run in the opening minutes that turned the volume to the max inside the Stu and lead 34-22 into the half. Richmond’s Kendall Anthony and Cedrick Lindsay literally tried to put the Spiders on their back and lead them to victory but to no avail as it was not enough to stop HAVOC from running wild with a final score of 81-70 in favor of the Black & Gold.

Leading the Rams in points were Briante Weber and Melvin Johnson with 14 points each. Weber had a legendary performance by breaking VCU’s all-time steals record grabbing five to add to his 260 total steals. This record was held by former Ram Rolando Lamb for 29 years with 257 career steals.

VCU also finished with 6 players recording double digits which also included Treveon Graham with 13 points and eight rebounds, Juvonte Reddic recording yet another double-double with 11 points and 10 rebounds, JeQuan Lewis putting up 11 points off the bench and Rob Brandenberg scoring 10 points.

Round one of the Capital City Classic showed VCU putting another great team play performance against Richmond. A quick run of offense to get HAVOC revved up along with the fans and it was basically all she wrote. Quick and fluent passes plus some good play calling had Richmond looking dazed and confused on the defensive side of the ball. And of course with Shaka Smart bringing the energy from the sidelines, VCU looked and played like a top A-10 contender on Saturday.

With that win, VCU now stands alone in 2nd place in the Atlantic 10 with a 6-1 record. Rhode Island currently sits in 9th place tied with Dayton and Duquesne at 2-5. The Rams out of Rhode Island sit at .500 with an 11-11 record overall.

“This team can be good when it wants to be” is a way to describe Rhode Island. They were able to defeat LSU on the road and were on the brink of upsetting St. Louis but came up just 1 point short. However, Rhode Island was blown out by SMU, Arizona and Southern Miss out of conference and their only two conference wins were against George Mason which took OT and Dayton.

Before making the trip to Richmond, Rhode Island ironically played at Fordham as the two Rams butted heads at Rose Hill Gym in the Bronx; Fordham was able to pull away in the 2nd half to give them the win over Rhode Island 85-79. Rhody has a four game A-10 run which features at VCU then taking on UMass at home before going up against the two schools Rhode Island are tied for 9th place going up to Dayton then back at home vs. Duquesne.

With 5 consecutive A-10 wins, VCU looks to add number 6 in the version of reigning superior over Rhode Island as another Battle Of The Rams is about to tip-off at the Stu.


Buck These Rams

0 E.C. Matthews (6’5”, 190. Freshman), Guard: A former A-10 Rookie of the Week and was a Top 100 prospect in high school before coming to Rhode Island. Matthews is currently averaging 12.2 PPG in his first collegiate season while shooting 38% from the field; not a confident shot from long range but Matthews can gain it in a hurry if he is able to hit one. He scored 20 points in a losing effort to Fordham so he will be definitely looking for a different result against VCU.

5 Xavier Munford (6’2”, 180. Senior), Guard: The Senior leader in Rhode Island is making his last run as a Rhody memorable. Leading the team in PPG with 16.8 points and shooting around 40% from the field. Munford does have good court vision with decent passing especially in dangerous situations when he is trapped. He can hustle and the kid does have heart along with great stamina for long games.

55 Gilvydas Birtua (6’8”, 245. Transfer Junior), Forward: Birtua transferred from Rutgers and sat out the 2012-13 season. At Rutgers he was the second best scorer and rebounder for the Scarlet Knights; here at Rhode Island he leads in rebounding with 6.9 RPG while scoring 11.2 PPG. Birtua is a big man with power and has some decent post moves; he does struggle from the free throw line shooting around 68% so wave til’ your arms can’t wave anymore when number 55 takes his shots.

12 Hassan Martin (6’7”, 210. Freshman), Forward: Martin is a very athletic forward that still in the learning process at the college level. He’s averaging 5 points per game but he is starting to get better offensively. At Fordham, Martin was one rebound short of a double-double (10 Points, 9 Rebounds) plus 5 blocks on the defensive side. A confident Martin coming into the Stu for the first time could be just what Rhody needs but this will be his first trip to Siegel so…you know what to do.

 

Kazie’s Prediction: VCU is in great form and have a Rhode Island team that’s still working on things in front of them. Rhody could possibly surprise VCU with an offensive burst if HAVOC takes a little long to get up to steam to make this a close contest. However with the way VCU is looking I just don’t see that happening. Even with an A-10 Rookie of the Week and a very good Senior guard in Xavier Munford, Rhode Island may put up a good fight but I see VCU landing a hay-maker in the late rounds and picking up the win.

VCU, 79-62


Player To Watch: During the Capital City Classic, I was thoroughly impressed with Mo Alie-Cox and his breakout performance that we all have been hoping for. 6 points, 6 rebounds, 3 MO SAID NO!’s (Blocks). Mo has definitely put in the work to getting better with rebounding and with using that massive body of his putting in second chance points. The question is can he do it again against Rhode Island? He is surely capable and I’m pretty sure he’s hungry for another opportunity to yell MO SAID NO!

Come On You Rams! It’s GAMEDAY here at the Siegel Center as your Rams of Virginia Commonwealth University take on the Rams of Rhode Island in an A-10 Battle. Tip-Off is scheduled for 7:00 PM with the gates to the Stu opening around 5:30 PM! Can’t make it to the Stu? The game will be broadcasted on CBS Sports Network and on full display at Baja Bean where HAVOC lives There Too!

 

LET’S GO VCU!!!!!

Rowdy Preview: Men’s Basketball vs. Richmond

posted Jan 31, 2014, 10:38 AM by Mark Turner

VCU stood superior over Fordham as the Ultimate Ram Wednesday night. Now Richmond awaits VCU to see which of these Virginia rivals will reign supreme amongst the Commonwealth.

Would VCU overlook Fordham? That was one of the many questions looming around Siegel Center Wednesday night. That question was answered in a dominant fashion in the first 20 minutes of the game as VCU outscored Fordham 40-23 and Rob Brandenberg banked the exclamation point from downtown just as time expired. Fordham tried to come up with an answer but to no avail as VCU went on to win the game76-60.

Melvin Johnson lead the Rams in scoring on the night coming off the bench with 13 points along with some highlight floaters that got Ram Nation out of their seats. Juvonte Reddic got his second straight double-double with 10 points and 10 rebounds. JeQuan Lewis had 11 points on the night while Rob Brandenberg, Jordan Burgess and Treveon Graham finished with nine points each.

The result gave VCU their 4th consecutive victory in A-10 play which increases their record to 5-1 in conference play and 17-4 overall. This game was a true team effort as all of VCU players had great chemistry at Siegel against Fordham. A few glimpses of bad passes and being out rebounded did show up but overall, VCU played great team basketball. HAVOC was in great shape as well causing 18 turnovers, stealing the ball 11 times and holding Fordham’s Jon Severe to only nine points.

Now with Fordham out of the way, VCU prepares to take on Richmond in a highly anticipated contest here in the Commonwealth with a lot of emotion and bragging rights on the line in the Capital City Classic.

Richmond currently sits at 4-2 tied for 4th place with #21 Massachusetts and St. Josephs in the A-10. Before making the commute to Siegel, Richmond made a trip to Chaifetz Arena to take on #19 St. Louis. The Spiders attempted to give the Billikens their first conference loss of the season but were very unsuccessful as St. Louis smashed Richmond 77-57 for their 13th straight victory this season while snapping Richmond’s four game winning streak.

Taking a closer look at the Spiders, this is a good team that plays on emotion; Richmond has height and rebounders down low along with speed and some good shooters. After all, they did beat #21 Massachusetts at the Robins Center about a week ago. They are pretty solid on their home court but on the road Richmond sits at .500 with a 4-4 record.

The odds don’t look to be in the Spiders favor when you add VCU and the Siegel Center into the mix.

The VCU-Richmond rivalry has quite the history between the two Virginia schools. Starting back in 1976, the two have battled 68 times with VCU leading the series at 42-26. The Rams also hold another record in this rivalry which is 26-12; that would be VCU’s record in this rivalry when the game is held at Siegel Center. Over the last 4 meetings, VCU and Richmond has split the meetings with both teams winning on their home court.

With both teams looking to increase their ranking amongst the A-10, the stakes are pretty high. VCU looks to embarrass their neighbor across the pond at the Stu as they continue their pursuit of 1st place in the A-10. Richmond will attempt to do what the road team in this rivalry hasn’t done in over 4 years: win in their opposition’s backyard.

The next chapter of the Capital City Classic is about to tip-off.

Mush These Spiders

2 Cedrick Lindsay (6’1”, 190: Senior), Guard: Leading the Spiders in scoring averaging 18.2 PPG is starting point guard Cedrick Lindsay. A member of the 2011 Sweet 16 squad, Lindsay has turned into the leader of the Spiders at the point. Shooting around 43% from the field along with dishing 83 assists, Lindsay is a decent shooter and a very good passer. He also leads Richmond in steals with 38.

0 Kendall Anthony (5’8”, 140: Junior), Guard: Anthony has transformed himself into the 3 point threat for the Spiders. A former A-10 Rookie of the Year, Anthony is 3rd in career 3-point percentage at Richmond (.421). This season thus far Anthony is shooting 38% from downtown while averaging 14 points per game. But can he shoot from anywhere else on the floor? Well he can but let’s just say if he sees an opportunity from three point land, he will pull the trigger in a heartbeat.

33 Alonzo Nelson-Ododa (6’9”, 210: Sophomore), Forward: Nelson-Ododa can be a big problem in the paint for VCU. Standing at 6’9”, Nelson-Ododa is very mobile for a man his size and loves to go after rebounds. He has also gotten better shooting the ball and defensively he leads the Spiders with 50 blocks on the season. Nelson-Ododa wasn’t a factor in St. Louis with 0 points and two rebounds; hopefully lightning strikes twice.

34 Derrick Williams (6’6”, 270: Senior), Forward: The Senior Forward looks to finish his collegiate career at Richmond on a high note with a win over his heated rival. Williams had a decent game against St. Louis finishing with a double-double (10 points, 10 rebounds) and looks to have an encore at the Stu Saturday morning. A good shooter that can pull from three point land and an excellent rebounder; Williams can also play defense pretty well but can get into foul trouble when rattled.

 

Kazie’s Prediction: Emotions will be high. Siegel will be rocking. I’m getting a little excited just typing about this game. History wise, VCU is in the driver’s seat since A) VCU is the Home Team and B) VCU is playing at Siegel Center. Richmond will keep this rivalry game close but once the Rams get a run of either offense or defense going, the Stu will turn up to 11 and so will HAVOC. This probably will be a high scoring contest for the Rams but I see Richmond making it a close contest late. Still, Black & Gold will stomp the mush come Saturday morning.

VCU 84-71.

 

Player To Watch: All of the Rams are feeling rambunctious about this matchup so choosing just one to keep an eye is quite a challenge. But if I had to pick one to watch, I’m gonna go with Treveon Graham. Richmond is going to bring it to VCU at Siegel however I’m visualizing Treveon will have a heavy response due to the Spiders actions. And that may involve Tre stomping a mudhole on a few spiders turning them into mush.

 

Come On You Rams! It’s GAMEDAY on a SATURDAY MORNING!! Your Rams of Virginia Commonwealth University take on the Richmond Spiders in the Capital City Classic at the Siegel Center.  Tip-Off is set for 11 AM with the gates opening around 9:30 AM.

If you are one of the first 500 VCU students in line at the Student Entrance you get a FREE Breakfast Burrito courtesy of Baja Bean!!! Can’t make it to the Stu? The game will be televised on ESPN2 and also will be shown at Baja because HAVOC Lives There Too!

 

LET’S GO VCU!!!!

Rowdy Preview: Men’s Basketball vs. Fordham

posted Jan 28, 2014, 9:32 AM by Mark Turner

Two thrilling back-to-back road wins for the Black & Gold has VCU in the driver’s seat currently in the Atlantic 10 as they look for their fourth straight conference win when Fordham takes a visit to Siegel Center Wednesday night.

The Rams were involved in two gritty contests on the road at Dayton last Wednesday then heading to Philadelphia to take on La Salle last Saturday. At Dayton, VCU dominated the Flyers at the University of Dayton Arena where they have some pretty good history at; something about the First Four to the Final Four thing. Back to present day, VCU was in great form from tip-off to the final buzzer as they defeated Dayton 80-66 on the road.

Next up awaiting at Tom Gola Arena in Philadelphia was La Salle. VCU started off similarly to the game at Dayton coming out in full force on both sides of the basketball and headed to the locker-rooms with a 33-29 lead at the half. The Explorers went back to the drawing board and brought it to VCU in the second half to force OT; and then a second OT because one wasn’t enough to separate the two teams on the scoreboard. In the second period of extra time, Treveon Graham lead the charge and helped VCU outscore La Salle 17-9 which lead to an emotionally charged victory for the Rams with a final score of 97-89.

Treveon Graham led the Rams in scoring with a season-high 34 points along with 12 rebounds for another double-double for number 21. Juvonte Reddic earned A-10 Co-Player of the Week honors after this performance in Philadelphia scoring 27 points and grabbing 15 boards.  Briante Weber finished with 12 points, five assists, five steals and four rebounds. Rob Brandeberg had nine points while Jordan Burgess finished with six.

Taking a closer look at the A-10 standings after a very productive road trip, VCU sits in a 4-Way tie for 2nd place sitting at 4-1 alongside Massachusetts, George Washington and Richmond right behind St. Louis who currently sits on the A-10 throne at 5-0. Coming up on VCU’s A-10 schedule is Fordham who currently sits in 12th place with a 1-5 record in conference play.

The Fordham Rams have been less than rambunctious sitting at 8-11 overall this season and not having the success they were hoping for come A-10 play time. Fordham did have a rough opening A-10 act taking on Duquesne, Richmond, Dayton and St. Louis which the Rams lost all four of those games. All hope was regained when they defeated George Mason to get their first A-10 win of the season before losing to UMass on the road.

One of the strengths for Fordham is their rebounding. They have a couple of physical forwards that can grab boards with an average of 37.9 RPG. Other than that, Fordham struggles in almost every other category. The Rams have been outscored by their opponents by 3.9 points while averaging only 73.7 points per contest. Speaking of scoring, Fordham shoots 39% from the field team wise and it decreases to 32% when it comes from downtown.

On paper and in between the stat lines, VCU should have a field day with Fordham. However, this is still the Atlantic 10 and anything can happen in the A-10. Anything.

VCU looks to win their fourth consecutive A-10 match-up while Fordham attempts to rebound in A-10 play with a huge conference win on the road.

The Battle of the Rams are about to lock horns. Tip-Off Awaits.


Silence These Rams

10 Jon Severe (6’3”, 186: Freshman), Guard: Severe is making his mark in his first year at Fordham. A Mr. Basketball coming out of New York, Severe is averaging 20.2 points per contest while shooting 35% from the field; his percentage from downtown is around 38%. This is Fordham’s primary shooting option that can drive to the bucket with ease or shoot from mid-range. Severe’s PPG average has gone down but he is quickly rebuilding it and looks to increase it further at the Stu.

0 Branden Frazier (6’3”, 170: Senior), Guard: One of the top A-10 guards is Mr. Frazier here. He can play at any guard position and is an all-around threat; averaging 17.8 PPG with a 40% field goal percentage. Frazier is on a good streak of games against George Mason and Massachusetts stat wise, so he may have the hot hand coming into this contest. He has good ball control and court vision which could be a nightmare if he does indeed have a hot hand.

30 Ryan Rhoomes (6’8”, 235: Sophomore), Forward: A Big Man with a Big Shot is a simple way to describe Rhoomes; leading Fordham in rebounds averaging 7.6 per contest while averaging around 7 points on 65% shooting from the field. Rhoomes can move for a big man around the court with ease and is not afraid of contact. He also has a pretty good vertical which helps his rebounding totals but one thing he struggles at is at the free throw line shooting 58%. In his last contest at UMass, Rhoomes had only one point and one rebound so he will be looking to get back on track against VCU.

24 Bryan Smith (6’2”, 195: Junior), Guard: According to Fordham, Smith is described as a “prolific offensive force”; that has not been the case this season. Smith has been averaging 6.5 points per contest while shooting 33% from the field. There have been glimpse of that offensive force from Smith earlier in the season but this offensive Fordham force has been shut downed since the start of A-10 play. A possible wildcard if the force comes out of his shell but it could be the same song and dance for Smith when he takes on HAVOC in full force at the Stu.

 

Kazie’s Prediction: After a road trip like that, this would be the case of VCU going on cruise control due to being back at home and against an opponent sitting at the lower portion of the conference. Especially with Richmond coming up on Saturday at the Stu, do I dare say Fordham could be overlooked here? Unfortunately, I don’t see this actually happening especially after that 2 OT thrill-ride up in Philadelphia. The intensity may go down a few notches for this contest but I expect HAVOC to shut down Fordham as VCU gets warmed-up for the Battle at the Capital matchup against The Spiders.

VCU 83-64.


Player To Watch: Fordham averages around 11 turnovers per contest, thus I give the green light to Briante Weber in this one. Briante has gotten better offensively dishing and shooting the ball along with being even more energetic on the defensive side of the ball. He had 5 steals at La Salle, could he do even better than that against Fordham? I think he will.

Come On You Rams! It’s GAMEDAY at the Siegel Center as your Rams of Virginia Commonwealth University take on the Rams of Fordham University in an A-10 matchup. The Rams will lock horns at Tip-Off which is set for 7:00 PM with the gates opening around 5:30 PM Wednesday Night!

 

LET’S GO VCU!!!

Rowdy Preview: Men’s Basketball vs. Duquesne

posted Jan 17, 2014, 10:33 AM by Mark Turner

Photos by Eddie Johnson

VCU saw their momentum and winning streak cease and desisted by George Washington in the Nation’s capital. Now the Rams head back home to Richmond where Duquesne awaits them to try and ruin Homecoming night at the Siegel Center.

It was non- debatable as to which team was the better team in DC on Tuesday night at the Smith Center. George Washington came out with something to prove to the Atlantic 10 that they are a force to be reckon with this season; and they did just that with a 76-66 statement win over VCU that some experts picked to win the conference at the end of the season.

Welcome to the A-10.

Leading the Rams on the night was Rob Brandenberg with 17 points along with three rebounds, three assists and three steals during his 32 minutes on the floor. Treveon Graham struggled all night with his shot but ended up scoring 12 along with five rebounds, three steals and an assist. Melvin Johnson produced 11 points coming off the bench while Juvonte Reddic only had nine and Briante Weber finished the night with eight.

Even with some questionable call-making by the refs and a few 50-50 balls that could have gone either way, the result is still the same; VCU was outplayed by George Washington. On the night, the Rams shot 37% from the field, 32% from downtown and 44% from the free throw line; at one point in the game, VCU was shooting 17% from the line. You can’t have those types of percentages and expect to win a basketball game; especially here in the A-10 with a deep field of contenders fighting for that number 1 spot.

Another negative that was on display was defense. George Washington felt HAVOC! in small spurts and runs here and there during the game but all in all, HAVOC in reality was almost non-existent. The Colonials were able to break the press, VCU’s zone was predictable and George Washington’s big men were able to out-muscle VCU for rebounds and second chance points.

With this loss, VCU falls to 1-1 in conference play and are in a 3-Way tie for 6th place with Dayton and Richmond.  Now with Homecoming on the horizon, the Rams now turn their attention to Duquesne who is right on their tail as they look to move up a few spots in the table.

Duquesne sits at 1-2 in the A-10 alongside St. Bonaventure in a tie for 9th place.  On the year, the Dukes sit one game above .500 at 8-7. Overall, their wins aren’t RPI boosting type wins on their resume but Duquesne were able to make a 5 game winning streak in late December. In conference play, the Dukes defeated Fordham at home to start off their A-10 campaign but lost their last 2 games vs La Salle and at Saint Joseph’s.

Against St. Josephs, the Dukes outscored the Hawks 30-2 in the last 4:48 of the 2nd half but to no avail as St. Josephs defeated Duquesne 84-75 ending their three-game road streak.

VCU is looking to get back to the upper part of the A-10 table along with giving Ram Nation another reason to celebrate during Homecoming weekend.


Contain The Dukes

0 Ovie Soko (6’8”, 225. Senior), Forward: This Englishman is a transfer from UAB and it looks like a change of scenery has done great things for Soko. Leading the Dukes in scoring with 268 points on the season while averaging 17.9 per contest; Soko has a decent percentage field goal wise inside the paint and is a really good rebounder. Defensively, Soko can steal the ball and is pretty good man-on-man.

3 Dominique McKoy (6’8”, 215. Junior), Forward: Duquesne’s 2nd biggest threat down low. McKoy averages 10.5 PPG with a 7.4 RPG and has pretty good chemistry when playing with Soko. Shooting around 68% from the field, McKoy is very productive offensively. On the defensive side of the ball, he can cause problems down low both in rebounding and blocking. And if Soko is on his game, McKoy is right behind him which could be a big nightmare.

1 Derrick Colter (5’11”, 180. Sophomore), Guard: Colter may be short, but this guy has heart and speed. Lots of it. To put this into perspective, picture Colter as the Duquesne version of VCU’s Joey Rodriguez. Not a great shooter but Colter can dish the ball around with ease; leads the team with 57 assists.

5 Jerry Jones (6’4”, 195. Senior), Guard/Forward: Coming off the bench, Jones literally can be put anywhere on the floor and bring it. He had 14 points against St. Joes on 50% shooting before coming to the Stu and will be looking to have a better game when he gets called in. A decent rebounder but Jones is prone to getting in foul trouble late in games.

 

Kazie’s Prediction: Now with the lost in DC behind them, VCU is looking to rebound in every sense of the word. Duquesne can bring it to the Rams but looking at who they played, they haven’t really played decent competition until they started conference play. And after losing to two good teams in La Salle and St. Joes, now they face the Rams on a 2 game losing streak.

Even with VCU not being in top form, Duquesne’s losing streak will extend to 3.

VCU 79-65.


Player To Watch: It’s Homecoming Night at the Stu so I’m going to put my spotlight on one of VCU’s seniors and it will shine on Rob Brandenberg. Number 11 has been very consistent of late and looks to be getting closer and closer to that level of play that the senior guard can play night in and night out. With 17 points on the road and his final Homecoming game of his collegiate career on hand, I expect Brandenberg to have a really good game. Maybe even reach 20 points if he has the hot hand.

Come On You Rams! Homecoming is here for GAMEDAY purposes as your Rams of Virginia Commonwealth University take on Duquesne in an A-10 matchup at the Siegel Center!  Tip-Off is set for 4 PM with the gates opening around 2:30 PM!

Don’t have a ticket to the Stu? You can catch the game on CBS Sports Network and also head on down to Baja to watch the game with other fans from Ram Nation because Havoc Lives There Too!

 

LET’S GO VCU!

Rowdy Preview: Men’s Basketball vs. George Washington

posted Jan 13, 2014, 9:46 AM by Mark Turner

Photos By Eddie Johnson.

VCU were able to put George Mason in Check! at the Stu for their 5th straight win. Next up is a road trip to the Nation’s capital where George Washington awaits them in an A-10 matchup at the Smith Center.

Ram Nation came out in full force as 7,741 strong Checked The Stu which looked incredible on TV and in the thousands of photos as the Black & Gold was on display all over the arena.  George Mason came to play in their first A-10 game and started off with momentum building an early lead in the opening minutes. VCU were able to chip the lead down to size and with a Briante Weber floater at the buzzer to end the half, the Rams lead at the half 35-34. In the 2nd, HAVOC put the Patriots on ice as VCU started things off with a 9-0 run and outplayed George Mason to take the win 71-57 for their 5th straight victory.

Leading the Rams in scoring was Treveon Graham as he got another double-double with 15 points and 10 rebounds with 6 of those boards on the offensive side of the ball. Juvonte Reddic was one point short of a double-double with nine points but he was a rebounding machine leading the Rams with 14 boards on the night. Briante Weber was all over the court with 12 points, five steals, four rebounds and two assists. The highlight of the night goes to Terrance Shannon coming off the bench with a breakout performance which gave him seven points, four rebounds, three assists, two blocks and a steal.

Welcome to the A-10. VCU opened up their campaign on the right foot with a W which is always a good thing. The starters did damage with points, rebounds and HAVOC! and the reserves kept up the energy levels and production was well done. It’s still a work in progress to extend HAVOC! to a full-on game display but hey…winning is winning.

Speaking of winning, George Washington has also been winning. A Lot. The Colonials had a winning transformation from their abysmal 13-17 record from last season. Now sitting at 13-3 on the season with an 8-0 home record, George Washington is no longer a pretender. This team is tough to beat and the difficulty increases when you step into the Smith Center as the visitors.


Examining their 13-3 record under the microscope and this is a legit record. How legit? The only three defeats the Colonials had were vs. #25 Marquette, at Kansas State and at La Salle; let that sink in for a bit. Out of there 13 wins, George Washington has some pretty big wins against Miami, Creighton, Rutgers and Georgia. The Colonials also are number 37 in RPI nationally.

Currently the Colonials are 1-1 in A-10 play after defeating Rhode Island 69-56 last Saturday afternoon in DC. At one point, George Washington lead 34-9 in the 1st half with Rhode Island making an attempt of a comeback in the 2nd half but to no avail. At the closing moments of the game, the Colonial Army (GW’s Student Section) and alumni of George Washington chanted We Want VCU throughout the Smith Center. The Colonial Army also created the whity hashtag #HaltTheHavoc for your Tweeting pleasure in anticipation for the upcoming A-10 contest in the Nation’s Capital.

Taking a look at the A-10 standings, VCU currently sits in 4th place at 1-0 and George Washington is involved in a 5-Way tie for 5th at 1-1 with St. Bonaventure, Saint Joseph’s, Richmond and Duquesne.

George Washington will attempt to Halt The Havoc on their home floor while also defending their impressive 8-0 home stand. VCU is on a roll and makes a trip up to DC looking to give the Colonials their first home lost the season and increasing HAVOC’s streak to 6 straight wins.


So Will Havoc Be Halted by George Washington or will Havoc Raise High over the Colonials on the road in DC? One streak will fall at the final buzzer.

Tip-Off Awaits.


Indict These Colonials

32 Isaiah Armwood (6’9”, 208. Senior), Forward: The Villanova transfer is doing big things in DC. Leading the Colonials in rebounding with 126 thus far and averaging 7.9 per game; comes into the contest vs. VCU after a double-double performance against Rhode Island with 10 points and rebounds. Armwood has good stamina for a big man and is a very good defender down low as he leads the team in blocks with 40. A blocking and rebounding juggernaut awaits VCU in the version of number 32.

11 Kethan Savage (6’3”, 200. Sophomore), Guard: Savage is basically a Savage in his sophomore year as a Colonial. He now averages 13.8 points per game but he’s not a 3 point specialist shooting only 23% from downtown. One of Savage’s strengths is his passing ability; he’s a sniper passing wise and has good court vision. Savage had 14 points and three assists against Rhode Island.

21 Kevin Larsen (6’10, 247. Sophomore), Forward: This Denmark import was worth the price of admission with his strength, speed and vertical abilities. Lead the team in points against Rhode Island with 17 points and was 80% from the field along with some highlightable dunks that brought the Colonial Army to their feet. For this man’s size and height, Larsen is as big of an offensive threat as he is defensively averaging 10.5 PPG and 6.1 RPG.

13 Patricio Garino (6’6”, 211. Sophomore), Forward/Guard: One of George Washington’s reserves and Garino can be a game-changer for the Colonials. He hasn’t started a game yet but he has gotten minutes and taken advantage of them shooting 61% from the field along with averaging 8.4 PPG. Garino is not a 3 point threat but he does have hustle in him and a knack for shooting mid-range jumpers with ease. Against Rhode Island he went 80% with 14 points coming off the bench and looks to have an even bigger game against the Rams.

 

Kazie’s Prediction: If you’re looking for an entertaining battle in the A-10 this week, look no further than this one. George Washington is not the same Colonials that VCU saw in the CBI tournament nor from last season in the A-10; this team has been rebuilt from the ground up and can play a full 40 minutes of basketball with playmakers that can give opponent’s nightmares if you under-estimate them. Along with being undefeated at home, that definitely has the Colonial Army along with the Colonials excited for this match-up. And so is Ram Nation.

With a good streak of W’s for the Rams, VCU has a lot of momentum heading to the Smith Center as well. Could George Washington beat VCU? Yes. Will they on Tuesday Night in DC? My heart bleeds Black & Gold and analyzing the activity levels in my cranium…my brain thinks it’s going to be a defensive battle from tip-off and it comes down to which team has enough heart, stamina and point production late as to who is walking out of DC with the victory. And I’m thinking VCU in a close one. A real close one.

VCU 74-68.

 

Player To Watch: All of the Rams look to be in good form but my player spotlight for this game will be on Terrance Shannon. Shannon had a breakout game against George Mason and looked great coming off the bench and playing at the level he is capable of playing at. And thensome. With George Washington’s big men, Shaka may look to Mo and Terrance for minutes from the reserves especially if Treveon or Juvonte gets in foul trouble early. Let’s see if Terrance can bring the goods to DC.

Come On You Rams! It’s GAMEDAY in the Nation’s Capital featuring your Rams of Virginia Commonwealth University as they take on the Colonials of George Washington in downtown DC! Tip-Off is set for 7:00 PM at the Smith Center with the game being broadcasted on CBS Sports Network.

Can’t make it to DC? Head to Baja Bean and grab a sit and cheer on the Rams because HAVOC Lives There Too!

 

LET’S GO VCU!!!!! 

Rowdy Preview: Men’s Basketball vs. George Mason

posted Jan 8, 2014, 1:24 PM by Mark Turner   [ updated Jan 8, 2014, 1:33 PM ]

VCU were successful against Stony Brook and increase their winning streak to 4! Now in order to grab win number 5, the Rams must go through a familiar face in George Mason for old time’s sake at the Siegel Center.

Stony Brook was according to experts ‘The Trap Game’ circled on VCU’s calendar due to the Seawolves having a rather impressive season thus far as they entered the Stu Friday night. At halftime, Stony Brook only trailed by a single point as both teams headed to their respective locker rooms; unfortunately for the Seawolves, they should have stayed in the back. VCU completely took over the 2nd half kicking things off with a 17-0 run and ultimately outscoring Stony Brook 45-28 in the half which lead to the 81-63 victory for the Black & Gold.

Treveon Graham sparked that run which lasted for around 7 minutes in the 2nd half; Graham also led the Rams in points with 20 on the night along with seven rebounds, three assists and a block. Briante Weber was also in HAVOC! form and almost grabbed his first double-double of the season but was one assist short; Weber finished with 14 points, nine assists, seven steals and a block. Rob Brandenberg and Juvonte Reddic had good all-around games each making 11 points. Melvin Johnson had 12 points on the night in his encore performance after going berserk against the Hokies in the Holiday Hoops Classic.

VCU looked like VCU in this game in a sense. The start wasn’t as great as the Rams had hoped but they made up for it at the start of the 2nd as HAVOC! turned up on both sides of the ball along with the crowd noise. Shaka Smart made some key adjustments on the floor and that paid off and thensome during that 17-0 run. Brandenberg, Reddic and Weber were able to get the monkey off their backs and played their roles successfully while lighting up the scoreboard along with Graham as the four Rams combined for 56 of VCU’s 81 points.

Would it be a safe bet that a majority of Ram Nation are crossing their fingers that a similar performance is in the workings when George Mason makes their return to Stu? Hope you’re not betting on red.

As if this game already doesn’t have enough emotional backbone connected to it, with George Mason now part of the Atlantic 10…raise the bar a bit higher; oh right, this is the first game of A-10 conference play for both teams as well? Yeah let’s move the bar up a little bit more.

The Patriots currently sit at 7-7 on the year after ironically losing to VCU’s other Virginia rival Old Dominion at the Ted last Saturday evening before making the trip to Richmond. Up in Norfolk, the Monarchs has a comfortable 40-29 lead heading into the half; Mason attempted to answer back in the 2nd and even cut their deficit to single digits but were unable to take the lead as ODU defeated the Patriots 71-66.

Taking a closer look at George Mason’s win column, Northern Iowa and Saint Mary’s are the only ones that pop out as impressive amongst the wins they had against Lamar, Saint Francis, Rhode Island, and Penn.  Another interesting trend for the Patriots surrounds their losses; each lost they have had started a streak of L’s for Mason this season thus far.  Could their lost in Norfolk to the Monarchs be an omen for their next losing run as they enter Siegel Center to take on VCU?

George Mason has been outscored by their opponents 941-929 while averaging 66.4 points per game. The Patriots do have some athletic big men which include 6’7” freshman Jalen Jenkins who is making his mark rebounding-wise while helping George Mason average 33.7 rebounds per contest. If rebounding is their strength, assists and turnovers are their downfall as George Mason averages only 9 assists while turning the ball over around 15 times per game.

The story of VCU vs. George Mason was on ice for a little bit when VCU made the move to the Atlantic 10 while George Mason remained in the CAA. Now that Mason got the call up to the Atlantic 10, these two foes face-off at Siegel Center one more time as conference opponents once again.

Would this be called a rivalry? No. VCU has a rivalry in the form of Old Dominion and Richmond; George Mason has a rivalry with George Washington. These rivalries mentioned makes sense when you look at the history books amongst the madness; no matter how much George Mason begs and prays for VCU to officially call this game a rivalry, it is NOT a rivalry. This is however a contest with a lot of buzz since this is the start of the A-10 campaign for both squads; and with a deep field of contenders fighting towards the A-10 crown, a good start in the beginning stages is ideal.

George Mason can’t stomach two Virginia schools that have a lot of history with the Patriots beating them consecutively; so they will be giving VCU all they have to try and make this Commonwealth nightmare not become a Fairfax reality. The Rams have been on a roll winning four straight against quality opponents and are 3-0 against Virginia schools this season looking to add a W against the Patriots to stay undefeated against the state of Virginia.

A new chapter in this entertaining feature of Virginia College Hoops is about to tip-off.


Silence These Patriots

0 Bryon Allen (6’3”, 202. Senior), Guard: A familiar face but not the same player. Leading the Patriots in PPG with 14.1 and assists with 44, Allen has really made an impact at the point. Defensively he is also pretty solid and has good speed. If Allen has a good night, he can shoot the three ball but his bread and butter is driving to the basket or dishing the ball outside for the open man; coming into the Stu after an 18 point performance against the Monarchs.

10 Sherrod Wright (6’4”, 202. Redshirt Senior), Guard: The emotional leader of the Patriots; and a fierce competitor to boot. Wright has been on a roll lately scoring wise with his 25 points against ODU as his latest display. Another interesting statistic about that: Wright went 14-18 from the line that game. An all-around player that is not afraid to pull the trigger from downtown…even when he’s missing everything…Wright will still pull the trigger. Wright also leads George Mason in turnovers with 37 on the year.

2 Johnny Williams (6’8”, 260. Redshirt Senior), Forward: This big man isn’t afraid of a little contact. Averaging 4 RPG alongside 6 PPG, Williams got more confident and physical just in time for A-10 play. Coming out of Norfolk, Williams almost having a double-double with 10 rebounds and eight points; his post-play isn’t superstar caliber but what works for him can put buckets on the board for the away team if the defense isn’t there.

3 Patrick Holloway (6’1”, 163. Sophomore), Guard: Besides having similarities look-wise to Stephen Curry, Holloway can’t shoot like the kid from Davidson but a 42% shooting percentage from downtown is an offensive weapon that can hurt the Rams if ignited. Holloway has a decent mid-range jumper as well so he can be seen as a pure jump shooter option. It will be interesting if Holloway will be used as a starter or come off the bench from the reserves. Either way, this kid can be a factor in the contest.

 

Kazie’s Prediction: It’s been a while since I’ve seen this game at the Stu; and on that night Bradford Burgess had a career-high 31 points on his Senior Night for a VCU victory of 89-77. Oh memories. Fast forwarding to 2014 with two new teams in a new conference setting; with the roll VCU is on as of late, it’s a great time in Richmond for Ram fans. George Mason is a good team with a .500 record, would not be surprised if they are fighting around the middle of pack for a higher seed later on in the A-10 season. For opening night in the A-10 for the Patriots however, they play against VCU AT Siegel Center; it will not be the inaugural A-10 season opener George Mason was hoping for.

VCU 78-61.

 

Player To Watch: I mentioned his brother earlier in this preview and so I’ll be watching Jordan Burgess in his first game against George Mason. Bradford Burgess had some great performances against the Patriots during his collegiate career; can the younger brother do the same or maybe even surpass Brad? How impressive and ironic that Jordan’s breakout game would come against the same team that tried to ruin his older brother’s Senior Night; as if you need another reason to watch the game right?

The Road To Brooklyn Begins.

Come On You Rams! It’s Opening Night of Atlantic 10 Conference Play featuring your Rams of Virginia Commonwealth University as they take on the Patriots of George Mason Thursday at Siegel Center. Tip-Off is set for 7 PM with doors for the Stu opening around 5:30 PM!

 

LET’S GO VCU!!!!

Rowdy Preview: Men’s Basketball vs. Boston College

posted Dec 27, 2013, 10:42 AM by Mark Turner

A historical run that lasted 11:23 was just a portion of the Rams tearing the Hokies apart in the Holiday Hoops Classic. Now they look to make an even bigger splash in the Brooklyn Hoops Winter Festival vs. Boston College at the Barclays Center.

Ram Nation rejoiced in unison as the Holiday Hoops Classic between VCU and Virginia Tech tipped off at the Richmond Coliseum last Saturday. For fans of the Rams they got a special surprise in the form of an epic 37-2 point run which included a brigade of threes, dunks, steals and HAVOC for all! The Hokies did try to find an answer in the later parts of the game but to no avail as VCU defeated Virginia Tech 82-52.

Leading the Rams coming off the bench was Melvin Johnson who had a career-high 27 points. Johnson went berserk from downtown shooting 8-11 from three point land along with grabbing two steals. Juvonte Reddic came back in form against the Hokies grabbing a double-double with 11 rebounds and 10 points. Treveon Graham grabbed seven boards along with seven points, four assists, a steal and a block.

VCU looked like they finally got over the hump so to speak on both sides of the basketball. Defense looked great, offense looked scary and the chemistry out on the court was at an all-time high. Of course, the Rams were pumped for the chance to play against another Virginia native from the ACC and wanted to make another statement claiming that the Rams are the team to beat here in the Commonwealth.

Boston College was looking to have a decent season in the ACC but man oh man has reality hit the Eagles right in the face. Picked to finish 8th in the ACC Preseason Poll, Boston College surely do not look like a team that will meet that objective; matter a fact, they just might plummet all the way to rock bottom.

Currently sitting at 4-8 on the season, the Eagles have definitely struggled in flight; losing all of their games on the road (0-4), only one game above .500 on their home-court in Chestnut Hill (3-2) and going 1-2 on neutral court settings. Their last game out was at Auburn and they came out on the losing end 67-77 last Sunday afternoon.

Boston College has been working on a blueprint to figure out an identity for this team. And unfortunately, they will be facing a VCU team that is feeling good and looking good after beating their 2nd ACC team this season as they are looking for the hat trick for win number three against the Eagles.

Barclays Center will be the host for this ACC-Atlantic 10 showdown; A place that VCU and Ram Nation are accustomed to thanks to the Atlantic 10 tournament last season being hosted by Barclays. The Rams have a good record in the house that Jay-Z built in Brooklyn and look to add another W in their win column in the Big Apple.

All Aboard The HAVOC BUS!!


Keep These Eagles From Soaring

21 Olivier Hanlan (Sopohmore), Guard: Leading the Eagles in PPG with 20.1, meet Boston College’s biggest offense threat.  Speed is decent and can dish off assists with ease. Defensively he’s okay on man-to-man but struggles from time to time. Hanlan has a tendency to get into foul trouble along with turning the ball over with pressure from opposing defenses; leads the team with 34.

12 Ryan Anderson (Junior), Forward: A rebounder that’s not afraid of contact in the paint is a simple way to describe Anderson. Averaging 7.1 rebounds along with 16.4 PPG, Anderson can keep Boston College in the game down low. He is struggling at the line with free throws and has 22 turnovers on the season already. VCU’s big men need to shut him down early.

25 Joe Rahon (Sophomore), Guard: Rahon and Hanlan can be a constructive 1-2 guard combo if they’re chemistry and point production are on point Saturday. Rahon averages 10.0 PPG and has dished out 35 assists. He loves setting up players for easy buckets and can drive to the basket if need be looking for the foul and a bucket.

23 Alex Dragievich (Junior), Guard?: The reason for the question mark is that Dragievich stands at 6’8” and is listed as a Guard on the Boston College roster. Yeah…he has a decent mid-range jumper and sometimes tries his luck from three. Not much of a rebounding threat but for a guy that’s 211 pounds and that tall…he may get moved down to the paint to see what he can come up with.

 

Kazie’s Prediction: Ok. That 37-2 run against the Hokies was amazing. Can I see that happening again in Brooklyn? Anything is possible against this Boston College defense. I don’t see Boston College getting blown out in the Barclays Center; the Eagles will make it a contest out of it at some point. The question is when…if Melvin Johnson shows a glimpse of that historic performance from last game then VCU will be in the driver’s seat on route to their 3rd win over an ACC opponent this season.

VCU, 78-65.

 

Player To Watch: It would be easy to pick Melvin Johnson but I’m pretty sure everyone in attendance will be watching number 32 for an encore. I’m more interested in seeing in what Mo Alie-Cox does in Brooklyn. Alie-Cox has been rather consistent performance wise and grabbed seven rebounds against Virginia Tech. I’m looking for that breakout game where Mo says NO! multiple times; and what better place for that to happen than in the Big Apple?

 

Come On You Rams! VCU takes on Boston College in the Brooklyn Hoops Winter Festival in New York! Tip-Off is set for 7:30 PM at the Barclays Center and will be broadcasted on FOX Sports 2.

 

LET’S GO VCU!!

Rowdy Preview: Men’s Basketball vs. Virginia Tech

posted Dec 20, 2013, 9:40 AM by Mark Turner


After taming the Terriers Tuesday night, the Rams look forward to playing against Virginia Tech in the Governor’s Holiday Hoops Classic at the Richmond Coliseum on Saturday.

With many questions floating around come Gameday at Siegel, VCU surely answered a few critics and thensome Tuesday night against Wofford. The Rams started out of the gates on fire with an 11-2 run and HAVOC was on display with defensive pressure, traps and turnovers all over the court. At the half VCU held a 38-28 lead and would go on to win the game 72-57 over the Terriers.

Leading the Rams in scoring was Treveon Graham with 18 points along with going 9-12 from the line and grabbing three rebounds.  JeQuan Lewis had another good shift coming off the bench with 16 points, four steals and two rebounds; alongside Lewis off the bench was Jared Guest with seven points and two rebounds. Rob Brandenberg looked to be getting back on his game with nine points, four steals, two rebounds and an assist for the senior guard.

Mo Alie-Cox said NO! once again with two big blocks and five rebounds off the bench; Jordan Burgess got six points and two rebounds on the night.  Briante Weber struggled with his shot once again with only two points but was productive everywhere else with three rebounds, three assists, two steals and a block. Juvonte Reddic had his 2nd consecutive silent game with only five rebounds and four points.

VCU’s defense came alive in the Stu and so did the noise level as they caused 20 turnovers and forced Wofford to commit 26 fouls along with Indiana Faithfull fouling out in the 2nd half.

Virginia Tech took on ACC rival Miami on Sunday night which included an extra half of basketball at the BankUnited Center. The Hokies trailed 23-31 going into halftime then outscored the Hurricanes 33-25 in the 2nd to force overtime. Jarell Eddie found the bottom of the net with 20 seconds remaining to give the Hokies a 61-60 victory in Miami. With that victory, Virginia Tech rolls into the Governor’s Holiday Hoops Classic on a four game winning streak.


The Richmond Coliseum will be hosting this battle between the two Virginia rivals. VCU has already taken down UVA in Charlottesville earlier this season and looks to take out the Hokies to prove that Ram Nation is the alpha dog here in Virginia. Virginia Tech will attempt to prove that they are no UVA…in fact, they believe they can beat the Cavaliers along with beating the Rams on Saturday according to their coaching staff.

Taking a look in the history books, the all-time series between Virginia Tech and VCU is tied at 10-10 with this matchup taking place being the first meeting since the 1994-95 season. And yes…VCU won that matchup 62-57 at the Richmond Coliseum. How ironic.

Hampton takes on James Madison in the first game of the Governor’s Holiday Hoops Classic then the Main Event of the evening will take place at the Richmond Coliseum.

Get your popcorn ready.

 

Contain These Hokies

31 Jarell Eddie (Senior), Forward: Coming off of an ACC Player of the Week honor, Eddie has been on a scoring clinic with 34 points against Winthrop and 24 points at Miami. Leading the Hokies in scoring with an average of 19.3; he also leads in three pointers (49%), rebounds (7.0 RPG) and minutes (32.8). Standing at 6’7”, Eddie has size, speed and power; along with a mid-range shot and possibly a three pointer if it’s on coming from downtown.

3 Adam Smith (Redshirt Sophomore), Guard: Smith had a lackluster performance in the Sunshine State against Miami with only eight points and three assists. At 6’1”, Smith has some pretty good speed and has a good eye for assists along with a decent drive to the basket. He’s not afraid of contact with driving inside and can make you pay from the line shooting 82%. And if the name looks familiar CAA fans, it should since Smith use to play for UNCW before he transferred.

11 Devin Wilson (Freshman), Guard: Wilson is on a game high after tying Dell Curry’s Virginia Tech freshman record for assists in a game with 11 against Furman; he had five against the Hurricanes on the road. Scoring wise Wilson is only averaging 6.9 PPG but leads the team in assists with 55 on the year. He also leads the team in steals with six and in turnovers with 31. Yeesh.

42 C.J. Barksdale (Junior), Forward: 6’8”, 235 pounds. This wilderbeast in the paint averages 6.7 rebounds per contest along with 11.5 PPG. Barksdale is not afraid of contact and loves going after rebounds; he has made improvements to his free throws shooting 90% from the line. He is as productive on defense as well with eight blocks. Barksdale has a high basketball IQ foul wise committing only nine so far. Talk about a disciplined beast…

15 Ben Emelogu (Freshman), Guard: Coming off the bench at Miami, Emelogu was really productive with 11 points, five rebounds and two assists. This guy can be a problem with his shooting if he’s hitting. Emelogu loves shooting from downtown; was 1-7 in Miami and he will be looking to fix that in the Coliseum.

 

Kazie’s Prediction: VCU looked pretty good against Wofford. Now yes…it was against Wofford but for what was on display the Rams looked to have turned the corner. Coming against Virginia Tech, the question I have involves the battle down low. The Hokies have some firepower all over the court but down low is in question when it comes to Juvonte Reddic; and he will need to show up on Gameday and thensome. Especially if Mo, Jarred and Treveon get in foul trouble…then it will rely on number 15 to get the job done.

Will he? I think he will slightly increase his stat line from the Wofford game. Bench production will be on point especially if JeQuan does his magic once again and Melvin gets the floater going. This will be a close contest in the Coliseum down to the wire; OT may be a possibility. But…I’m thinking this.

VCU, 62-56.

Player To Watch: One player that impressed me Tuesday night and left me hoping for an even better encore would be Jarred Guest. 7 points on 75% shooting with two rebounds and committing one foul; was out on the floor for 14 minutes and would not be surprised if he earned a few more come Saturday. Looks like Guest may have figured out his game, just in time for the Hokies perhaps? We will see hopefully.

Come On You Rams! GAMEDAY on a SATURDAY! VCU and Virginia Tech invade the Richmond Coliseum in the 2013 Governor’s Holiday Hoops Classic. Tip-Off is set for 5:30 PM on NBC Sports Network. Tickets are still available and if you can’t get in, make the trip to Baja Bean for GAMEDAY specials and of course…GAMEDAY!

 

LET’S GO VCU!

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