Briante Weber set the tone with a VCU single-game record 10 steals. The Rams swiped 22 in total on the night, also good for a VCU single-game record, passing the 20-steal total from Dec of 2011 against UNCW.
Weber was more than just defense on the night however, as the sophomore was an incredibly efficient 6-7 from the field (1-1 from long range). Weber posted 11 points on the evening and was one of four players to reach double digits. Three other players scored at least 8 points in the Rams’ balanced attack that included 36 bench points to 40 from the starting five.
Fellow sophomore Treveon Graham has been pegged as the man most likely to play the role of last season’s leading scorer, Bradford Burgess. So far Graham is off to a good start, posting a team-high 15 points to go along with seven rebounds, three assists and a steal in just 24 minutes of play.
Rob Brandenberg and Juvonte Reddic round out VCU’s list of double-digit scorers, with 11 and 10 respectively. Reddic lead all players with nine rebounds.
Another notable performance came from VCU freshman Melvin Johnson. The top-100 recruit scored nine points in just 12 minutes of play, going 4-9 from the floor and adding two rebounds (both offensive) and an assist for the Rams.
VCU will find the sledding much tougher against the next opponent this coming Tuesday. The Rams will take on the Shockers of Wichita State, who VCU last defeated 62-59 in the second round of last season’s NCAA tournament.
Prior to that, the Rams defeated the Shockers 68-67 in a televised BracketBusters contest as Joey Rodriguez hit two free throws in the final 0.8 seconds, a win that proved to be vital in punching VCU’s controversial ticket to the 2011 NCAA tournament that saw them make a historic run to their first-ever Final 4 appearance.