Looking WAY Ahead…
I've always maintained that because we have zero impact on the outcomes of games, we get to look ahead. "One game at a time" belongs to coaches and players. Today, before we get to Winthrop (and we will), we are going to look all the way ahead to November of next season.
VCU is playing in the eight-team 2013 Puerto Rico Tip-Off, to be held
Thursday, Friday and Saturday, November 21-24, at the Coliseo de
Puerto Rico, in the Hato Rey district of San Juan. In addition to VCU, the field for the seventh annual event
includes Auburn, Charlotte, Florida State, Georgetown, Kansas State, Long
Beach State, and Michigan.
Important planning note: this is the week before Thanksgiving, which will be observed on November 28, 2013. Additional information, including travel
packages, can be found on the Puerto Rico Tip-Off Web site.
The Rams have traveled to Puerto Rico on four other occasions (6-5 cumulative record), the last visit coming early in the 2007-08 season. VCU slipped past Houston 73-72 before falling to Miami (69-63) and then 18th-ranked Arkansas 70-60.
In 2000-01 the Rams went to the old San Juan Shootout in the days before Christmas. VCU beat Evansville before losing to SMU and Kent State.
The Rams played a very ironic troika of games in the 1995-96 San Juan Shootout. VCU beat old Sun Belt conference foe Western Kentucky before losing to old Metro conference foe Louisville in the 1995-96 San Juan Shootout. The third game was a nonconference/conference game against new CAA foe James Madison. VCU won that game 66-60.
Finally, in 1987-88 VCU opened Mike Pollio's most successful season with a pair of games in the San Juan Shootout. The Rams blitzed the home team, Puerto Rico-Cayey 99-74, and then beat Arkansas State 77-68.
For what it's worth, three of the four trips occurred early in a season in which VCU would make the postseason. The 1987-88 team, behind Phil Stinnie, made it to
the NIT quarterfinals. In 1995-96, the first CAA season produced a
championship and narrow loss to Mississippi State in the first round of
the NCAA tournament. And the 2007-08 Rams lost to UAB in the first round of the NIT tournament.
An interesting but pointless side note: the Puerto Rico Tip-Off is owned and operated
by ESPN Regional Television, a subsidiary of ESPN.