I don’t know about you all, but I find this weather debilitating. Here I am prepped and ready for the spring-like temps expected this weekend (predicted to be in the 70s), and it’s 44° outside.
Speaking of weather, I found this picture online. Is that not terrifying? My brain immediately went to “blood-filled tidal wave” (which would be a decent metal band name), but turns out it’s just a massive sandstorm that recently hit Western Australia. Either way, I wanted to include that to symbolize the storm that is on it’s way to Olean, NY this weekend as VCU and havoc travel to St. Bonaventure for the Rams first A-10 road games.
VCU v St. Bonaventure nuggets
-19.5 points…The average deficit at the end of the last four St. Bonaventure games. One of those was a 19-point home loss to Iona.
-161…St. Bonaventure is hurting for a marquee win. If you believe Kenpom.com, his computers tell us their best win was a 5-point neutral court W against Niagara (former home of VCU AD Ed McLaughlin), who’s No.161 in Kenpom’s rankings.
-29.6…That’s the average margin of victory of St. Bonaventure’s last three home wins against The Citadel, Cleveland St., and Sienna.
-6.5…The margin of their two wins before that against Bethune Cookman and Buffalo.
-249…The average team ranking of the Bonnies seven wins this season on Kenpom.com.
-324…St. Bonaventure’s national ranking in three-point defense (Troy Daniels alert).
-13…The number of team’s St. Bonaventure beat out for last season’s Atlantic 10 title. Respect.
This year’s St. Bonaventure team is still learning how to operate without the do-it-all talent that was Andrew Nicholson, selected 19th overall in the 2012 NBA Draft by the Orlando Magic.
Nicholson was used on 28.2% of St. Bonaventure’s possessions last season (averaging 18.5 points, 8.4 rebounds and 57% from the field), statistically comparable to ODU’s Frank Hassell in 2011. Anyone remember how ODU faired last season without Hassell (and that was with Kent Bazemore, currently of the Golden State Warriors)?
St. Bonaventure hasn’t responded well without their horse, opening up conference play with a brutal 19-point road loss against a struggling George Washington team. That’s a major confidence hit, so it will be interesting to see how they respond against a VCU team who’s confidence is approaching March 2011 status after winning nine of their last 10 by double digits.
I’ve become addicted to Kenpom.com (and you should too). Pomeroy’s computers take our old friend Jay Bilas’ biased “eye test” of the equation and replace that with raw numbers. This week, his CPUs give us an 86% chance of pulling off the road win, predicting we do so by 12 points.
-8…The number of steals needed by Briante Weber to crack VCU’s career top 10…and just halfway through his sophomore season.
-43…The number of steals VCU’s No.4 steals leader, Darius Theus, needs to pass Joey Rodriguez for the No.2 spot. Just eight more and he’s passes Edmond Sherod for No.3.
-0.59…Treveon Graham’s points per minute played. That’s better than either of VCU’s last NBA Draft picks, Eric Maynor and Larry Sanders, posted their sophomore AND junior seasons. Graham may be ahead of schedule.
-2…The number of VCU players who lead nationally in major statistical categories. Troy Daniels leads the nation in three-pointers made per game. Briante Weber leads all of college hoops in steals with 59 on the season, good for 3.7 per game…in just 22.4 minutes of play. RIDICULOUS.
-10…VCU’s win streak.
-28…VCU’s consecutive sellout streak.
-7.7…The peak rating of VCU’s A-10 opener against Dayton this past Wednesday. The game was the highest rated program on local network television between 8:30-9:15. And estimated 50,000 Central Virginia households tuned in.
Don’t forget, the Rams take on St. Bonaventure tomorrow at 4PM. As always the official Fan viewing party is located at Baja Bean Company at the corner of Main and Lombardy. For folks in the Southside and West End/Short Pump…check out Glory Days Grill for some VCU hoops and get you a “Pittsburgher” while you’re there.