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So here we are, in the hours prior to the most anticipated season in VCU basketball history, our minds festooned with Freight Treins and Reddics and Webers while we fake a busy work day. Yeah, that's dramatic, but it doesn't make it less true. We are fans so we get to talk in such platitudes without having a direct impact on the success of the team.
Check that. There are about 7,700 of us that will be bellowing some form of the same theme: beat the crap out of the Redbirds. The energy of The Stu invigorates the players on the court. That is another truth. For me, I've already gotten out of my chair and walked three loops around my office for no other reason than I cannot sit still. My goodness, the season is here. Let's have some fun.
Ken Pomeroy has VCU winning 81-65, giving the Rams a 92% chance of winning by any margin.
There are 16 players making their D1 college basketball debut tonight. VCU has eight fresh faces, and Illinois State has eight new players as well, five JUCO transfers and three freshmen.
Them There Illinois State Redbirds
The top gun is expected to be Daishon Knight, whose competitive penalty for plea bargaining a felony to a misdemeanor yesterday was one exhibition game. That is another truth. Knight averaged 19.4ppg at Odessa JUCO last year and is a very aggressive guard with a green light to shoot.
If not Knight, keep your eyes peeled on Bobby Hunter. He is always attacking and led the juco nation in free throw attempts last year. Hunter hit 11-12 from the line in ISUs exhibition win over Quincy.
Want more juco? I give you Zach Lofton, another agressive ballhandler with a green light to shoot. (Are there any juco guards playing D1 now that don't like to shoot?) Regardless, Lofton scored 19 points in the exhibition and hit three threes.
Finally, a returning player. Nick Zeisloft is a pure shooter. He made 3-4 from three in the exhibition. The Rams need to run him off the three-point line and then we can stop worrying about Zeisloft.
The bigs: Reggie Lynch, a 6-10, 230-pound space eater, and John Jones, a 6-9, 260-pound more-space eater. This poor duo will have to pick their poison: run up and down the court with Juvonte Reddic, or bang and crash against Terrance Shannon. Neither of these guys can guard The Freight Trein when VCU goes small. Note that for later.
Paris Lee is a pretty good backup point guard and a lefty, and Kaza Keane, who led them in assists last year, is a crafty player but will turn the ball over.