So much for rust. The Rams opened the season as if it were March already, throttling the Redbirds of Illinois State 96-58 tonight, essentially ending this one in the first 20 minutes as the Rams jumped out to a 30-point first half lead.
Havoc forced it’s typical 22 turnovers, but it was the VCU offense that starred tonight. The black and gold dropped 52 first half points behind 68.8% shooting, finishing the game at a 55.4% clip. Newcomer Terrance Shannon joined last season’s leading scorer, Treveon Graham, with game highs of 14 points in the win. Both added six rebounds for the Rams and neither played over 25 minutes.
Juvonte Reddic chipped in a ho-hum 13 points and a game-high eight rebounds in just 18 minutes of play. He was joined by a healthy version of Jarred Guest who added seven rebounds and five points for VCU’s front court.
Melvin Johnson posted 11 points (once again, in just 17 minutes), doing his best Troy Daniels impersonation by hitting three of his five 3-point attempts in the win. Fellow shooting guard Rob Brandenberg rounds out the list of double-digit scorers for VCU with 12 points.
Briante Weber seems to have handled his first day of point guard duties well. The junior dished eight assists to just two turnovers, and added nine points and five steals for VCU.
The win moved the Atlantic 10 to a perfect 7-0 to kick off the season with six other teams in action this weekend.
VCU will have a couple days rest to prepare for the No.24 UVA Cavaliers on Tuesday night.