Those of you who follow our forums may have seen some of these stats from me already, but for those who don’t, I figured I’d wrap them up into one blog post for your enjoyment on this cold Sunday evening.
MORE THAN JUST BRI-FENSE
Briante Weber has made a name for himself as the poster child of “havoc”, leading the country in steals percentage in all all his three season’s as a D1 college basketball player. But lately Weber has shown he is more than just a defensive headache. The junior has posted double-digit scoring in VCU’s last three contests and in five of our last six — he scored 8 points in a loss at GW. Weber is averaging 12.6 points, 3.6 rebounds, 4.5 assists and 4 steals per game over that stretch.
…BUT SINCE WE’RE ON THE SUBJECT
Like I said, Weber has made a name for himself as a serious defender, and he’s about to carve that name at the top of one VCU defensive record. VCU legend, Roland Lamb, has held the all-time steals record of 257 since graduating in 1985. That record is just seven steals from being broken by Weber, a little over halfway through his junior season as a Ram. Long story short, Weber will shatter that record by the time he’s done at VCU, and could very easily be the owner of it as early as this Wednesday. He’s on pace to own the NCAA steals record as well.
JUVONTE REDDIC’S CPU IS A NEURONET PROCESSOR, A LEARNING COMPUTER
Big things were expected from senior Juvonte Reddic. He spent his summer at the Lebron James skills academy impressing scouts after a strong junior season, saw is name as high as a first-rounder on mock drafts and entered the season as a First-Team All-Atlantic 10 pick. But after posting single-digit scoring efforts in half of his first 18 games to start the season, including back-to-back games with five or fewer points in mid-December, many Ram fans wondered if Reddic had regressed halfway through the regular season. Problem is opposing teams were well aware of those accolades, and have thus thrown double and sometimes triple-teams at Reddic. But over the last two games, that hasn’t mattered. Someone must have changed a bad fuse on the Terminator because Reddic has been bringing judgement day to the Atlantic 10. After a strong 18-point, 7-rebound, 2-block performance at Dayton, Reddic went nuclear against La Salle, posting 27 points and grabbing 15 rebounds in VCU’s second straight A-10 road win. Had he hit more than 50% of his 10 free throws, he would have dropped his first 30-pointer of career. There’s always next game.
27 – VCU’s current Kenpom ranking
34 – The Ram’s current RPI
8 – Number of top-100 RPI games left on VCU’s schedule
8 – VCU’s adjusted defensive efficiency ranking in college basketball
VCU can potentially finish in the top-38 of the RPI even if the Rams lose six of their final 11 games (let’s hope they don’t). If VCU goes undefeated the remainder of the season their expected RPI would be 6.6 (a 1.33% probability of that happening). The three most probable records (20% or better) have VCU finishing 25-6 through 23-8 with an RPI range of 14.7-25.3. What a difference a strong conference makes.
A LOOK INTO THE FUTURE
Point production isn’t the only ingredient in a good team, and often times, a graduating mediocre player can mean more touches for a potentially great player. Either way, as of today, below is a list of who graduates this season (with points per game) around the A-10 and that team’s current A-10 ranking.
1. SLU – Evans (15), Jett (12.2), Loe (9.1), McCall Jr. (8.7), Barnett (5.2) = 71% of their scoring
2. VCU – Reddic (12.4), Brandenberg (9.7), Shannon (3.9) = 33.7%
3. GW – Creek (14.3), Armwood (11), Mikic (5.3) = 40.8%
4. Richmond – Lindsay (18.5), Williams (5.9) = 34.8%
5. UMass – Williams (15.8), Carter (11.2), Putney (10.6) = 48.2%
6. St. Joe’s – Galloway (17.5), Roberts Jr. (14.1), Kanacevic (11), Quarles (3), Kelly (0.4) = 63%
7. La Salle – Garland (14.8), Duren (14.3), Mills (7.8), Dunn (1.2) = 53.6%
8. St. Bonaventure – Wright (15.5) Kloof (12.8), Simmons (8.3), Farrell (0) = 49%
9. Rhode Island – Munford (16.8) = 24.7%
10. Duquesne – Soko (17.8), Jones (5) = 29.6%
11. Dayton – Oliver (12), Sanford (9.5), Kavanaugh (4.8) = 34.6%
12. Fordham – Frazier (18.1), Robinson (0) = 24.1%
13. Mason – Allen (14.2), Wright (14), Williams (6.1) = 50.4%
This would also be a good time for me to mention VCU’s 2014 recruiting class ranks 16th nationally. No other A-10 class ranks in the top-40.