Tuesday morning news and notes
VCU’s season may have ended this past weekend in San Diego but there have been a number of major developments regarding VCU basketball. Here are some highlights.
RUMOR MILL 2014: COACH SMART EDITION
Ah, it’s that time of year again. The time when programs from all over the country make their pitch to VCU’s head coach while the internet completely loses it’s mind over the ensuing circus of speculation. This season’s speculation came on hard and heavy with the biggest rumor coming out of Marquette University in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. The Golden Eagles recently lost their head coach, Buzz Williams, in a surprise move that saw Williams bolt to ACC bottom-feeder, Virginia Tech (a team the Rams beat by 30 this season, one of their 22 losses) after six seasons at Marquette. Smart, a Madison, Wisconsin native, saw his name connected to the new opening in the depleted new rendition of the Big East conference, and even as the confirmed new coach at Marquette by a number of Wisconsin media outlets. Problem is (for Marquette fans), those reports turned out to be false, and Milwaukee journalists are likely headed back to school for a refresher course on the dangers of trusting social media. Our sources have us quite comfortable with our coaching situation next year, so do like us and sit back and enjoy the media train wreck in Milwaukee. Coach Smart’s contract at VCU is for 10 years, from 2013 through 2023. But in the first five years of the deal, the contract automatically extends by one year, taking it to 2028.
A-10 REACHES DEAL WITH ACC, BARCLAYS CENTER
In two seasons of Atlantic 10 action VCU fans have packed the Barclays Center, rooting on the Rams all the way to two finals appearances both seasons. That tournament home away from home could be coming closer to Richmond for the 2017-18 season. Wanting to get into the New York market, the ACC has struck a deal with the Atlantic 10 and Barclays Center to move their tournament to Brooklyn for the 2017-18 tournaments, meaning the A-10 tournament will look to play their championship elsewhere during those two seasons, then returning to Brooklyn for the 2019-2021 seasons. In exchange, the A-10 will get a series of head-to-head matchups with the ACC scheduled to take place on the neutral Barclays Center floor. VCU most recently defeated Boston College in a similar matchup, 69-50 at Barclays as a part of this year’s Brooklyn Winter Hoops Festival. The early favorites being reported to replace Brooklyn as the A-10 tournament’s home are Washington DC (fingers crossed) and Pittsburgh (meh). A move to DC would bring the tournament some four hours closer to VCU’s campus and place it near the hometown of a large amount of VCU’s student population. With George Mason (Fairfax, VA) and Davidson (Charlotte, NC) recently joining the conference, a move to DC for those two tournaments would likely see a large increase in tournament attendance. DC is roughly a two hour drive or less from six of the schools who will call the conference home next season.
VCU TESTING NEW VIDEO TECHNOLOGY FOR NEW CENTER-HUNG SCOREBOARD
For years Ram fans have expressed an interest in a high quality center-hung score/videoboard and it appears as though they are about to get one (ok, we’ll tip our hand…we KNOW VCU fans will be getting one…stay tuned for an official announcement). VCU has recently been testing some technologies in the arena (see picture on right) and will have the new scoreboard next season as well as a freshly painted court with a featured new logo design. Details on the setup are unknown at this point but we would expect a sound upgrade with the boards as well.