I’ll be honest. Sometimes there isn’t much to say. Last’s night’s Velvet Steamroller Special featured the best extended version of VCU halfcourt defense I can remember. Maybe at Cincinnati was as good, but for long stretches nothing tops what we saw last night. In the final 10:25 of the first half and first nine-plus minutes of the second half, VCU limited SLU to nine points. It was, in all, a 31-9 run over 19:45.
But really, there’s no need for much analysis because VCU did what it needed to do: whip a 2-10 opponent on its home floor. There was plenty to cheer:
- The A10 is forewarned: Treveon Graham had a bounce in his step we haven’t seen since early in the Rhode Island game (which was more than a month ago). I’ve mentioned that Graham has been resting his entire body, not just his ankle. It showed last night.
- Justin Tillman’s block of an Ash Yacoubou dunk attempt was phenomenal. Yacoubou attacked the rim and went midair with gusto, and ended up coming down like this guy. My favorite part: no celebration. Tillman didn’t preen. Rather he took off, and chased the ensuing fast break quickly enough to take a pass and take a shot. Love that hustle.
- Jonny Williams validated his strong GW game with a six-assist, zero-turnover performance. There was only one whattheheckisjonnydoing? moment.
- We salute Jordan Burgess, the five star general of sonabitchness.
- And Torey Burston, who is so much fun he admitted in postgame that “when I shot it I couldn’t see the rim.” Now is probably a good time to send you back to read this outstanding piece.
And possibly my favorite part: there was just enough bad to get everyone’s attention. To wit, after SLUs Austin Gillman hit a three, the last bucket before the big defensive push, Shaka Smart called timeout. As the players filed to the bench and the coaches towards the floor, Smart beelined for Justin Tillman.
“What did the scouting report say?”said Smart, in a not-inquisitive manner.
And apologies for boring you to death today. However that will change beginning Saturday. It’s officially late February and we close with UMass (9-3), at Richmond (grrrrrr….), Dayton (9-3), at Davidson (8-4), and then senior night against George Mason. Then it’s tournament time.