VCU received 17 votes in yesterday’s AP Top 25 poll. A clear sign that Will Wade has not only kept the ship afloat – he has it full sail, aimed for post-season play. What’s drawing so much attention now? After a rough start to the season, against perhaps one of VCU’s toughest out-of-conference schedules, the fact is: VCU hasn’t lost a game since December 19th. That’s a 10-0 win streak, and 7-0 in A-10 conference play. KenPom.com has VCU at #31 right now, with a project conference finish of 15-3. I will take those odds.
The Rams have just 11 games left in their regular season schedule, but it gets brutal down the stretch. In the last 3 games, VCU will play at GW, gets Davidson at home, then finishes at Dayton, against a Flyers team that are now 16-3, and in my opinion, one of the best teams in the A-10.
Will Wade inherited a tough, but fractured roster, with the departure of seniors Treveon Graham and Briante Weber. Keep in mind – Treveon Graham was a SIGNIFICANT contributor all four of his years at VCU, and was arguably our only go-to guy on last year’s squad. And Briante Weber – 12 steals away from an NCAA all-time record, was without a doubt the best defender VCU has ever seen, possibly one of the best defenders of ALL TIME in college basketball. These two key players helped advance the Rams to NCAA tournament births in each of their four years. My point? Those two were part of a class and system that came and went together.
Shaka Smart didn’t help the situation in his departure, as one of VCU’s best recruiting classes, made up of Tevin Mack (ESPN #48), Kenny Williams (ESPN #84), and Jordan Murphy, all decommited (Mack eventually following Smart to Texas). However, Wade was able to fill some of that void with key transfers in Korey Billbury (senior from Oral Roberts), and Ahmed “Hamdy” Mohamed. Those two have become VCU household names with significant contributions to VCU’s success the season.
So what does this all mean?
For me, it means our forums are a GREAT place to be – spirits are high, dialogue is strong, and fans are VERY, VERY happy with where we are today. PS – if you’re not signed up, it’s free, and highly recommended as a way to be a true VCU super fan. Sign up here!
Overall, it means VCU hasn’t taken a single step back from its coaching transition, and I would argue VCU is in a much better place today as a result. Will Wade was an incredible hire for VCU, Ed McLaughlin and staff got it VERY, VERY right. VCU fans know this – do you know how many people showed up to VCU vs. St. Bonaventure just 1 day after the biggest snowstorm since the Blizzard of ’96? Every ticket was sold, almost every seat was filled.
Will Wade is not into pumping sunshine, he told it so during last week’s open and honest presser after beating Duquesne by 22. I’m leaving a video montage of that below. Just know this, Wade will be the first to tell you there is a LOT of work to do to get this team where he wants it to be, but at 7-0 and sole lead of the A-10 right now, boy are we in a good place.