Basketball number junkies rejoice! Ken Pomeroy’s computers have churned out their latest rankings, this time being our first taste of the 2016-17 season, a season that seems to like the black and gold’s chances.
A season after finishing 31st in kenpom.com’s final rankings, VCU will begin this year at No.33 and as the highest ranked team in the Atlantic 10. Pomeroy ranks VCU just ahead of Dayton (No.37) and Rhode Island (No.43), the two teams who secured all of this year’s preseason first place media votes in the A-10’s official poll and the only two conference opponents to join VCU in the preseason top-50
Eight A-10 teams in total crack kenpom’s top-100.
The preseason top spot is appreciated, it’s worth noting VCU’s worse finish since joining Atlantic 10 was last season’s No.31 ranking. VCU’s last finish of 33rd or below came in the Rams’ last CAA season, finishing 46th in kenpom’s computer rankings despite advancing to the round of 32 in the NCAA tournament before falling 63-61 to the Hoosiers of Indiana University.
Kenpom projects an overall regular season record of 22-7 for the Rams with a 13-5 A-10 conference finish. That said Pomeroy’s game-by-game predictions has VCU the favorite to win all but three of their games, which would give them 26-3 overall record with a 16-2 Atlantic 10 record.
Note: Pomeroy’s computers do not predict the undetermined Battle 4 Atlantis games VCU is scheduled to play.
At the start of this season VCU is project to lose just three times: a neutral court B4A game against Baylor as well as A-10 road games at Dayton and at Rhode Island.
The Rams are projected as the 51st best offense nationally and the 19th best defense. VCU finished last season ranked 58th and 24th in those stats.