VCU sticks to the formula in defeat of Mason

Mo Alie-Cox was one of three VCU starters with double-digit two-point attempts in last night’s win at Mason.

Pound that thing in there. That was clearly the game plan heading into last night’s road test at George Mason.

The Will Wade-led Rams have made it a point of emphasis to get high percentage shots and 14 games into this season are now getting over 55% of their scoring inside the three-point line, making VCU the 59th most paint-attacking team in the country.

The black and gold scored 46 points in the paint against what had on paper looked like a solid front porch-defending Mason squad, but one that had yet to be tested by a team like VCU.

Coming into last night’s contest Mason had allowed just 46% shooting inside the arc, giving them basically a top-100 level two-point defense. But their opponents two-point offensive percentages prior to last night’s battled had the following national rankings and thus left room for skepticism: 174, 311, 76, 196, 220, 190, 332, 238, 276, 150, 277, 319.

The one outlier in that weak inside scoring group was 76th-ranked Houston, a Cougar team who blasted George Mason by 37 points on a neutral court earlier this season.

While the Rams didn’t match that level of domination (you can thank 21 VCU turnovers for that), the nation’s now 48th-ranked two-point percentage offense was able to hit 57.8% of their twos against Mason, taking 45 attempts inside the arc, 77.6% of their field goal attempts in last night’s win. That ratio of twos to threes was the highest VCU has taken all season long, just out-pacing wins against LSU and St. John’s earlier this season.

For a Mason team who’s main goal is to make teams shoot over them, that is a terribly defeating stat and one that proved to be the difference in a big Atlantic 10-opening win for the Rams last night.

A two-time graduate of VCU (School of the Arts '07, Center for Sport Leadership '10), Mat is a co-founder of VCU Ram Nation and a longtime fan as the ...
  • Greg Kerr
  • January 1, 2017
Want to fix those 21 turnovers...better entry passes into the paint. Way too many empty possessions, which won't hold up against better teams.